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Sufficient evidence to 'pin' the father?

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Sufficient evidence to 'pin' the father?

Postby maplerose » Wed May 06, 2020 8:35 am

Hi folks, I am trying to decide if I have enough evidence to 'allocate' a father to my maternal great grandmother.

Here is the evidence I have:

Ellen was born on 23 Sept 1888, first child of mother Esther Jane Colclough, spinster, and her birth certificate has no father listed. Name = Ellen Colclough (birth cert attached).

Esther Jane married Samuel Baldwin on 7 May 1889 and went on to have 6 more children with him until his untimely demise due to TB at the age of 32 (1897).

Ellen was baptised with her (apparently half) brother William Baldwin (Esther Jane's second child) on 10 Dec 1890 and baptised Ellen Colclough Baldwin (Colclough now noted as middle name). Baptism entry attached. If Samuel was NOT the father, how likely is it he would agree to have Esther Jane's first illegitimate child baptised with his name?

Now further information to note is that on 20 April 1883, Samuel Baldwin signed attestation papers for a six year service with the 3rd Battalion, Warwickshire Regiment (Attestation attached). I'm not sure his army records have survived or how I could access them. If the full six years were served, he would have been released on 19 April 1889 (3 weeks before he married Esther Jane).

Using Ellen's birth date, I have used a reverse calculator to work out that she was likely conceived on or around New Year's Eve, 31 Dec 1887. If Samuel was on leave when the conception took place, he may have been elsewhere and unable/not permitted to get married or attend with Esther Jane to register the birth. I understood that an unmarried women could not name a father on the birth certificate unless he was present?).

Based on the fact that Ellen was later baptised with Baldwin's surname and that she was likely conceived during 'leave' time, is Samuel Baldwin looking like the probable father?

Thoughts please? Obviously, it would be great if the evidence points towards Samuel being Ellen's father, as I would then have a whole new tree branch to investigate! However, I don't want assumptions to lead me to spending time researching 'nearly' ancestors either :)
Attachments
1883-04-20 Samuel Baldwin Militia Attestation 3rd Warwick Regiment.jpg
Samuel's Attestation.
1883-04-20 Samuel Baldwin Militia Attestation 3rd Warwick Regiment.jpg (465.71 KiB) Viewed 786 times
1890-12-10 Ellen Nellie Colclough Baldwin & William .jpg
Ellen's Baptism with William
1890-12-10 Ellen Nellie Colclough Baldwin & William .jpg (1.33 MiB) Viewed 786 times
1888-09-23 Ellen 'Nellie' Colclough birth, Woods Yard, Atherstone.png
Ellen's Birth Certificate
1888-09-23 Ellen 'Nellie' Colclough birth, Woods Yard, Atherstone.png (1.11 MiB) Viewed 786 times
Last edited by maplerose on Sun May 10, 2020 10:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Sufficient evidence to 'pin' the father?

Postby ClareRosalind » Wed May 06, 2020 9:09 am

It looks like pretty good evidence, but did the child baptised with her have any children? If you can trace them, a DNA test might settle the matter. It is true she could not name the father on the birth certificate unless he was present.
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Re: Sufficient evidence to 'pin' the father?

Postby meekhcs » Wed May 06, 2020 9:33 am

This is a difficult one and honestly without DNA confirmation I think you can only treat it as a working theory and just continue to gather as many facts as you can.

In my experience if what you suggest re conceived/ unable to marry at the time is true then I would usually have expected the Father’s surname to have been registered as a middle name for the child on the birth certificate to at least add a form of legitimacy. But this wasn’t always so.

I have a case in my Family where the Mother produced 2 illegitimate daughters, later married, and the Husband “legitimised” them through baptism. In this case I don’t think he was the Father, but was prepared to give them his surname.

Look on Find my Past to see if they have his records. Access may be free this weekend because of VE Day.


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Re: Sufficient evidence to 'pin' the father?

Postby meekhcs » Wed May 06, 2020 9:57 am

Sorry just realised you had accessed those records. It is a shame they hold such little detail but they do tell us he wasn’t discharged until 1893 so was obviously home during the period.


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Re: Sufficient evidence to 'pin' the father?

Postby Guy » Wed May 06, 2020 2:33 pm

maplerose wrote:snip

Based on the fact that Ellen was later baptised with Baldwin's surname and that she was likely conceived during 'leave' time, is Samuel Baldwin looking like the probable father?

Thoughts please? Obviously, it would be great if the evidence points towards Samuel being Ellen's father, as I would then have a whole new tree branch to investigate! However, I don't want assumptions to lead me to spending time researching 'nearly' ancestors either :)



Which record do you think shows she was baptised with the name Baldwin, do you have a baptism certificate?

The baptism register just shows the parents both had the surname Baldwin on 10 Dec 1890, which agrees with them marrying on 7 May 1889.
That baptism register does not state Ellen was the daughter of Samuel Baldwin, as many baptism registers would do and many men accept another man's child as part of his family and his responsibility without being the biological father.
She was not even baptised shortly after birth but when/after William was born.

I would therefore suggest that as she was given her mother's name on baptism, and her brother was not, points to Samuel Baldwin not being her father.

Cheers
Guy
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Re: Sufficient evidence to 'pin' the father?

Postby Mick Loney » Wed May 06, 2020 4:45 pm

I have a similar situation with my 2’great grandfather Frederick Thompson. He was illegitimate son of Sarah Thompson, who married John Bailey shortly after the birth. Frederick alternated his name between Fred Bailey Thompson and Fred Thompson Bailey during censuses and his marriage.

The only evidence I have surrounding his birth and baptism states he is son of Sarah Thompson. As far as I know, there were no bastardy orders against John Bailey. Thus, as I can’t prove that John Bailey is his father, I have left this line blank.

Personally, I wouldn’t worry about this, as there are too many other branches to keep you busy, without worrying about this particular line of investigation
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Re: Sufficient evidence to 'pin' the father?

Postby avaline » Wed May 06, 2020 6:56 pm

The service record for Samuel Baldwin is a Militia Attestation, ie part-time, like the Territorial Army/Reservists.

This is confirmed by the furthest column on the final page, where he is shown as present for Annual Training each year.
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Re: Sufficient evidence to 'pin' the father?

Postby maplerose » Thu May 07, 2020 1:50 am

Thanks for the responses :).

With regard to the DNA testing, I have had autosomnal testing done with Ancestry and have allocated my DNA to me in my family tree. When I look at my 'ThruLines' suggestions from Ancestry, I get a possible relationship link through Samuel to his father William and a potential cousin. See the attachment. It's suggesting I evaluate the possibility of Samuel being my Great Grandfather.

I'm not sure what to make of it, to be honest, or whether this proves anything as I haven't had time yet to really understand ThruLines, or using my DNA results to find other relatives.

If anyone is more experienced with this and can 'read' into the ThruLines suggestion, I'd appreciate it.

Thank you.
Attachments
Capture.PNG
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Re: Sufficient evidence to 'pin' the father?

Postby Guy » Thu May 07, 2020 3:39 am

Thrulines does not rely on DNA to make connections, it starts by looking for trees which contain DNA matches and suggests the extended trees may provide further ancestors.
If the trees are wrong the assumptions are wrong.

It may be that one of the trees offered will have a source document that could provide evidence or it could be simply trees full of wrong assumptions.
Cheers
Guy
PS in your case you need to look for DNA connections for Samuel Baldwin's father etc. and not through Esther Jane Colclough
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Re: Sufficient evidence to 'pin' the father?

Postby meekhcs » Thu May 07, 2020 8:28 am

As Guy said if you wish to try and get to the bottom of this you will need to build an extensive tree starting with Samuel, add any siblings he had and bring their lines as up to date as possible.
But before that I would look at the shared matches you may have between you and the person you have matched with to see if common matches show up and see what their trees , if they have one, tells you.
Also look at your DNA matches that definitely link to Esther s Family . What you are left with should relate to the “Father”.
Sorry this is a bit rambling.
Feel free to private message me if you would like further help.
Sally


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