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    Default Base child/illegitimate?

    Can anyone tell me please what is the difference between a "base child of" and an "illegitimate child". I have found both descriptions are used in old parish registers sometimes in the same handwriting within several entries suggesting there must be a difference between the two. Wondered if perhaps one referred to a single mother and one to an unmarried couple. Thanks.

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    They both mean the same thing. Some may claim that one is more derogatory than the other but you'd have to do a bit more research in that particular parish to form an opinion.

    Don't forget that any moral judgement is going to be influenced by the impact on poor law obligations.

    Basically it's all down to the whim of the parson at the time the entry was made (although it's a fair bet that 'filius meretricis' was intended to be derogatory ).

    You'll find many more terms as you work through more registers. 'Merrily begotten' is my favourite.

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    Always willing to share my ignorance... busyglen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Goodey View Post

    You'll find many more terms as you work through more registers. 'Merrily begotten' is my favourite.
    I like that one Peter, sounds much better!

    Glenys

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    Super Moderator Neil Wilson's Avatar
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    Pity you didn't have the vicar where some of mine were christened, he didn't mince his words, using the B word in full. No confusion there.

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    Valued member of Brit-Gen Rove's Avatar
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    Default Base child / ........

    Does anyone know what term is used in other countries ?

    And when a registration is done in an RC church ?

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    Brick wall demolition expert! ChristineR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rove View Post
    Does anyone know what term is used in other countries ?

    And when a registration is done in an RC church ?
    I have one lass in Scotland, who did not marry and died of old age, her illegitimate tag was taken to the grave - getting a final mention on her death certificate, still with both parents named.

    A cousin sent me transcripts from 1836+ records in Germany, and it seems that it was the done thing in this particular Parish to record the status for everyone at all events. At the baptism of the first child it was pointed out that the parents were engaged. Then it was for the next kids - first legitimate child, second legitimate child etc. On the marriage records the birth status of the bride and groom were mentioned.

    On baptism records here in Australia, I would imagine that the same terms would be used as in England and Ireland, as the ministers were of the same origins.

    I cannot help from experience, as the only baptism records I have are from St James, Melbourne (C of E). In this case, the parents had been married a little over a year beforehand - and they brought back older children to be baptized. A different minister officiated. No comments were made.

    'Registration's apply to civil birth records - they were not done at the church, though I suppose it could happen that the local minister was also the local registrar. I have many illegitimate kids in my lines, but on the registration documents there is never any comment made about the circumstances, it will just have 'Not Married', a line through it, or left blank in the information about the father's column.

    Parents also lie about their marital situation in both baptisms and civil registrations - so any comments depend on the local knowledge of the minister making the baptism record, and his personal feelings.

    ChristineR

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    I was just wondering the same thing myself, I have a relative who had several (6)children whilst a widow (husband died 1863) 1863, 1865, 1868, 1870 and twins in 1872..she married again in 1873...

    I have the death cert for one of the twins who died in 1873.....on their birth cert they are registed under her maiden name .......and where the fathers details should be it just says "mother not married" with no details of any previous children.

    All these chidren appear to be children of her 2nd husband (they have his name on their death certificates...
    Although on her marriage certificate to her 2nd husband she does not mention any children except 2 legitimate children to her 1st husband.......

    In the certificates I have seen (as extras) on certificates I have ordered it is usually "illegitimate" written on birth or deaths I havent seen any "bastards" or "baseborns"

    It certainly must have been a sensitive subject
    I have noticed marriage dates on some death certificates are "very liquid" adjusting to the ages of the children rather than the actual date of marriage.

    I came across one relative who was illegitimate who named his mothers parents as HIS parents on his marriage certificate.

    and another who registered her 3 children under the name of her missing first husband rather than the man who she later married who was really their father....all to avoid the "illegitamate" label scrawled across their birth certificates I suppose...

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    Knowledgeable and helpful Alan Welsford's Avatar
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    I've always assumed "Base Born" and "Illegitimate" to have identical meaning, and, as said by others, think it largely depended upon the incumbent, or even sometimes how he felt on the day.

    I've also see "spurious", which seems to used be where the mother was married, but the father was not the husband

    e.g. (15 Jun 1806, St Leonard's, Aston Clinton, Bucks)
    Sophia spurious daughter of Mary HARDING, supposed not by her husband.

    Slightly more unusual is this from the main church of Aston Clinton, Bucks

    (22 Nov 1829)
    Mary Anne child of Thomas & Jane JEMMETT of Clerkenwell, retired tradesman. These parties imposed upon me by falsely representing themselves to be man and wife but it has been discovered they are not married.

    Now you don't get that sort of detail from the transcripts in the IGI, do you!

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    I have an ancestor-one of my main lines & he is named as the spurios son of Thomas Torrance-his Mother Elisabeth Lynn/Linn never marries & makes it clear on any document that this is the case-never anything but single.She also I believe is the mother of another child Charles King about three years previously although I cannot prove it is her or find any further trace of him.
    I have also seen on the OPR -"as a result of ante-marital fornication"
    "brought forth in fornication"
    Various Latin descriptions which I in my optimistic heart believe is the Minister/Clerk trying to hide the origins from the lesser educated who may look at the records.

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    Default Base Child

    I started the initial thread asking if anyone knows the difference between a "base child of" and "illegitimte". I subscribe to Ancestry.co.uk and suddenly thought to ask their solutions people if they could help with this. They tell me that "base" is the child of a single woman and "illegitimate" is a child born to an unmarried couple. After one such entry I found the letter P and on the transcribed parish entry P is Vital. I have also sent a request asking Ancestry if they can explain this too. I will keep you posted.
    Barbara

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