Author Topic: Large family structures, late 19th century, especially the placing of children  (Read 1303 times)

Offline Unfindable

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[I'll mention DNA but I feel this question belongs here.]

I'm struggling to interpret some DNA results which aren't leading where they 'should'.
So: some sideways thinking is required.

Q: In your own searches (and families), have you ever come across children who have been 'passed around the family' (placed with other branches, even), in order to provide them with a home? Particularly in the late 19th century...

Linked with this, have you ever seen a household which includes very young children, born when a mother was in her very late 40s, 50s? And the said children could be younger than the mother's grandchild (where the grandchild = e.g. a child of the mother's married daughter)?

Thanks for your contributions
Dulciebun


Offline Pheno

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Re: Large family structures, late 19th century, especially the placing of children
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 23 October 21 14:57 BST (UK) »
Yes to both DB.

In the latter case they might well be (illegitimate) children of a daughter who is not in the household at census time but out working and the children are looked after by the grandparents.

Pheno
Austin/Austen - Sussex & London
Bond - Berkshire & London
Bishop - Sussex & Kent
Holland - Essex
Nevitt - Cheshire & Staffordshire
Wray - Yorkshire

Offline Erato

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Re: Large family structures, late 19th century, especially the placing of children
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 23 October 21 15:14 BST (UK) »
Yup, I've seen both situations.
Wiltshire:  Banks, Taylor
Somerset:  Duddridge, Richards, Barnard, Pillinger
Gloucestershire:  Barnard, Marsh, Crossman
Bristol:  Banks, Duddridge, Barnard
Down:  Ennis, McGee
Wicklow:  Chapman, Pepper
Wigtownshire:  Logan, Conning
Wisconsin:  Ennis, Chapman, Logan, Ware
Maine:  Ware, Mitchell, Tarr, Davis


Offline QueenoftheWest

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Re: Large family structures, late 19th century, especially the placing of children
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 23 October 21 15:44 BST (UK) »
Not exactly the same, but my grandfather's grandfather Laurie was informally 'adopted' by a lady in her late 40s, called Elizabeth, and her husband. This took place in the mid-1800s, so a bit earlier than yours.

I purchased all available civil registration certificates and tried to piece together what happened. As it turns out, Laurie's mother left him, and his infant sister, with Elizabeth and then proceeded to drop off the face of the earth.

Laurie's mother was not married to his and his sister's father, although she pretended that she was.

Elizabeth and her husband were childless, which is probably why she agreed to take the children.

DNA later revealed that Elizabeth was a biological relative of Laurie; I have not yet figured out how she and Laurie's mother were related but, based on the age gap between them, I'm speculating maybe aunt/niece.

The answer to your question is yes, children were certainly placed with older members of the family in the 19th century.

Queenie  :)
Ecclestone - London & Middlesex/Surrey
Hamlin/Hamlyn - Long Sutton & Martock, Somerset
Head - Marlborough & Alton Priors, Wiltshire
Laurance/Lawrance - London & Middlesex/Surrey
Minson - Kingstone, Somerset/Symondsbury, Dorset
Owsley - Buckland St Mary, Somerset
Pyke - (West) Weeke/Wick, Pewsey, Wiltshire
Salisbury - Dowlish Wake/West Dowlish, Somerset

Offline bearkat

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Re: Large family structures, late 19th century, especially the placing of children
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 23 October 21 15:57 BST (UK) »
My Gt Grandmother always said there was room for one more - the illegitimate son of her daughter, the grandchildren from a first marriage not wanted by a second husband etc.

There were either taken in by family or went to the workhouse or other institution.
Middx - VAUS, ROBERTS, EVERSFIELD, INMAN, STAR, HOLBECK, WYATT, BICKFORD, SMITH, REDWOOD
Hants - SMALL, HAMMERTON, GRIST, FRYER, TRODD, DAGWELL, PARKER, WOODFORD, CROUTEAR, BECK, BENDELL, KEEPING, HARDING, BULL
Kent - BAYLY, BORER, MITCHELL, PLANE, VERNON, FARRANCE, CHAPMAN, MEDHURST, LOMAX, WYATT, IDEN
Devon - TOPE, BICKFORD, FOSTER
YKS - QUIRK, McGUIRE, BENN
Nott/Derbs - SLACK
Herts - BARNES
L'pool- PLUMBE
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Offline Unfindable

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Re: Large family structures, late 19th century, especially the placing of children
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 23 October 21 16:12 BST (UK) »
My Gt Grandmother always said there was room for one more - the illegitimate son of her daughter, the grandchildren from a first marriage not wanted by a second husband etc.

There were either taken in by family or went to the workhouse or other institution.

bearkat
Thank you
...and presumably living with a family member (any family member) was a much preferable alternative to the workhouse...

"Room for one more". I really like that.
D


Offline Unfindable

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Re: Large family structures, late 19th century, especially the placing of children
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 23 October 21 16:16 BST (UK) »
Not exactly the same, but my grandfather's grandfather Laurie was informally 'adopted' by a lady in her late 40s, called Elizabeth, and her husband. This took place in the mid-1800s, so a bit earlier than yours.

I purchased all available civil registration certificates and tried to piece together what happened. As it turns out, Laurie's mother left him, and his infant sister, with Elizabeth and then proceeded to drop off the face of the earth.

Laurie's mother was not married to his and his sister's father, although she pretended that she was.

Elizabeth and her husband were childless, which is probably why she agreed to take the children.

DNA later revealed that Elizabeth was a biological relative of Laurie; I have not yet figured out how she and Laurie's mother were related but, based on the age gap between them, I'm speculating maybe aunt/niece.

The answer to your question is yes, children were certainly placed with older members of the family in the 19th century.

Queenie  :)

Queenie, I'm grateful.
Other families' stories are always enlightening.

Your Elizabeth was childless (had space), and was also generous too. Does sound like an aunt...

My question, actually, would be:
"Would a last child of an older couple ever be placed with a younger member of the family, who had more room?"
To be more specific, could/would a very late arrival for Sam + Eliza be placed next door, with their married daughter Mary Ann, to be brought up by the married daughter and her husband and other children, under her married name?

It seems as if this could easily happen - but it's not immediately obvious to us, 100 years later.

D

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Re: Large family structures, late 19th century, especially the placing of children
« Reply #7 on: Saturday 23 October 21 16:18 BST (UK) »
Yup, I've seen both situations.

Thank you.
My eyes are being opened!
D

Offline Unfindable

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Re: Large family structures, late 19th century, especially the placing of children
« Reply #8 on: Saturday 23 October 21 16:21 BST (UK) »
Yes to both DB.

In the latter case they might well be (illegitimate) children of a daughter who is not in the household at census time but out working and the children are looked after by the grandparents.

Pheno

Pheno
Thank you for confirming that the 'sharing out' of children was a possible (normal?) practice.

As I've just explained to another contributor, I'm looking at a backwards situation - where a very late baby for an older couple seems to have been placed with their married daughter, next door, to be brought up among the daughter's young ones. And given the daughter's married name - to blend in?

Would this be likely, too?
D