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Archiver > GENBRIT > 2003-07 > 1058358568

From: Don Moody <>
Subject: Re: Another question relating to illegitimate births
Date: Wed, 16 Jul 2003 13:29:28 +0100
References: <>

In message <>, Ray <> writes
>Another question relating to illegitimate births in the UK (England,
>On my grandfathers birth cert (1888) there is no father named (his
>mother was a single woman)
>A month later at the baptism in the Weslyan Chapel again no father was
>named and the child classed "illegitimate"
>Another month later in the local parish church I find a second baptism,
>but there is a father named at this baptism.
>Now the question, as the father was another family member (distant), was
>the father "Named & Shamed" or do you think the chap was just doing a
>good deed and giving the mother and child a "Husband & Father" ???
How could anybody tell at this distance of time? You are asking us to
make guesses on nil evidence. It was long before the era of blood
groups, let alone DNA profiling. There isn't even the possibility of
getting as far as 'he could not be the genetic father' or 'the evidence
is not inconsistent with him being the genetic father'.

If you want serious guessing, you'd have to produce contemporaneous
documentation with allegations (and rebuttals) as to who fathered your
grandfather. Even then you could not guarantee the answer. It would have
been entirely possible for a rich man's son to have sired a bastard by a
local wench, and then to have paid off a young cowman to 'stand by' the
girl, take the bastard as his own and claim him so in all later official
documentation. That is just one of dozens of possible scenarios where
even if there was contemporaneous documentation it wouldn't be true.

What you've got is a 'father unknown' who is almost certainly going to
stay that way. I'd commend stopping worrying about it and get on with
lines where there is more prospect of an answer somewhere near the

Dr D P Moody, Ashwood, Exeter Cross, Liverton, Newton Abbot, Devon,
England TQ12 6EY
Tel: +44(0) 1626 821725 Fax: +44(0) 1626 824912

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