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Missing GRO entry or adopted?

Discussion in 'Any questions?' started by grouse, Jan 12, 2020.

  1. grouse

    grouse New Member

    5 children of the Perkins family born between 1840 and 1850 in Marylebone do not have an entry in the GRO. I've tried every combination that I'm now cross-eyed! All 5 children were baptised within a month of their birth dates that were given in the baptism entries.
    So....I was wondering if they were all adopted ....if so was this done with no paper trail? I realise this is a stab in the dark but apart from the dreaded missing registers for 10 years I'm open for suggestions
  2. Tim

    Tim Moderator Staff Member

    So you're suggesting that the Perkins parents weren't the natural parents?
  3. Heather

    Heather LostCousins Member

    Maybe a few more details would help grouse, a fresh pair of eyes may see something that you have missed.
  4. grouse

    grouse New Member

    Thanks for the replies.
    The parents are Henry and Hannah Perkins nee Hockley.
    First child Henry born 14.1.1837 but before G R O but his death in 1839 is registered
    2nd child Hannah born 1838 and registered with mother as Hockley
    The rest I cannot find in GRO but can find baptisms
    William 1840
    Charles John 3.11.1841
    Alfred 7.4.1843
    Elizabeth 1848
    Oliver 1850
    The children were all baptised in churches in Marylebone and all appear under these names in the census returns with place of birth in the same area
    I've looked them up with every combination I can think of and now at a loss as to where where to look next. I can understand one entry missing but not 10 years worth, so something is amiss. So any hints would be very much appreciated. Hence my way out thoughts of adoption and wondering if it happened in those times with no fuss and mention
  5. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Megastar

    I would suggest it is more likely that these births were not registered than the children were adopted.

    You are probably already aware that there was no formal adoption as we know it today back in the 1840s. Also, although I only looked at a couple of the children, they seem to have been baptised within a few weeks of their given birth date, which again makes it seems more likely that Henry and Hannah were the birth parents.

    Contrary to what you may sometimes read, registering a birth was compulsory right from the start of general registration, but until things were tightened up around 1875, with stricter penalties for parents not registering their children, some births did slip through the net.

    Are you using the new GRO indexes? Although not perfect, these may be more accurate and complete than the old paper indexes, particularly in the early years of general registration.
  6. grouse

    grouse New Member

    Thanks for you reply
    To add another spanner to the works I wonder if Henry was trying to stay under the radar as he was made bankrupt in 1839. As already mentioned, his daughter was registered in 1838 but after this event and the following bankruptcy none of the others were. Death and marriage registers he couldn't avoid but registering his children, as you pointed out, he could sidestep
  7. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    There certainly won't be any evidence of adoption - if that's what happened. But it would be unusual for a couple to adopt that many children, unless they were being paid to do so - which is a possibility given their financial circumstances.

    DNA testing is the simplest way to get a definitive answer.
  8. CarolB08

    CarolB08 LostCousins Member

    I have what may be a silly question but here goes, My Mother who was born in 1917 was according to her baptism entry on 14 May 1927 the adopted child of my Grandparents. Now I know that formal adoptions began in 1927. I am wondering if she could have been one of the first official adoptees and if so would there be two entries in the birth registers for her, one pre adoption and one post adoption in the adoption register (assuming she was formally adopted).
  9. lizzie41

    lizzie41 LostCousins Member

    I imagine there was a birth record for your mother. I wonder if she was the daughter of one of your grandparents elder daughters? It often happened that grandparents would adopt the child to try to stop the gossip and disgrace that happened at the time. Odd that she wasn't baptised until she was 10 though.
  10. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    It's not unusual for birth registrations to be missing - you may recall the newsletter articles and forum discussion relating to Kate Luard and her siblings.
  11. canadianbeth

    canadianbeth LostCousins Member

    I cannot find the birth registration for my Dad's younger sister. I have tried under three different surnames - her mother's (Joyce), the name which she gave my aunt when she married (Roberts), and the name of the man my grandmother later married (Gallagher). She is listed as Gallinger in the 1921 Canadian census (another difference in spelling for my step-grandfather - it is given as Gallagher on the marriage registration but Gallinger on his baptismal record) So, I wonder, if having already had two illegitimate children, she just did not bother to register the third, especially as it was wartime; perhaps that particular father had died. The first two children were registered with their mother's name of Joyce but also used Roberts in Canada after they married. I can find no DNA matches for Roberts that would fit.
  12. CarolB08

    CarolB08 LostCousins Member

    My Mothers story is an odd one, she was as I said baptised at 10 years old and the baptism certificate states my Grandparents were her adoptive parents. She used 1917 as her year of birth all her life but on a school register entry I found for her at the ERO her year of birth is given as 1916! She was clearly living at least three years with them and using their surname before the baptism at 10.
    Through dna my brother and I have narrowed her birth parents down to two families and think we have the right parents, but can not find a birth reference using either surname. Even thinking that a different sister could be her Mother and using maiden and married names we can not find a birth reference that would fit.
  13. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    I've seen incorrect years of birth in school registers too.

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