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rolt968

Widows' Pension Card: Can anyone please decipher the name?

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rolt968

This is the bottom right hand segment of a (WFA) Widow's Pension Reference Card. Can anyone please decipher the name in red ink?

There are two ledger references on the card; one for the widow and one for the illegitimate child. Unfortunately neither seem to have survived. I am assuming that the widow was not the mother of the child.

GWFRef.jpg.c8ec18726669f7d18fc004a66bea1a4a.jpg

 

I think it reads "Mrs. Helen(?) ?????, Gdn (Guardian) of Illeg. Child"

 

Many thanks,

RM

(The latest batch of pension cards seem to be turning up some interesting questions!)

 

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charlie962

Mrs Nellie (?)  Matthew

Gdn Illeig child (edited)

Edited by charlie962

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rolt968

Thank you.

Now I can see "Matthew" - still prefer "Helen", but that doesn't make much difference.

Since it says "guardian" presumably not the mother.

 

RM

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PRC

I take it there is no other sample of that clerks handwriting anywhere else on the card. Obviously that would give a clue as to the letter formation.

 

I take it this was a successful application for a Dependants Pension. Have the civil records been checked for possible clues?

 

Four scenarios most likely to apply:-

Child was born to wife, fathered by another man and the soldier took on financial responsibility for the woman and her child.

Soldier was the biological father of the child with his future wife.

Soldier was the biological father of the child by another woman to whom he paid maintenance, either court ordered or in some other way documented

Child was "adopted".

I suspect a check of the families of the soldier and the wife may throw up a possibilty that will shred some light on the name on the Pension Reference Card

 

Cheers,

Peter

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David Tattersfield

Is there an indication of a ledger on the card. If there is, the ledger may be revealing 

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rolt968
2 minutes ago, David Tattersfield said:

Is there an indication of a ledger on the card. If there is, the ledger may be revealing 

Thanks, David.

There are two ledger references on the card one for the widow and one for the child. I have looked for both of them and neither seems to have survived.

RM

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rolt968
49 minutes ago, PRC said:

I take it there is no other sample of that clerks handwriting anywhere else on the card. Obviously that would give a clue as to the letter formation.

 

I take it this was a successful application for a Dependants Pension. Have the civil records been checked for possible clues?

 

Four scenarios most likely to apply:-

Child was born to wife, fathered by another man and the soldier took on financial responsibility for the woman and her child.

Soldier was the biological father of the child with his future wife.

Soldier was the biological father of the child by another woman to whom he paid maintenance, either court ordered or in some other way documented

Child was "adopted".

I suspect a check of the families of the soldier and the wife may throw up a possibilty that will shred some light on the name on the Pension Reference Card

 

Cheers,

Peter

Hi Peter,

 

This is the first I have seen of the illegitimate child (I have just found two on another man's pension card which I did not know about!) so haven't had any time to look at the civil records.

 

I assume that if the child was the offspring of the man and his future wife - the child would have been with the mother.

I suspect that it was the child of the man and another woman - "guardian" tends to suggest that the lady indicated in the red inscription was not the mother (?).

 

RM

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RaySearching
2 hours ago, rolt968 said:

I suspect that it was the child of the man and another woman - "guardian" tends to suggest that the lady indicated in the red inscription was not the mother (?).

 

It may do

But the mother of an illegitimate child would also be the guardian of a soldiers illegitimate child

 

AS THIS THREAD HERE

 

Ray

 

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RaySearching

Here is an example  of the mother unmarried wife (the guardian of an illegitimate child)

illigitamate.jpg.da74891649ef914bcccc04373afb150f.jpg

 

Source Western Front Pension Documents

 

Ray

Ray

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PRC
4 hours ago, rolt968 said:

- "guardian" tends to suggest that the lady indicated in the red inscription was not the mother (?).

 

Formal adoption as we think of it in the UK didn't come in until 1927, so more likely it wasn't a term the woman herself used to describe herself but a legal term used by the administrative machinery to distinguish a child other than those of the marriage, (of if the wife had been a widow at the time of the wedding, children of the previous marriage) or where a child of the marriage was being cared for by someone else.

 

I've certainly come across instances where it looks like a child of the couple. (single parent mother has the child baptised with the full name of the father plus her surname, a not uncommon tactic to shame a father into accepting responsibility), born before the subsequent marriage, has then been packed off to relatives to be brought up.

 

I tend to agree that if the widow hadn't remarried then most likely the woman on the card isn't the biological mother, but could be an aunt , married older sister or maternal grandparent.

 

So this is where you tell us the soldier was a Smith, his wife was born a Brown and they both were born and lived in London - and I'll throw my hands up in the air and run away :)

 

Cheers,

Peter

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RaySearching

Rm

Now if you enter the single word Illegitimate in the search on the pension records 

fetches up over 2,000 results 

had a meander every variation can be found among the records

 

Looking forward to reading your thesis on illegitimacy during the Great War :D

 

 

Ray

 

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rolt968
11 hours ago, RaySearching said:

Here is an example  of the mother unmarried wife (the guardian of an illegitimate child)

illigitamate.jpg.da74891649ef914bcccc04373afb150f.jpg

10 hours ago, RaySearching said:

Now if you enter the single word Illegitimate in the search on the pension records 

fetches up over 2,000 results 

had a meander every variation can be found among the records

 

Looking forward to reading your thesis on illegitimacy during the Great War :D

 

 

Thanks Ray,

 

I already knew of one or two illegitimate children of the men I am researching.

At the moment I am tracking down as many cards for the men I am researching as possible and haven't really had time to check them against information I already have.

As I said earlier I have in passing noticed one man who had two illegitimate children with different guardians (and presumably different mothers). (Can't quite resist saying that perhaps he had a bicycle?)

 

I don't know about a thesis on illegitimacy, but there is area for research in two areas as related to pensions:

It was far from uncommon in rural Scotland for parents to marry after the first child was at least on the way;

Irregular marriage was legal in Scotland until well after WW1.

 

I am curious about "Unmarried Wife" on the card above. One of the forms of irregular marriage which was legal at the time of WW1 (indeed until much later) was marriage by "habit and repute". That must have created problems for the pension assessors - presumably where the local tribunals were supposed to be useful.

 

RM

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travers61

Have the term "unmarried wife" twice on army form W5080 (source ancestry.com) of 1919 listing the dependents of Percival Phillips S/10678 8th Battalion Rifle Brigade, KIA 1915. This lady, Florence Stobie, is noted on his soldiers effects entry as his sole legatee & signed for his trio, as Stobie. Her status may have been somewhat official as it has been countersigned by a vicar.

A while ago I researched the background for a short bio of him, and it seems Percival & Florence got together some time between 1911 & 1915. The children seem not to be his as they are listed with Florence & her husband in the 1911 census. When her husband Henry attests in 1915, he gives her as his NOK, but with the comment "whereabouts unknown".

 

1121614698_ScreenShot2019-10-05at21_57_18.png.f6c07e483ba5c17eeb13543a64d89b3b.png

 

 

1278001385_ScreenShot2019-10-05at21_57_39.png.fe7c2459c5273057237e3b443a6c554c.png

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David Tattersfield
On 05/10/2019 at 08:16, rolt968 said:

I don't know about a thesis on illegitimacy, but there is area for research in two areas as related to pensions:

 

using the WFA's Pension records, try typing 'illegitimate' in as a key word and see what comes up. 

 

ditto the word 'unmarried'. 

 

David

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rolt968

Thanks David.

 

Picking up a point earlier in the thread.

 

The term "Guardian" in the cases of illegitimate children since there was rarely formal adoption is going to provide interesting threads of research.

 

I have spent most of a day on and off researching another of my men for whom there are two cards: one for  a widow and three children in London and a second for an illegitimate daughter in Scotland with a "guardian" who I suspected correctly to be the child's grandmother. After quite a lot of checking it turns out that the daughter was the illegitimate child of the couple. They married in London six and a half years after her birth. In the mean time I think she had been brought up by her grandparents and did not join her parents in London after her parents married.  

 

RM

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