This article provides ideas on how to try to find the father of an illegitimate child.
Illegitimacy was very, very common. We all have (or will eventually find) some in our own
families. We also have (or will eventually find) children born less (and sometimes, MUCH
less) than 9 months after the marriage of the parents.
This situation was not socially acceptable (and certainly was unacceptable to the priests)
but we see plenty of these women marrying later so it didn't seem to ruin them for
life. I have one ancestor (my farmors mormor) who had several illegitimate children before
marrying my farmors morfar. There was a note in one HFL about my farmors mormor. It said
she had two or three (The priest had lost track.) illegitimate children.
Illegitimacy seemed to be more forgiveable if the parents were engaged. My farfars oldest
sister was born when the parents were only engaged. She was listed as illegitimate until
they married and then that comment disappeared from the HFL for the rest of her life.
I have a theory which of course is JUST a theory that many men in farming communities
wanted to make sure the woman was fertile before committing himself to marriage with her.
In those days, farming was a hard life requiring much manpower and it would be hard for
the man if he didn't have children helping as he grew older. Remember that is just a
theory but I've seen a lot of people whose first child came about six or seven months
after the marriage.
Good luck finding the father!
Orland Park, Illinois
Sent: 10:24 A.M. U.S. Central Time, November 30