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Illegitimacy NOT covered up

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    Illegitimacy NOT covered up

    Is this unusual?

    In 1851 (Class: HO107; Piece: 2066; Folio: 419; Page: 39) I have a family of Matthews, both parents remarried and with children from their previous marriages and a child together, but the 15 year old daughter has a child listed as 'daughter of Selina'

    I would have thought that with the confusion of parents they could have passed her off as 'sister of Selina'?
    Let's re-arrange the deck-chairs

    #2
    It usually says grand-daughter leaving you to search for her parents.
    Heather

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      #3
      unless the enumerator knew and put it down that way, but some families were not worried about it.
      Vikki -
      Researching Titchmarsh and Tushingham

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        #4
        It wasn't as taboo and everyone thinks it was. It has been happening since the dawn of time for one reason or another. I don't remember Adam and Eve getting married?
        Click here to order your BMD certificates for England and Wales for only £9.25 General Register Office

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        Jacob Sudders born in Prussia c.1775 married Alice Pidgeon in 1800 in Gorelston. Do you know where Jacob was born?

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          #5
          I don't remember Adam and Eve getting married?
          I didn't realise you were that old Pippa! ;)
          Let's re-arrange the deck-chairs

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            #6
            Originally posted by Mark Dudley View Post
            I didn't realise you were that old Pippa! ;)
            I am old for my age!
            Click here to order your BMD certificates for England and Wales for only £9.25 General Register Office

            Do you have camera? Click here to see if you can help Places of Worship

            Jacob Sudders born in Prussia c.1775 married Alice Pidgeon in 1800 in Gorelston. Do you know where Jacob was born?

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              #7
              If Adam and Eve did get married, who did they use for witnesses? And what did they put for father's occupation?

              Seriously -
              I think attitudes to illegitimacy varied enormously, and only in towns and later in Victorian times did people get all censorious about it.

              My gt grandmother's marriage cert, in column for father says "illegitimate daughter of Susanna Barnes".

              I've also found one poor grandson in 1851, occupation listed as "illegitimate"!

              My favourite is my gt gt grandfather William Williams, who is a widower in 1881, with his daughters and son. Last on the list of inhabitants is Fanny Williams, 2 months old, born in Cirencester workhouse, called "love-child". I was puzzled, as I thought a 2 month old baby wouldn't be living away from her mother - but solved the mystery as Fanny turned out to be illegitimate daughter of William's eldest child Emma, who later married Fanny's father and they registered her late as his child.
              ~ with love from Little Nell~
              Chowns, Dunt, Emms, Mealing, Purvey & Smoothy

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                #8
                It ended happily as she married two years later (interestingly she seems to lie about her age on the censuses after that getting younger by a few years in each one and the child took the husband's name ....


                She went on to have another 6 of course....
                Let's re-arrange the deck-chairs

                Comment


                  #9
                  Don't forget, the family did not fill in the forms themselves, the Enumerator did, and depending on who he was, and how spiteful he was, you sometimes get the truth!

                  I have one family where the enumerator obviously knew them very well and they must have been the talk of the town because he put down for the wife "unmarried - acts as wife", and for the children he put "illegitimate".

                  They did not marry until 39 years later, so I suspect he had left his wife and shacked up with this one, in the same area.

                  On the other hand, I have a family with a baby, whose name is "John - surname unknown".(Although they know where he was born, lol) This casual vagueness on everyone's part is covering up an elder daughter's little mistake!

                  OC

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I think literate households did fill in their own forms, which is probably why all the "truthful" census entries are for those where the enumerator felt himself "above" the class of people he was enumerating (ie illiterate families)! The enumerator was supposed to just copy the info he was given onto the folio forms we now see.

                    Having said that, isn't there a woman listed as concubine by some rich man on one census?

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                      #11
                      The concubine is mine Merry.

                      One of my actresses who was shacked up with a politician because she couldn't find her husband in order to divorce him. Henrietta and Henry caused great scandal in London society and I expect they did it as a "two fingers" to the establishment. Or whatever the Victorian equivalent of two fingers is
                      Zoe in London

                      Cio che Dio vuole, io voglio ~ What God wills, I will

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                        #12
                        I've seen one recently in the 1851 census with the Ryder family. David Lyons shown as 'Son', but written above his name is 'illegitimate'. In later census he is listed as David Ryder, 'Son'. Clearly he or they had decided that he should adopt the family name.
                        Phil
                        historyhouse.co.uk
                        Essex - family and local history.

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                          #13
                          Originally posted by samesizedfeet View Post
                          The concubine is mine Merry.

                          Ah yes...............!!

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Originally posted by samesizedfeet View Post
                            Or whatever the Victorian equivalent of two fingers is
                            They say that the "two fingers" is left from archers (i.e. 13th, 14th century or so) showing the French that they still had the means to cause trouble. Whether or not that's another busted myth, I don't know... but it sounds plausible.

                            Christine
                            Researching: BENNETT (Leics/Birmingham-ish) - incl. Leonard BENNETT in Detroit & Florida ; WARR/WOR, STRATFORD & GARDNER/GARNAR (Oxon); CHRISTMAS, RUSSELL, PAFOOT/PAFFORD (Hants); BIGWOOD, HAYLER/HAILOR (Sussex); LANCASTER (Beds, Berks, Wilts) - plus - COCKS (Spitalfields, Liverpool, Plymouth); RUSE/ROWSE, TREMEER, WADLIN(G)/WADLETON (Devonport, E Cornwall); GOULD (S Devon); CHAPMAN, HALL/HOLE, HORN (N Devon); BARRON, SCANTLEBURY (Mevagissey)...

                            Comment


                              #15
                              Apparently the French would cut off the first two fingers of a bowman's hand... Hence the signal (as far as I know...)
                              Let's re-arrange the deck-chairs

                              Comment


                                #16
                                If you search for "Rachael Chalurcklafte" in 1861 you will see the enumerator has found two concubines in the same street (on the same page! lol). Not in the same house though!!

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  Oh, and there are those "Nymphs of the Pavement" somewhere, aren't there!

                                  Christine
                                  Researching: BENNETT (Leics/Birmingham-ish) - incl. Leonard BENNETT in Detroit & Florida ; WARR/WOR, STRATFORD & GARDNER/GARNAR (Oxon); CHRISTMAS, RUSSELL, PAFOOT/PAFFORD (Hants); BIGWOOD, HAYLER/HAILOR (Sussex); LANCASTER (Beds, Berks, Wilts) - plus - COCKS (Spitalfields, Liverpool, Plymouth); RUSE/ROWSE, TREMEER, WADLIN(G)/WADLETON (Devonport, E Cornwall); GOULD (S Devon); CHAPMAN, HALL/HOLE, HORN (N Devon); BARRON, SCANTLEBURY (Mevagissey)...

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Usage

                                    Originally posted by Merry Monty Montgomery View Post
                                    If you search for "Rachael Chalurcklafte" in 1861 you will see the enumerator has found two concubines in the same street (on the same page! lol). Not in the same house though!!
                                    Hi, Merry,

                                    The word concubinage, two unmarried people living together, is not much used in modern English, although it's in the Oxford English Dictionary, but it's still the legal term in Belgium.

                                    Pete

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      I have one in 1851, rather charmingly enumerated as
                                      "chance child of Ruth".
                                      (Ruth is the unmarried daughter of head of house.)
                                      Janet in Yorkshire



                                      Genealogists never die - they just swap places in the family tree

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