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Thread: Illegitimacy; where to look next?

  1. #1
    Member Neil by the beach's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    Christchurch, Dorset

    Illegitimacy; where to look next?

    I have an ancestor born to Emily Newson in 1892 in Fulham called Lilian (Carter-)Newson,who was illegitimate. From her birth certificate i have what i believe is her fathers surname, Carter, but i am unsure of how to proceed further to find her fathers identity. Emily later marries another man and takes this name as does Lilian briefly before reverting to Carter-Newson. Lilians marriage certificate is blank for her father. Any suggestions please?
    Thanks Neil

  2. #2
    Name like that - could be his name ..or his occupation I suppose - basically I think you are at a dead end. You can suppose/guess but how will you ever know?

    (might have had more luck had it been a small village and distinct name - that really gave the game away)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Beyond the Yellow Brick Road
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    Have you found the mother on the 1891 census? If she happened to be living with a man on that census then I would wonder if he might be the father and look to see if he left a will.

    Every five years or so I look back on my life and I have a good... laugh"
    (Indigo Girls, "Watershed")

  4. #4
    Your only hope is a Maintenance order in the local Magistrates Court. They are hard to find as most stuff in the Magistates court was destroyed after a number of years - not important enough to keep.

    But - if you don't look, you won't know.

    I am not familiar with London records, so perhaps someone else can tell you where Fulham records are likely to be held and whether they have any records from the magistrates courts.


  5. #5
    There is a book entitled: "My Ancestor was a Bastard" by Ruth Paley which suggests various avenues of research.
    If the mother was able to bring up the child without any need of support from the state, then you probably do have a dead end - or at best, suspicion only. If the state had to PAY for the child, then they would be looking for means of recouping the cost from (or passing it on to) the father and records may survive.
    Phoenix - with charred feathers
    Researching Skillings from Norfolk, Sworn from Salisbury and Adams in Malborough, Devon.

  6. #6

    I'd be tempted to look on the street where Emily Newson is in the 1891, & see if there are any men with surname Carter, especially if they are close in age & unattached. You'll never "know" for sure, but its a place to start.
    ~ Louise ~

    Researching Dalzell, Highmore & Sumpton in Cumbria, also Braidford & Chevalier

  7. #7
    Hi Neil,

    Can see you've been looking up the Carters!

    I told you the people on here were good didn't I? Just a wonderful group of people wanting to help.
    Sue x

    Looking for Hanmores in Kent, Blakers in Essex and Kent, Pickards in East London and Raisons in Somerset.

  8. #8
    Member Mary from Italy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Northern Italy
    You could try the parish baptism records - occasionally the father of an illegitimate child is named in the baptism register even if he isn't named on the birth certificate.

  9. #9
    Member Neil by the beach's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Christchurch, Dorset
    Thanks for such prompt replies everyone, you certainly were right Sue.

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