Author Topic: Married Woman has kids to new partner?  (Read 1807 times)

Offline Matthew Charles

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 12
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Married Woman has kids to new partner?
« on: Tuesday 30 November 21 08:49 GMT (UK) »
Hi,

I'm hoping someone can help me.

I'm in NSW Australia. My dad was born in 1920, he is 101 years old and still living. His parents where born in 1897 (My granddad) and 1899 (My grandmother).

Last year I needed to find his birth certificate to apply for some government assistance and no matter how hard we tried we couldn't find it.

We then did find it, but not under the name we expected. It was under his mother's married name.

Family history has always had it that Grandma was married at 16 but seperated when the husband went overseas to serve in WW1, this is when she met Grandad and had his children over the next 10 years. My Dad being the third child.

As you can imagine we were quite shocked to see that my Grandad's biological children were registered under my Grandma's husbands name and not his.

To ease our concerns we checked her legal husband's war records and he was not in Australia during 3 year period in which the period 2 of the first 3 kids were born and when he returned Nan and Granddad moved to Victoria and had my dad.

Anyway my question is, is this common to see a legally married woman register the births of her children a new partner under the name of her legal husband?

On all my dads and uncles married, death certificates my granddad is listed as the father, they also did not use their registered birth name throughout life. Only on their birth registration.

Thoughts?




Offline Ruskie

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 25,003
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Married Woman has kids to new partner?
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 30 November 21 10:47 GMT (UK) »
Welcome to rootschat Matthew.

As I understand it, if your grandmother was not married to your grandfather, any children of that union would be registered under her name. That could be her maiden name if she had never married, or her married name if she had been previously married. I am not sure if it is the same in Australia, but in the UK, if a couple are not married, the man needs to present at the registration if he wants his name registered as the father.

There are plenty of NSW experts who will be along soon to correct me if I am wrong.  :)

I donít think your situation is unusual.

Added: As marriage and death certificates are informant driven, you might find that your father and his siblings didnít know that their births were not registered under their fatherís surname.

Offline majm

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 24,898
  • NSW 1806 Bowman Flag Ecce signum.
    • View Profile
Re: Married Woman has kids to new partner?
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 30 November 21 10:54 GMT (UK) »
Yes,  that is the correct way, nothing odd at all.  Welcome.

I am NSW centric, birth registered in NSW in 1947.  Both my parents born NSW,  all 4 of my grandparents born NSW, and back several more generations too.

Civil registration commenced on 1856 in NSW,  and until the late 1960s in fact NO  surnames were required for any NSW born baby. 

Simply put, the babys surname in the 1920s would usually match their mums surname, regardless of who their father was.  So if babys mum was a married woman,  then in NSW in 1920s she would be known by her married surname. This was the conventional way.  So if she had children by her husband and then later had more children by a diffetent partner, i.e. outside of her formal marriage,  she may have continued to be known by that married name, and thus her children were all also known by the one surname, ADDING ..... (my oops, sorry) .... on the official record.

Hope that makes good sense.  My living ancient rellies include retired senior NSW bdm officers.

JM



The information in my posts is provided for academic and non-commercial research purposes. 
Random Acts of Kindness Given Freely are never Worthless for they are Priceless.
Qui scit et non docet.    Qui docet et non vivit.    Qui nescit et non interrogat.   
All Census Look Ups Are Crown Copyright from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
I do not have a face book or a twitter account.


Offline Matthew Charles

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 12
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Married Woman has kids to new partner?
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 30 November 21 11:08 GMT (UK) »
Appreciate the response.

That is what we thought aswell.

Given she was still legally married to her husband overseas, does that mean his name (her legal husband) is placed as father on the birth record, despite him not being?

(My Grandma and Pa didn't marry but their first 2 kids occurred while she was still married to her husband who was overseas). It quite well known that this is the case and no-one has ever claimed different so was quite shocked to see her legal husband listed as father?

I also have another case in my tree where the mother is still legally married but her estranged husband is living in Western Australia post 1907... and her last 2 kids ( 1910, 1912) were to her new partner who lived with her until his death... She gives them his last name as a middle name, but her legal husband is listed as father on their birth record when he clearly is not!

Is this normal for the period? What is the reason for it?


Offline majm

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 24,898
  • NSW 1806 Bowman Flag Ecce signum.
    • View Profile
Re: Married Woman has kids to new partner?
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 30 November 21 11:36 GMT (UK) »
I have just added 'on the official record" ...

So we need to remember that until the 1970s and 1980s there was very little need for anyone to actually order a copy of their own NSW birth cert. 
 ::) ::)
And it was not until 1990s that the concept of many documents needed and 100 points of ID,  before you could 'prove' you were NSW born.  .... Quintex scandal involving the late Christopher Skate fleeing Australua on fake passport etc... prompted those changes.  Now you need digital certification etc...

JM..  ... my finger cannot spell when I one finger type....

The information in my posts is provided for academic and non-commercial research purposes. 
Random Acts of Kindness Given Freely are never Worthless for they are Priceless.
Qui scit et non docet.    Qui docet et non vivit.    Qui nescit et non interrogat.   
All Census Look Ups Are Crown Copyright from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
I do not have a face book or a twitter account.

Offline Ruskie

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 25,003
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Married Woman has kids to new partner?
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 30 November 21 12:51 GMT (UK) »
In your second example, women often gave clues in their childrenís names as to who the father was.

The woman might not have wanted to admit to the registrar that she and her husband were estranged, she had taken up with another man, and these babies were his and not her husbands. Or perhaps the registrar asked what her husbandís name was, and wrote that name on the form erroneously assuming that he was the father.

Offline majm

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 24,898
  • NSW 1806 Bowman Flag Ecce signum.
    • View Profile
Re: Married Woman has kids to new partner?
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 30 November 21 13:07 GMT (UK) »
Yes.... remember that this was an era where not everyone could read and write, and often the deputy registrar could only just read and write, but .... could not always spell....  and worse still.... the bdm officer was often a part time position, sometimes in the court house....  and that's where the counter was 4 ft high and 4 ft deep.   (1200 x 1200 mm). 

Picture the scene.... Mum with several children and a baby go to the court house counter.  Clerk in attendance  gets his ledger book out,  .... huge book, leather bound, faces it to himself, and asks ALL the questions in a loud voice....  In front of a queue of people including general public, clergymen, sheriffs staff, a magistrates clerk etc. 
If you were the Mum and your children are restless and your baby  has some colic,  would you rush your answer or  get into a debate with the bdm officer about your known by name .... and then the big ledger is swung around and that bdm chap says SIGN HERE ... and points ... So his arm blocks your view of what he wrote down ....

 ;D

JM.
The information in my posts is provided for academic and non-commercial research purposes. 
Random Acts of Kindness Given Freely are never Worthless for they are Priceless.
Qui scit et non docet.    Qui docet et non vivit.    Qui nescit et non interrogat.   
All Census Look Ups Are Crown Copyright from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
I do not have a face book or a twitter account.

Offline Galium

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 2,921
    • View Profile
Re: Married Woman has kids to new partner?
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 30 November 21 14:04 GMT (UK) »
I don't know what the law would have been in NSW, but at that time (not sure about currently) in England and Wales, children born to a married woman were legally considered to be children of the marriage, regardless of what was actually known to be the case.

So if NSW law was similar, it would have been quite proper to record your grandfather's birth as you have found it to be.
UK Census info. Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline suey

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 3,758
  • The light is on but there's no-one at home!
    • View Profile
Re: Married Woman has kids to new partner?
« Reply #8 on: Tuesday 30 November 21 14:45 GMT (UK) »
I don't know what the law would have been in NSW, but at that time (not sure about currently) in England and Wales, children born to a married woman were legally considered to be children of the marriage, regardless of what was actually known to be the case.

So if NSW law was similar, it would have been quite proper to record your grandfather's birth as you have found it to be.

I have a family, UK.  Lady leaves her husband to live with another man. Five children born to new partner.  All registered with the husbands surname, they then nipped up the road to a different registration district and registered the children again with their birth fathers surname.
All census lookups are Crown Copyright from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
Sussex - Knapp. Nailard. Potten. Coleman. Pomfrey. Carter. Picknell
Greenwich/Woolwich. - Clowting. Davis. Kitts. Ferguson. Lowther. Carvalho. Pressman. Redknap. Argent.
Hertfordshire - Sturgeon. Bird. Rule. Claxton. Taylor. Braggins