ABERDEEN-L ArchivesArchiver > ABERDEEN > 2010-06 > 1277286177
From: Ray Hennessy <>
Subject: Re: [ABERDEEN] Answers to my query re illegitimate children -YOUNGSON & DAVIDSON in Aberdeenshire
Date: Wed, 23 Jun 2010 10:42:57 +0100
A few points.
In the first case it looks as though the paternal grandparents were "doing
the right thing" by their wayward son's child but [probably] banished the
serving girl for "leading their impressionable son astray" [as if!!].
In the second case you don't say where "U" appears. It has nothing to do
with "Unmarried" and is almost certainly a case of the OPR entry saying
"... had a child ...", i.e. the sex is "Unspecified".
Although John is generally assumed to be a male name, there is a noticeable
occurrence of male names being used unmodified for girls in Scotland [e.g.
Gordon, Bruce]. I haven't come across any use of John for baptising a girl
but the indexers could well have been careful not to make assumptions about
the sex of the child.
Regarding the bar to inheritance, this only applies if the deceased died
intestate. If a will is made then the illegitimate child has every chance
of some inheritance providing s/he is acknowledged.
As far as being confused, it's quite usual for all of us!!! In the case of
illegitimacy, quite apart from the totally unnecessary - and still
persisting - slight on the child [who did nothing wrong], all variants of
parenting and family arrangements are found all over the records. Make no
assumptions, just go with the situation as it is without trying to determine
the reasoning behind it.
One rule: be lucky
On 23 June 2010 05:23, Gaye Ruru <> wrote:
> Many thanks for the variety of replies I have received to my above query.
> guess I am still as confused as when I started but at least it makes for a
> couple of interesting families. In one case [the Dumfriesshire one] the
> mother was a housemaid in the home of the father's parents - the father was
> a Solicitor in Edinburgh, who never married, and on his death left his
> illegitimate daughter, quite a large sum of money. She [who is my great
> great grandmother] was brought up by said father's parents, who happened to
> be the local Minister and wife. The mother [the housemaid] married the
> following year, had a large family, and was widowed and left with 7 young
> children the youngest a babe in arms - so she sure got the raw end of the
> deal. The story within our family is that she had no further contact with
> her illegitimate daughter.
> In the 2nd case, my Aberdeenshire one, John YOUNGSON, his death
> certificates has him marked as "illegitimate", his OPR birth from Scotlands
> People has "U" by sex which I take to mean his parents were unmarried and
> his father married the following year and had 5 children to his first
> 'legal' wife, then after she died, remarried and had 7 further children to
> the 2nd legal wife. What made me ask this question was the fact that when
> my great great father's half brother was killed in Red River, Canada in
> this John YOUNGSON "was an illegitimate son, and as Charles' [the brother
> who was killed] stepbrother, therefore not qualified to inherit any part of
> Charles' estate". So John appears to have 'carried' the illegitimate 'tag'
> throughout his life, rather to his detriment. So far I have been unable to
> definitely identify his mother, one Elspet DAVIDSON, after his birth. I do
> know she was "Elspet Davidson, daughter of Andrew Davidson and Margaret
> ROBERTSON, baptised 3rd June 1798 of Old Machar. So if anyone has any
> knowledge of this Elspet Davidson, or her parents, I'd love to hear from
> them, or indeed from anyone with interests in the YOUNGSON family of
> Thanks once again,