Records for Illegitimate Children

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sarahmh
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Records for Illegitimate Children

Post by sarahmh » 07 Sep 2013, 07:12

Hi everyone,
I was wondering where I might find records regarding illegitimate children and child support in the 19th century?

My gg-grandfather James Hartley was born in Salterforth in 1840. On his birth certificate he had no father, but when he married in 1862 his father is listed as a John Widdup, Coal Dealer. Having trawled the census and with help from Sue on the Widdup's of the area, I am down to one suspect. But so far nothing that confirms this. I have John's will, but he left everything to his wife and adopted daughter. So now I'm up to the poor records.

So do these records still exist? And does anyone know where they're kept?

Thanks!
Sarah

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Wendyf
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Re: Records for Illegitimate Children

Post by Wendyf » 07 Sep 2013, 07:52

I think this area came under the Skipton Poor Law Union Sarah, and any records would be at the record office in Northallerton.
Here is a link to the Workhouse website.
Is it John Widdup that you are trying to trace through the records or James Hartley?

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Wendyf
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Re: Records for Illegitimate Children

Post by Wendyf » 07 Sep 2013, 08:35

Having had a look on Ancestry I seem to have tracked John down....which is your suspect and why aren't you convinced? :smile:

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Stanley
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Re: Records for Illegitimate Children

Post by Stanley » 08 Sep 2013, 04:55

Wendy is right about Barlick and district being in the Skipton Union, not sure when this changed but after formation of the Barlick Local Board in 1890 and the subsequent change to an urban District Council. Salterforth was part of Earby until much later. March 14th 1906. Local Government Board issued an order separating Barnoldswick from the Overseers' district of Thornton in Craven. Be aware that all early records were under Thornton in Craven Parish.
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Whyperion
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Re: Records for Illegitimate Children

Post by Whyperion » 08 Sep 2013, 07:34

Census records can be flaky , as the enumerator will sometimes put down what they think they hear or should be. So one would have (normally male , not always ) , Name - Head of Household , then Female - Relationship - Wife , then children normally listed as (S)on or (D)aughter , this can be the situation even if Head is not the birth parent of the child , seen it for nieces , etc. It may be more of interest to research the mother - age , background , where she worked as these could give clues as to whom was around at the time of birth, possibly too , if they exist , baptism records ( again baptisms might be some distance , time wise , from birth dates )

Before (was it 1928) was there an official adoption process.
Last edited by Whyperion on 08 Sep 2013, 16:00, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Records for Illegitimate Children

Post by Gloria » 08 Sep 2013, 07:51

I have the same thing but in the early 1900s. It is my understanding that when the birth was registered out of wedlock the father, if his name was to be on the cert, needed to be there at the time of registration or write a letter of authorisation. I am pretty sure when filling in the marriage cert details they could put whatever name they wish.
Whether this applied in the 1840s I am not sure.
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Stanley
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Re: Records for Illegitimate Children

Post by Stanley » 09 Sep 2013, 05:09

Gloria, you are right basically about the father having to be present if there were any irregularities in the registration. My mother wasn't married to my father and he wasn't there. In addition she falsely claimed father's surname. This was in 1936. In addition my dad was living under a pseudonym after deserting from the Australian army. The net result of all this was that when the registrar rang me to apologise for the fact that I had been registered in the wrong ward and he found out the other discrepancies when I had applied for a copy of my full birth certificate he told me that I was governed by the rules pertaining in 1936 and had the choice of four surnames, Bowker, Graham, Challenger or MacDonald. I decided to leave things as they were! I asked if they still had the red stamp 'bastard' that was used at one time but he said it had vanished.... Pity, I'd have liked a certificate marked with it. My point is that my case illustrates the fact that even a birth certificate isn't guaranteed to be accurate. This applies of course to all census entries for me and doubtless my mother and father after c.1930. Then there are the not uncommon enumerator's mistakes.
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