We have a father and a grandfather on opposite side of our family where the
mother was unmarried. In both cases we believe that the fathers name was
included as a middle name for the child. It has been common in our family
tree on the Scottish side to include the maternal surname as a middle name;
different ones for different children and going back several generations.
My- in-laws called my husband Jeffery after his mother - she was called
Margaret Jeffery Edwards (nee Hill). We always thought it was a strange
name for a woman but were unable to ask anyone as her mother died when she
was young and the children were put into care. We find out now that back
in the early 1800s there was a marriage of a Charles Hill to a Margaret
Jeffrey. Back to the point - it is worth looking at the certificate and
finding out if there are any clues there. My father in laws parents we have
not been able to trace - he was named as Frederick Charmier Edwards - but
once I get the hang of researching in France and Belgium I may try to track
down a Charmier who was in London during the war in 1916! But in the case
of our other grandfather, we think we have worked out who his father was.
My brother got the birth certificate and it included the middle name of Corn
and someone called Corn was present at the birth. This was new information.
My brother found the Census for the village where the mum worked and sure
enough there was a family of Corns there ........ our bet is the eldest son
though it may have been his father - a gracious act on the part of his wife
to assist at the birth if this was the case!
One other point - my husband informs me that DNA testing shows that 10% of
births are not biologically related to the father of the marriage ....... I
don't know if this is in these times or applied in the past as well. I
prefer in any case to look on genealogy as studying the history of our
family - and have drawn upon the strength and resilience and fortitude of
these ancestors.... learning quite a lot of history along the way! Whether
we ever get to the Viking roots of my husbands family I doubt - he has the
blood group etc .......
Incidently there don't appear to be any irregularities on the Devonshire
side of my family - though we could yet find some skeletons in the family
cupboard of the Lowdays!