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Registration of a Foundling

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Registration of a Foundling

Postby Norfolk Nan » Wed Aug 21, 2019 4:30 pm

Hi

I’ve come to believe that an ancestor may have been an orphan/foundling. The LMA leaflet about tracing such children says that young children were usually given new names and baptised upon admission so my question is this: was the orphanage responsible for the civil registration of a child born c1860s? If not, would an absence in the registers be a general hint to look at orphanages?

Thanks.
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Re: Registration of a Foundling

Postby phsvm » Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:04 pm

I should contact the Foundling Museum and see if they can answer your question or give advice about how to tackle it.

https://foundlingmuseum.org.uk/
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Re: Registration of a Foundling

Postby Guy » Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:06 pm

Norfolk Nan wrote:Hi

I’ve come to believe that an ancestor may have been an orphan/foundling. The LMA leaflet about tracing such children says that young children were usually given new names and baptised upon admission so my question is this: was the orphanage responsible for the civil registration of a child born c1860s? If not, would an absence in the registers be a general hint to look at orphanages?

Thanks.


Not exactly as it would be the Overseers of the Poor who were responsible but in general terms yes that would fall on the orphanage.
The 1836 Act (An Act for registering Births, Deaths, and Marriages in England [17th August 1836.]) puts it like this-

"XIX. And be it enacted, That the Father or Mother of any Child born, or the Occupier of every House or Tenement in England in which any Birth or Death shall happen, after the said First day of March, may, within Forty-two Days next after the Day of such Birth or within Five Days after the Day of such Death respectively, give Notice of such Birth or Death to the Registrar of the District ; and in case any new-born Child or any dead Body shall be found exposed, the Overseers of the Poor in the Case of the new-born Child, and the Coroner in the case of the dead Body, shall forthwith give Notice and Information thereof, and of the Place where such Child or dead Body was found, to the Registrar ; and for the Purpose of this Act the Master or Keeper of every Gaol, Prison, or House of Correction, or Workhouse, Hospital, or Lunatic Asylum, or public or charitable Institution, shall be deemed the Occupier thereof."

Cheers
Guy
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Re: Registration of a Foundling

Postby Norfolk Nan » Wed Aug 21, 2019 6:18 pm

Thank you both. Guy - that makes it pretty clear. I wonder if they register the new name or just “boy”? Why are there so many questions and so few answers? Thanks again.
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Re: Registration of a Foundling

Postby AntonyM » Fri Aug 23, 2019 8:03 am

A birth has to be registered in the district in which it took place - but of course with a foundling that is unknown, only the place of finding.

So one of the quirks of registration is that a foundling would usually be registered in the district of the institution where they were placed. I recently looked at a case of a foundling (in about 1900) registered in a rural Essex district (but not until the age of about 9 months), which was where the childrens home was. The register entry confirmed they had been found in Whitechapel, East London.
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Re: Registration of a Foundling

Postby Paparico » Fri Aug 23, 2019 11:03 pm

You are in luck if said foundling was born in Norfolk in the 1860s! Check out the Norfolk Baptism Project for an online free solution! Aloha! Rico
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Re: Registration of a Foundling

Postby Norfolk Nan » Sat Aug 24, 2019 8:18 pm

Oh if only! I don’t know my chap was a foundling but alive chased every darned lead for nearly 30 years and haven’t found a single relative before he gained a wife in his mid-30s and this was in London. I’m clutching at straws really.
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