Author Topic: Registering an illegitimate birth  (Read 712 times)

Offline Jon_ni

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Re: Registering an illegitimate birth
« Reply #9 on: Wednesday 09 June 21 18:18 BST (UK) »
Do you have Chapter and Verse for these rules please?

I wonder if an unmarried couple, who stated that they were married or were presumed to be married, would be required to show any proof of marriage?
Mark I inserted the links you have just requested from Guy in my comment 1874 Births & Deaths Act. If you want an original of the full 1874 Act is and the 1953 is

No evidence was required. The Acts were writted at at time when the population was illiterate, hence all the spelling variations encountered with Surnames written as sounded. As I commented above to hide the fact the husband was not thought to be the biological father would be easy to lie. We see many Fathers on marriages named for illegitimate births were no father was entered and the mother never lived with the father on any census and people saying they were married on census when they were 'partners'. Have seen re-marriages where the groom has stated stating different ficticious fathers and his brother another one.
A couple could well live together and say they were married when registering a birth when they had not had a ceremony or bigimously re-marry and say they were bachelors or spinsters. The chances of being found out were fairly slim. In the case of a bigimous remarriage [perhaps, may mave been allowed after 10 years provided he did not know if wife was alive still, but think he knew she was, as appears she did] the couple appear to split c.1892 when the groom signed up to the Army and went to Malaya, Sudan & India. Husband re-married in India 1902 and wife ran off with another married man 1896 from Belfast to Hartlepool leaving 2 children from 1st partnership with her parents. Raised a family under #2 surname in Hartlepool, but she did not re-marry until the 1st husband had died WW1.

The original one for start of civil registration is transcribed on HistPop
on Guys site and which ever you prefer

Online AntonyMMM

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Re: Registering an illegitimate birth
« Reply #10 on: Wednesday 09 June 21 19:29 BST (UK) »
No proof of marriage is required when registering a birth, even today ... it is sufficient for the informant to confirm it verbally.

GRO suggest that registrars "encourage" relevant documents to be brought to the appointment but it isn't a legal requirement.

Offline Rosinish

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Re: Registering an illegitimate birth
« Reply #11 on: Thursday 10 June 21 15:14 BST (UK) »
My cousin has just discovered via DNA that she had a half brother

His mother was married & although his birth was registered under her married name it is said that my uncles name is shown as his father on the birth cert.

If that is true - would I be right in saying that my uncle would have had to be present at the birth registration & therefore had full knowledge of the child's birth?

Carole, yes, the father who was not the husband would have had to be present at registration or "a statutory declaration of parentage form signed" & presented.

Is it possible there was an understanding with all 3 i.e. mother, husband & legitimate father, the child be raised in the 'marital' home as the husband's child with no contact with legitimate father which may be a reason your cousin was never told?

Is it possible the mother was already pregnant when she met her future husband who was willing to take on the child as his own?
I know of a similar case in my own family where the mother was pregnant when she met her future husband but he signed as the father, knowing he wasn't although I'm unsure if the legitimate father was ever informed?


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Offline CaroleW

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Re: Registering an illegitimate birth
« Reply #12 on: Thursday 10 June 21 19:38 BST (UK) »

The mother married in 1930 & had a child by the marriage who died shortly after birth.  It appears her husband may have been in the forces & always knew the child born 1936 wasn’t his.  They went on to have 2 more children & he brought my uncles child up as his own.

My uncle married in 1941 & died in 1989 and as far as we know - his wife was unaware of the childs existence.

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Carlin (Ireland & Liverpool) Doughty & Wright (Liverpool) Dick & Park (Scotland & Liverpool)