View Full Version : My mysterious father found at last
30-05-2006, 12:38 AM
I just can't believe that after nearly six years and about $2000 in fees I found my father thanks to the extraordinary people on this board. In a previous posting "Totally mysterious father" I said that I was at the end of the road in attempting to find my father given that his mother had gone to great lengths to cover up an obviously scandalous past. Again huge thanks especially to marymog who suggested that I search the name of Sidney NP Stevens. My father was known as Peter Fox born in Barnstaple on 28 January 1914. The birth certificate sent to me by the GRO shows that the NP is Norman Peter. This is obviously my father, as the certificate shows his mother as Lilian Steven, a confectioners' assistant. Since no father is listed this would no doubt mean that my father was illegitimate, answering the question as to why he was so hard to find.
I do have another question, and I hope someone could me kind enough to help yet again. The birth certificate has ten columns, and under column 2 "Name if any" it is written vertically top to bottom as Sidney Norman Peter. The certificate does not state which name is a surname and which ones are given names. Since Sidney is listed first, could that be a surname? or are all three given names with no surname? Sidney was the first name of Lilian's father, so I would think that perhaps an illegitimate child would take the surname of the mother? So would it be reasonable to assume that my father's true name would have been Peter, Norman, (or Norman, Peter) Sidney Stevens?
Any replies greatly appreciated and again many thanks.
ET in the USA
30-05-2006, 12:52 AM
Perhaps my ancestors were all married, but I have no surnames in Column 2.
4. William Dale
The child above was known as Leonard Dale
I have always assumed that whatever surname is in column 4 is the one applied to the child in column 2. If no father is listed, then I guess you move over to column 5 and use that one.
Even my babies where I suspect that the parents were not actually married adhere to this formula.
Perhaps someone else has had a different experience. I think the name would be Sydney Norman Peter Stevens, but perhaps you can start calling yourself anything you wish. My husband's G. Grandmother changed from Sarah Jane Maria Wood to Jennie Marion Wood.
30-05-2006, 1:09 AM
Column 2 is for the given or forename/s.
the surname as Ed says will be the same as the surname of the father and if there is no father then the same as the surname of the mother.
So his forenames were Sidney Norman Peter
He could, of course, call himself anything he liked in this country.
30-05-2006, 1:10 AM
I would say that as they were listed in this order, Sidney Norman Peter, that Sidney is the first name, Norman Peter is the middle names and the surname would be that of the mothers - Stevens as there was no father listed.
Hope that helps!
30-05-2006, 1:40 AM
All very helpful. thanks very much. So I guess my father was really Sidney Norman Peter Stevens, who later became Peter Fox. I don't know if there is any possibility of tracking down the father, but at least I have a substantial breakthrough with this information.
ET in the USA
30-05-2006, 1:53 AM
Any idea where Fox came from? Did his mother marry a Fox at some point or did he perhaps discover the surname of his biological father ?
30-05-2006, 11:19 AM
So I guess my father was really Sidney Norman Peter Stevens, who later became Peter Fox.
That's how I would read it, glad you got there in the end.
I don't know if there is any possibility of tracking down the father, but at least I have a substantial breakthrough with this information.
There's every possibility, but it is likely to take time. The chances of finding him depend on whether he used his full name, Sidney Norman Peter, or just Peter - and also the surname he used.
I would suggest searching the CWGC site first to try and discount him having died in WW2 - http://www.cwgc.org/
Then maybe try to find out what happened to his mum - did she marry or die unwed? Does the name of her son turn up in any documents - her will or death certificate? Did she have any other children, can they be traced?
31-05-2006, 1:51 AM
Peter's name shows up in the sworn affidavits that his mother filed with U.S. authorities in her application to become a citizen in about 1933. Her death certificate states that her name was Lilian Fox and that she was never married. The affidavits state that she married a certain Thomas A Fox in Bristol in 1913, however, the GRO has no record of any such marriage. Given that Peter was illigitimate, it is obvious that Lilian went to great efforts to cover up her past, and the reason why it has taken so long to get this far. I think it is highly probable that Lilian made up the mysterious Thomas Fox. I did notice that Peter (Sidney Norman) was born in "Belmont Lodge, Vicarage Lawn." Underneath in very small letters appears to be "u.d." The birth certificate also shows that Lilian's residence was in Weston Super Mare u.d. I would guess that Weston Super Mare is perhaps a hundred miles from Barnstaple, and that this Belmont Lodge, Vicarage Lawn was a home for unwed mothers? I intend to make enquiries and see what is revealed.
31-05-2006, 6:55 AM
Probably u.d. stands for urban district. An urban district council was a unit of goverment below just County level.
Powered by vBulletin™ Version 4.1.3 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.