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Catholic illegitimate Children

Discussion in 'Ireland' started by Sue345, Aug 13, 2018.

  1. Sue345

    Sue345 LostCousins Member

    My great grandparents William Smyth and Mary Neil had a total of six children in a span of fourteen years all baptised in the Catholic Church with the names of both parents in every case. However all the children are named as Illeg, Bastard, Spurious or Mr Lunatic. In later life these children grew up to be Church of Ireland faith. William and Mary were obviously a couple but no marriage has yet been found. If they married outside the Catholic Church would the children be considered illegitimate?
  2. Rhian

    Rhian LostCousins Member

    To some extent it depends on when this occurred, as they are greatgrandparents then your suggestion is probably correct. The Catholic church often had their own rules and one was that marriage in a catholic church was the only recognised marriage as well as both parents had to be catholic. My father in law had to become catholic to marry in the 1940's but an aunt married in a catholic church in the 1960's without having to convert, though she did have to promise to raise her children as catholics.
  3. Sue345

    Sue345 LostCousins Member

    Thanks Rhian. Dates of baptisms 1839 -1853.
  4. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    As I understand it, a Catholic could only marry a non-Catholic in a Catholic church if it was agreed that the children would be brought up as Catholics. So my guess is that there is some other reason this couple couldn't marry, for example ,one of them was already married to somebody else - or else they were cousins.
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1

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