View Full Version : Can I positively identify him?

26-03-08, 01:58
My gg-grandmother, Hannah Mortimer Jennings was born in Scarborough in 1841, the illegitimate daughter of Mary Jennings. Hannah was baptised in Scarborough, no father named. I do not have her birth certificate.

Mary and Hannah (age 3 months) appear on the 1841 census.
As far as I can see there is only one male with the surname Mortimer in Scarborough on the 1841 census, William Mortimer age 25, a servant.

Hmmm, I thought! How can I tell if he is my man?!

It is quite possible that Mary was a servant before Hannah was born, one of her sisters was the servant of a doctor for a number of years. Mary died before the 1851 census.

I have tried googling Bastardy bonds, but have never looked for this sort of thing before so any ideas on what I can do next would be appreciated.

Olde Crone Holden
26-03-08, 03:04
I would put it as an extremely possible maybe lol!

Bastardy Bonds had died out by this time and the best you can hope for is a maintenance or affiliation order in the magistrate's court. I have never yet managed to find one of these, but you may be luckier than me.

Try the relevant County Records Office to start with. Was the child born in the workhouse? There may be some records there.


Little Nell
26-03-08, 11:05
If there is no father named in the baptism register, it might be possible that there's a father on the birth cert. I have an instance of this in my tree.

But without a name you can't be sure. The father could have been a connection of the Mortimer you've found, but equally the chap might have cleared off to avoid being rushed into a wedding, or forced to pay maintenance.

Again, middle name Mortimer doesn't necessarily (though it probably does) refer to her father.

Merry Monty Montgomery
26-03-08, 11:15
In theory (lol :)) if the father is named on the birth cert with a different surname to the mother (ie they are not married to each other) then there should be two GRO index entries; one for each surname, but there doesn't seem to be in this case. However, not all registrars followed the same guidelines, esp in the early years, so anything goes really. Also it's always possible the father registered the birth!

Little Nell
26-03-08, 11:17
Yes, the example I have in my tree is Mary Gray. She is indexed as Mary Timbers Timbers and Mary Timbers Gray and her parents are Elizabeth Gray and Samuel Timbers (a gentleman's butler!). I think I've found a likely Samuel, though he isn't a butler, to a gentleman or anyone else, and he IS married, which is presumably why Elizabeth didn't get to drag him to the altar.

Very annoyingly, Mary ignored her middle name, and thus is almost impossible to trace, there being zillions of Mary Grays rattling around.

Merry Monty Montgomery
26-03-08, 11:30
Very annoyingly, Mary ignored her middle name, and thus is almost impossible to trace, there being zillions of Mary Grays rattling around.

Impossible to trace in what context?? She is positively on the 1861 census! I guess you mean after that?

Little Nell
26-03-08, 12:20
I have her 1861 and 1871 (because she is staying with grandparents).

1881 she might be a washerwoman
1881 RG11/1910 Folio: 15 Page: 23
20 Row 119 Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, (St Nicholas)
Mary Ann Gray 22 unm. abt 1859 Norton, Norfolk, Head washerwoman
[image only gives surname - first name has " mark underneath above person, Mary Ann someone else, so it could just mean Mary Gray and not Mary Ann]

after that - who knows!

Merry Monty Montgomery
26-03-08, 14:04
after that - who knows!

Hmmmmm......I see what you mean!!