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Birth certificate with no first name.

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Birth certificate with no first name.

Postby pforkes » Tue May 02, 2017 8:47 am

I received a birth certificate, today, that has no first name.

Everything else checks out (mother's maiden name, father's name, city of birth, date, etc.).

I have attached a copy of the bird record.

Under what circumstances would this happen? I cannot find any record of this child in subsequent census.

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Re: Birth certificate with no first name.

Postby sdup26 » Tue May 02, 2017 9:34 am

It's not uncommon to see a child listed as 'male' or 'female' in birth indexes like freebmd, maybe because the parents hadn't decided on a name. I've got one like yours, and the 'boy' was later baptised as William. You've looked at censuses, but have you checked baptisms, and also deaths? It's possible he didn't survive to be baptised, or he did, but didn't make it to the census.

Have just seen that a 'male' Marshall was born Dec Q 1862, Tewkesbury 6a 406, and a 'male' Marshall died Dec Q 1862, Tewkesbury 6a 285. Could the two entries be for the same person?
Last edited by sdup26 on Tue May 02, 2017 10:00 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Birth certificate with no first name.

Postby AdrianB38 » Tue May 02, 2017 9:56 am

The only instance I've seen of this in my lot, was a child who died in the same quarter, also with no name. Mine seemed very much like a child who was born alive but tragically died very shortly after. (I haven't got the certificates, just working off the indexes). The prevailing psychology of the time seems often to encourage forgetting as soon as possible and therefore any official records (for the case in my lot) went through before the parents had a chance to name the child. Or, at least, that's my interpretation. They might have concurred with the decision not to bother with a name or conversely thought it too painful to record one.

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Re: Birth certificate with no first name.

Postby devonliz » Tue May 02, 2017 10:17 am

My grandfather was born in Ireland in July 1894 - in the original birth certificate there is a blank where his name might be, but it was added in a final section (11) with the date of his baptism - October 1894. I think his sister's certificate was the same.
It was evidently quite common for a name to be 'officially' given at baptism, after the legal registration of the birth, although it seems that the original question concerned a sadder story.
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Re: Birth certificate with no first name.

Postby brunes08 » Tue May 02, 2017 12:21 pm

I have two instances of births registered only as males to the same parents. Both infants failed to thrive and deaths were registered without forenames. I have not found any evidence of baptisms for them. The parents went on to have 8 more children but only five survived beyond childhood. So all in all five lost infants - very sad. However, these situations were not unusual particularly in the mid-1800s as were my examples.
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Re: Birth certificate with no first name.

Postby pforkes » Tue May 02, 2017 5:29 pm

Thanks sdup26.

The Male Marshall death record does not appear to be in the General Register office records (I just spent the better part of an hour getting frustrated looking for it) but it is in the freeBMD.

I will send off for the death record than then wait up to 10 weeks for the US Postal Service to get it to me!
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Re: Birth certificate with no first name.

Postby LadyJane » Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:15 am

This is probably due to an adoption where the birthmother was coerced into giving her child up. Often, birthmothers are told that it's best not to hold their child & not to see them when born, because then they will want to keep the baby. There's a lot of pressure on the mother to relinquish her child quickly before she changes her mind as the adoption agency makes big bucks. There's very little counseling offered or help for the mother to keep her baby. What follows for her is a lifetime of shame, guilt, hurt, trauma. Most regret their decision to give their child up & welcome a reunion. Because the mother is pressured to disengage from her child right after birth, she may not have given the child a name. She's told to "put it all behind her & go on with her life", but that isn't what happens.
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