Author Topic: Adoption records/process Preston 19th century  (Read 459 times)

Offline Lee 6th Gen Irish

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Adoption records/process Preston 19th century
« on: Saturday 18 December 21 00:27 GMT (UK) »
Hi all

Does anyone have any information on what the adoption process was like in late 19th century, for the working class/poor.

I'm researching the Waldron family in Preston, arrived from Mayo between 1845 & 1851.

A Thomas Waldron, born Ireland around 1840, marries a Harriet Manley from Cheshire in 1875 in Preston.

Harriet Manley already has at least three children out of wedlock at this point, one being Harriet Manley born Preston 1864. Both Harriet Manleys appear on the 1871 census lodging with the Costello family, who are my third great grandparents. Ellen Costello's maiden name was Waldron.

Come 1881 two of Harriet's daughters, Jane and Mary are listed as Waldron's and daughters of Thomas Waldron. They lived at 3 Friday Street, Preston.

In 1884 a Harriet Waldron marries a Joseph Bradshaw at at walburghs in Preston and on the marriage certificate Thomas Waldron's name appears as her father. Given how few Waldron's are in Preston at the time I'm almost certain this Harriot Waldron was born Manley.

Is there an official adoption process and potential records or could the Manley sisters simply call themselves Waldron because their mother had married a Waldron and it would be accepted without further proof?


Offline wivenhoe

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Re: Adoption records/process Preston 19th century
« Reply #1 on: Saturday 18 December 21 01:07 GMT (UK) »


I think that Harriet MANLEY, married 1884, born to unmarried mother Harriet who married Thomas WALDRON, 1875, would be using, WALDRON, the name of her mother's husband at her own marriage, 1884.

There would be no need for any formal, recorded arrangement for her to use this name.

Offline KGarrad

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Re: Adoption records/process Preston 19th century
« Reply #2 on: Saturday 18 December 21 06:35 GMT (UK) »
In the UK, a person can can call themselves anything they like -just as long as there is no intention to deceive or defraud.

Formal, legal, adoptions came into being in 1926.
Garrad (Suffolk, Essex, Somerset), Crocker (Somerset), Vanstone (Devon, Jersey), Sims (Wiltshire), Bridger (Kent)

Offline Lee 6th Gen Irish

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Re: Adoption records/process Preston 19th century
« Reply #3 on: Saturday 18 December 21 08:52 GMT (UK) »
Thank you for your responses, that's handy to know. When researching seen "adoptive" son/daughter appear on the census a few times prior to 1926 but this is the first time I'd seen someone take their step-fathers name so was interested in knowing if there was a formal process in the 19th century.

Lee


Offline Jebber

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Re: Adoption records/process Preston 19th century
« Reply #4 on: Saturday 18 December 21 09:12 GMT (UK) »
You have to look at records with an open mind, things are not always what they seem.

It was very common for children to take their stepfather's name, not just illegitimate children but those of widows who remarried. You often find  a stepfather, or even a grandfather or uncle named as father on the marriage of an illegitimate person, it was simply to conceal the illegitimacy. :)
CHOULES All ,  COKER Harwich Essex & Rochester Kent 
COLE Gt. Oakley, & Lt. Oakley, Essex.
DUNCAN Kent
EVERITT Colchester,  Dovercourt & Harwich Essex
GULLIVER/GULLOFER Fifehead Magdalen Dorset
HORSCROFT Kent.
KING Sturminster Newton, Dorset. MONK Odiham Ham.
SCOTT Wrabness, Essex
WILKINS Stour Provost, Dorset.
WICKHAM All in North Essex.
WICKHAM Medway Towns, Kent from 1880
WICKHAM, Ipswich, Suffolk.

Offline Lee 6th Gen Irish

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Re: Adoption records/process Preston 19th century
« Reply #5 on: Saturday 18 December 21 11:17 GMT (UK) »
You have to look at records with an open mind, things are not always what they seem.

It was very common for children to take their stepfather's name, not just illegitimate children but those of widows who remarried. You often find  a stepfather, or even a grandfather or uncle named as father on the marriage of an illegitimate person, it was simply to conceal the illegitimacy. :)

I'm learning more and more that what it on a census record is more a guide to the truth and then to unravel the mystery.

I'm researching district 29 in the Preston 1871 census, the "Irish area" and have come across four households so far with "step children" but all recorded differently.

In one house a child is referred to as the head's son but keep his birth name.
Another a daughter is recorded as adopted but keeps her birth name.
Another a son and daughter are recorded as step-children but keep their birth names.
The Manley's are the first children to take their step father's name and use it in later life. So I thought I'd do some digging into whether there was an official process at the time.

Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: Adoption records/process Preston 19th century
« Reply #6 on: Saturday 18 December 21 14:23 GMT (UK) »
You have to look at records with an open mind, things are not always what they seem.

It was very common for children to take their stepfather's name, not just illegitimate children but those of widows who remarried. You often find  a stepfather, or even a grandfather or uncle named as father on the marriage of an illegitimate person, it was simply to conceal the illegitimacy. :)

Youngest child + 2 elder grandchildren of my 3x GGM were on 1871 census with their step-grandfather's surname and listed as his children. GGGGM's youngest child was illegitimate, born after 1st husband disappeared from her life and from records, and 4 years before she married 2nd husband. The grandkids were also illegitimate, elder born when their mother was 17. The grandchildren's mother had married 1870 but her husband wasn't father of her children. The step-grandfather died before 1881 census. GGGGM's youngest daughter and grandchildren were still with her on 1881 census under their own surnames and with correct relationships.
Neither 3xGGM nor her husband seem to have been literate. Therefore I assume that they gave personal information on the census form verbally, either to their step/children or to someone else. They had recently moved to a different town, the home of GGGGM's new husband & his parents. Her mother & stepfather wouldn't have wanted a neighbour or a stranger to know their family history. My 3xGGM was young enough to have been mother of both her elder grandchildren. 
The youngest daughter named her mother's first husband as her father on her marriage certificate as she had his surname. The father on marriage certs of the 2 grandchildren was a combination of their step-grandfather's first name + their surname. Each called a son after their made-up father. It's possible that their spouses didn't know the father's name was a fiction.
Always keep in mind that C.19th. English census records you are looking at are census enumerators' books, not household census returns, so information on them is at best second-hand. 

One set of my grandparents were already married, both for the second time, with children from their first and second marriages, before 1911 census. Daughter of grandma's 1st marriage was on 1911 census return with granddad's surname. Her relationship was stated as his daughter. Columns for length of marriage and number of children born to present marriage were "adjusted" to fit with information given for children's ages and relationships. Grandad's age was incorrect on the census. (That was 4 fibs on the form.) His age was wrong on every census as he always aged by a few years less than 10 each decade so that by 1911 his age matched his younger sister in Ireland whose age had leapt by more than a decade.   :) 
Cowban

Offline Lee 6th Gen Irish

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Re: Adoption records/process Preston 19th century
« Reply #7 on: Saturday 18 December 21 17:43 GMT (UK) »
@maiden stone very interesting back story there.

Indeed, the district I'm looking into was described by the enumerator as one of the worst slums in England in 1861 so come 1871 I doubt it was a district the numerator was best pleased to visit.

Its easy enough to put the blame on the resident providing the information, the common one with the Irish perhaps being they were difficult to understand or didn't get the concept of the census. But come 1871 the majority of the Irish living in this area had been at the same addresses for 25+ years and the information taken down gets worse over time.

It does mean that anyone looking at a single census can be given misleading information which means they can miss out on tracing people.

Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: Adoption records/process Preston 19th century
« Reply #8 on: Saturday 18 December 21 19:13 GMT (UK) »

I'm researching district 29 in the Preston 1871 census, the "Irish area"

Something else you should know is that a careless census enumerator in Preston wrote a ditto symbol under "Ireland" all down a page although only the person or household members at the top of the page was/were born in Ireland. It's an obvious mistake as the birthplaces included towns and they were all Lancashire towns. The error may have continued to subsequent pages. It might be the 1861 census, I can't remember.
A lot of my maternal ancestors moved to Preston in 19th century, English, Irish and Scottish.
Which streets were the Waldron, Manley and Costello families living 1851-1871?
Preston borough had the worst infant mortality in England at one point in the late 19th century.

 
Cowban