LANCSGEN-L ArchivesArchiver > LANCSGEN > 2011-02 > 1298112863
From: sally roberts <>
Subject: Re: [LAN] Children born to unmarried mothers?
Date: Sat, 19 Feb 2011 10:54:23 +0000
Over the years, I have helped construct a number of family trees and have yet to work on one that didn't have illegitimate births involved at some point.
It would seem that the Victorians were big on the idea of morality, but absolutely rubbish at carrying it out.
One visit to a record office proved this to me, when, upon being handed a substantial register of Bastardy Bonds, I settled down to look through the village records only to find this was simply a book on surnames beginning with the letter O.
None of my illegitimate (or Base Born) ancestors were sent anywhere, but were raised alongside other family members. I suspect that in the poorer sections they were welcomed, as at some stage it meant another pair of hands to bring money into the family when they were sent to work.
I have an ancestral aunt who had 7 children, only 2 of which were born to a marriage. The husband disappeared at some point (no death found for him so far) and the other 5 came along at regular intervals afterwards. She was known to be a lovely lady and no one had a bad word to say about her morals. She lived in the same village all her life, and all her children remained local, marrying and raising their own children there. A great-great-great grandmother had 4 children, none to a specific husband from what I can see.... In fact, there are many instances, too many to recall here :o)
The Victorians seemed to have talked a good game, but, life being what it is, it is no different a time period from the rest.