Finding an illegitimate relative with no worthwhile information!

Discussion in 'Illegitimacy' started by Angela, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. Angela

    Angela Active Member

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    Is it possible? A question for the experts.

    Some years ago, I was told that my maternal grandfather had fathered an illegitimate child by a young woman who was employed to help my grandmother with bringing up their children. I think that this would have been circa 1910 or perhaps a couple of years later.With no particular interest in finding out any details at the time, it is only lately I have given any thought to it.

    My grandparents had 6 children, their only boy dying aged 18 months in hospital. The illegitimate child was a boy, I was told.

    I have no name for the young woman. She is not recorded on the household census in 1911. The child, being illegitimate, may not have been registered with his father's name. The only sister to my mother (who died in 1986) still alive is in her 90's and was not born until 1920. She may not even know about the child and I have no wish to distress her at her advanced age.

    I think it is a brick wall but on the off chance, I am asking if anyone knows of any resources I can access?
     
  2. Spanner

    Spanner Well-Known Member

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    Have you got the birth cert for the boy who died? It might be that the girl and her son moved on and that's why they don't appear on the 1911 census.
     
  3. Angela

    Angela Active Member

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    Thanks, Spanner, for your response.

    No, unfortunately I have no birth certificate or further information. Come to think of it, the baby may have been born prior to 1910/11. My mother, as the eldest, was born in 1903, sister 1905, sister 1908, brother 1910 so in reality, this child could have been born during the years up to 1910. The youngest two were born 1914 and 1920.
     
  4. Daft Bat

    Daft Bat Administrator. Chief cook & bottle washer! Staff Member

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    Do you have a copy of your maternal grandfather's will - in case, on the off-chance, there is mention of this lad therein?
     
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  5. busyglen

    busyglen Well-Known Member

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    This is probably a stupid question, so apologies in advance.....the person who gave you this information I assume is no longer alive? Is there any relative of that person around who might have known about this?
     
  6. gillyflower

    gillyflower Always caring about others

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    How true do you think this is? i ask because oral histories can be a bit like chinese whispers. I too apparently have an illegitimate ancestor who went to America - I have never found any proof - that is not to say it didn't happen, I just don't know. Do you have the family on the 1901 census?
     
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  7. Angela

    Angela Active Member

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    Thanks, Daft Bat

    Something I had not thought of but certainly worth a go - unless arrangements were made at the time and then there was no further acknowledgment of the child.
     
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  8. Angela

    Angela Active Member

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    The information came from my sister, also an eldest child, and the only person she would have got the information from would have been our mother. But, this was the only information she had. Much less than half a story, I think.
     
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  9. Angela

    Angela Active Member

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    My grandparents married in 1902 and the 1901 census has my grandfather living at home with his parents. I have no reason to think it is anything but true but knowing my family, I can imagine the facts being hidden for years!
     
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  10. busyglen

    busyglen Well-Known Member

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    Yes, that's a shame. :(
     
  11. Spanner

    Spanner Well-Known Member

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    I think it might be worth trying your Aunt. Use a casual approach and just ask - something along the lines of " I remember hearing something about ..... And wondered if you ever heard anything". She may know something.
     
  12. gillyflower

    gillyflower Always caring about others

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    If you have any living relatives who may know something - even a glimmer - then go for it. You have nothing to lose - and who knows you may find some further details.
     
  13. Half Hour

    Half Hour Well-Known Member

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    Your elderly aunt may surprise you. My husband had a 1st cousin once removed who just passed away at almost 99. I only "found" her a few years ago, but any gossip I wanted she was happy to oblige.. Your aunt may be glad to have someone to discuss this with and have questions of her own . After all, this person would have been a half-sibling ;) As Spanner has said, approach her gently and see where the conversation leads.
     
  14. Bay Horse

    Bay Horse Can be a bit of a dark horse

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    I would ask. I didn't think an elderly relative would want to talk about some of my 'discoveries', when in fact she was very interested - it answered some of her own questions.

    It's certainly worth a go.
     
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  15. Findem

    Findem The Fearless One

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    I would agree with Bay Horse and others that it's worth a try, I found over a period time that relatives I once thought were staid or aloof were not so.

    When I revealed to relatives that my paternal grandparents were first cousins, I expected a frosty reception but it was quite the reverse, in fact my aunt remarked "no wonder we are all barmy".
     
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  16. Angela

    Angela Active Member

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    Lol I think it would send my elderly aunt into a spin if I contacted her about this! The only time I have seen her for years is at family funerals. No, I really do not want to cause her any distress, especially as she was born some years after this child is thought to have been born and may not know about it. My mother could have been the only daughter old enough to have had any awareness of it.

    I think I might try the will angle initially but thank you to everyone :)
     
  17. Bay Horse

    Bay Horse Can be a bit of a dark horse

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    In that case, Angela, you are probably right.

    The other thing is to look for a 'cousin' or 'niece' or 'nephew' that doesn't seem to fit in on the census, if indeed they were born before 1911.
     
  18. Angela

    Angela Active Member

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    Thanks for this, Bay Horse and sorry to have been a few days getting back to you on it. Not noticed any 'extras' as yet but it is another good pointer. Another scrutiny of the records may turn something up in time, hopefully!
     
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