ESSEX-UK-L ArchivesArchiver > ESSEX-UK > 2011-05 > 1306790890
From: Caroline Bradford <>
Subject: Re: [Ess] Marriage Record - Please Disregard
Date: Mon, 30 May 2011 22:31:14 +0100
No need to hesitate, Dick. You are absolutely right that earlyish registrations of illegitimate births varied in how they were dealt with by registrars and the GRO. My statement that the GRO index would have shown the father's surname "not" the mother's was a silly error, and I am sure Jennifer is right that , by the 1880s, there would have been a dual indexing, in the rare event that a father was named.
It is, theoretically, possible that Frances may have gone to court to pursue maintenance from William's father, but such actions were very tough on mothers, and only entered into when the mother was desperate or their families vindictive.
In most such cases - I am sure you will agree - the identity of fathers went to the grave with the mother.
Sent from my iPad
On 30 May 2011, at 21:07, Dick Mathews <> wrote:
> While I hesitate to take issue with Caroline (whose posts to this list
> are a regular source of sensible advice) or wth Jennifer (likewise),
> what happens when a single mother registers a birth has changed over the
> years. Prior to the Birth and Death Act 1874 the mother could name
> anyone as the father wihout him being present or agreeing. I have a
> certificate from the mid 1850s found via FreeBMD using the unmarried
> mother's surname which (to my surprise when I first saw it) named
> someone I'd never heard of as the father. And I have another very early
> one (1838) for Hannah Boden where the informant is identified as
> "Elizabeth Dolmans, Occupier, and present at the birth" - so neither
> parent was involved in the registration.
> So, sadly, John Galley's birth registration is unlikely to identify his
> father - but the Quarter Sessions records for bastardy might provide a
> Dick Mathews
> On 30/05/2011 15:59, wrote:
>> In a message dated 30/05/2011 15:44:45 GMT Daylight Time,
>> Although it was, theoretically,
>> possible for the fathers of illegitimate children to be named, this would
>> only happen if they fessed up and agreed to attend the child's
>> On the rare occasion that this happened, the child would be listed in the
>> GRO index under the father's surname, not the mother's
>> I would like to add a small correction to this. If the father attended
>> registration and is named on the birth certificate, the child is indexed under
>> both the mother and the father's names.