Wednesday, August 18, 1999

A cousin has found a birth record for an illegitimate child, born in 1897. The mother of the child is the older sister of our grandmother. The father of the child appears to be the mother's father! While I am not naive enough to suppose that incest did not occur in "those days", I question if the father would have named (branded!) himself in a public record. Is it possible that Dad's name was entered incorrectly? I have also received information that there was a nephew with the same name as Dad. Is there any way to find out if he might have been the father? Many thanks.

Tricky. If the family didn't care, and if they figured that the whole town knew about it anyway, then they might have recorded the birth truthfully. But it does sound suspicious. I'd look for more info - like a baptism or christening record, or an obit. I have one ancestor who had a child out of wedlock, and who was excommunicated from her church - and so, there is a record in the church records. (From Suzanne Schaller)

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