Sometimes, when we are researching for clients, fascinating gems pop out of the records and yesterday was one of those occasions. How many of you have ‘lost’ branches of your tree due to illegitimate births over the centuries? Personally, I am lucky that despite illegitimacy in some of my ancestral lines, I have always managed to track the father down, somehow!
So, you have John Smith, born of Dora Smith, or Eliza Brown, born of Mary Ann Brown…. but have you ever seen a certificate with only the FATHER recorded and ‘mother unknown’? She played a pretty crucial role in the birth, so how is she ‘unknown’? Well, apparently it is possible…
Bangalore All Saints baptisms in 1891 record William Macfarlane, illegitimate son of James Creig Macfarlane and mother unknown. James was a planter in Ceylon and his son, William, was born on 9 November 1886. What a bizarre concept!
The record above on the baptismal register is equally interesting:
Samuel Vincent born of ‘Soothee (native woman)’…. is that her family name, first name….? Heaven only knows. These two records alone would make for fascinating genealogical research, without even looking at the other four baptisms on the same page. I must stop myself investigating further….