TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM-L ArchivesArchiver > TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM > 2011-10 > 1317818452
From: Harold Henderson <>
Subject: Re: [TGF] Surname question for illegimate children
Date: Wed, 5 Oct 2011 07:40:52 -0500
I would use the name he usually used, and explain the situation to my
readers. The ideal situation would be to write this up, both to get the
information out there and to clarify my own thinking about a situation that
was no doubt difficult in many ways.
In an artificially constricted and conventional format like a database, I
would do the same insofar as it allowed me to. I would prefer a database
that allowed alternative names and that had an unlimited "notes" field to
deal with the explanation. There are plenty of cases where you'd need
something even more flexible that would allow for alternative parents as
On Wed, Oct 5, 2011 at 7:15 AM, Linda M. Hunter <> wrote:
> Hello. I have a question on how to handle to the surnames of illegitimate
> children who later take on the father's name.
> The focus is George, b. 1870, son of William SULLIVAN and Frances BROOKS.
> The couple was living together but were not married at the time of George's
> birth. Frances (BROOKS) ALMOND was a widow. I haven't found a record of
> George's birth, so don't know at this time whether it would have been
> recorded as BROOKS, ALMOND or SULLIVAN.
> The record closest to that time is the 1880 census where the family
> appears together in the census. The children are listed under Fanny BROOKS
> with dashes indicating BROOKS as surnames. Interestingly, this is the only
> entry where that census taker repeats the dwelling/family number for both
> the head of household and the second person in the family. So while he
> listed them as being in the same family, he clearly separated William from
> Fanny and her children. Fanny's relationship is "concubine." I have
> trouble taking the census taker's word on the children's surname since
> Frances' daughter from her previous marriage should have been an ALMOND,
> is also listed as a BROOKS.
> The next time I see George is his marriage in 1899 when he uses the name
> George SULLIVAN.
> Any recommendations on how to handle this surname uncertainty when
> to George?
> Thank you for your recommendations,
> Linda Hunter
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Research and Writing from Northwest Indiana
Professional genealogy from Chicago to Fort Wayne, Kalamazoo to Kokomo
Compiler, *In Court In La Porte: An every-name index to the first legal
in La Porte County, Indiana*
|Re: [TGF] Surname question for illegimate children by Harold Henderson <>|