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Questions: Illegitimate Children in England, 1800's

Replies: 4

Questions: Illegitimate Children in England, 1800's

kim danielsen (View posts)
Posted: 1065566694000
Classification: Query
I have a couple of questions regarding illegitimate children in England. My g-g-g-grmother had 2 illegitimate children [she died a couple yrs later]. Her sister, 17 yrs older than she, had 5 illegitimate children. All these children took the surname of their mother [Bickerstaff]. However, the older sister gave her children 3 names in addition to Bickerstaff-- i.e. Thomas Edward Culley Bickerstaff; Catherine Hester Webb Bickerstaff.

My questions are:
1) is my understanding correct that these women could not lawfully put the father's name on the birth certif.'s of illegitimate children? [My g-g-g-grmother's kids just had a line drawn through the space for father's name.]
2) is it possible that the additional name described above for the sister's kids, was actually the surname of the father?
3) Would the father's name show up anywhere, at a later date, such as when the child died or was married?
4) my Bickerstaff family was, as far as I can tell, poor. Were illegitimate pregnancies common in the 1800's? [My g-g-g-grmother's kids were b. 1858 and 1860; her older sister's kids were b. 1840's-1850's.]
5)One of the illegitimate children of my g-g-g-grmother presumably heard rumors from family over the yrs as to who her father was [her mother died when this dau. was 5]. She returned to England from the U.S. supposedly to fight a court case where a man's Will was being probated; family lore has it that she failed to prove her [paternity?] case, and "10,000 pounds went to Chancery". Does anyone know how this might be researched?

Thanks for any information!

Kim Danielsen

SubjectAuthorDate Posted
kim danielsen 1065566694000 
cdknowles 1065655790000 
Kim Danielsen 1065679581000 
thersa 1065682665000 1065685677000 
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