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Pension Cards and Ledgers: Illegitimate Children


rolt968
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Can anyone answer a couple of questions about the Pension Cards/ Ledgers and casualties' illegitimate children.

 

1. While the names and dates of birth of legitimate children nearly always appear. The names of illegitimate chidren rarely (never?) appear. The names of the mother or guardian does.

Is this correct?

Was there a reason for it?

 

2. Did the pension authorities require some kind of evidence of paternity? (I have noticed that insome cases the father was acknowledged on the birth certificate and in others not).

RM

Edited by rolt968
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  The pension card for David Caven, 48505, Royal Scos shows dates of birth for 4 children. The first, Bernard McQueeny, {the mother's  was Catherine McQueeny} was born before marriage and I don't believe David was the father. He is not listed as David's child in his service record. A visitor from Linlithgowshire War Pensins Committee went to the family and ascertained that Bernard had been brought up as one of the family. The result was that Catherine was awarded 28s.9d. per week.

https://www.fold3.com/image/668416753?terms=david,caven

 

Regards,

Alf McM

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1 hour ago, rolt968 said:

The names of illegitimate chidren rarely (never?) appear.

I am not quite sure about this suggestion ...  ??

 

The words "Illegitimate", "Born before marriage" and "Born out of wedlock" do certainly seem to quite commonly occur on pension cards, as I feel very sure you are aware.

 

But my strong impression from looking at thousands of pension cards [sorry no statistics to back up this answer - not having researched most of them in any detail] is that if those words do appear then they are against the name(s) of illegitimate child(ren) i.e. illegitimate child(ren)'s name(s) frequently appear on the pension cards [more frequently than not - if their existence has been claimed or recognised], along with their date(s) of birth [essential to ensure any future allowance was stopped when they reached 16].  That's my feeling.

 

The main point I think was generally that if the soldier was raising a child(ren) as of his family, regardless of fatherhood or circumstances of birth then his widow/their mother, or guardian of the child(ren) [commonly the mother/guardian of the child(ren)] would generally get the child(ren)'s allowance.

 

Pensions did also quite often recognise an "Unmarried wife" for a pension or gratuity too - so long as she could demonstrate financial dependency on the soldier for herself and/or the child(ren) - and of course the behaviour of a widow/unmarried wife was always under scrutiny [misbehaviour quite frequently being the cause of a stopping of the woman's pension - but child(ren)'s would continue - sometimes being put into War Savings Certificates as a form of trust to protect them against being raided by the mother/guardian or even a new husband]

 

Not living with the man immediately before his service/death was however a serious impediment to a pension and allowance(s) - as seemingly many a separated wife or an unmarried mother probably found out.  Wouldn't have stopped a claim(s) though - but seemingly often rejected!

 

Pensions were sometimes paid to more than one wife/"wife" and the resultant child(ren) - thus supporting multiple families of a soldier.  Not always that uncommon an occurrence given that divorce was generally quite difficult and thus moving on and setting up anew without a marriage [legitimate or bigamous] seemed fairly more straightforward [seemingly for the man anyway].

 

It rather seems that if a normal Separation Allowance(s) was being paid before the man's death than the matter was possibly a bit more straight forward for their mother and the child(ren) since the relationships would appear to have been more agreed up-front.

 

But generally seemed rather harder on the woman/mother than the child(ren) with the burden of proof falling on her, along with the burden of paying for any Birth Certificate(s) to help support her application.  And similarly if she wished to claim a higher Alternative Pension based on pre-service earnings she would have to find the supporting evidence - not always easy for her I think.

 

I can't think of a reason for not putting a name(s) on the Pension Index Cards if a claim(s) was made - after all the claim(s) could be refused at the end of the day.  But name(s) would surely have been needed as part of that process - to rule in, or out.

 

It would surely be a lot easier if we now had access to the main pension files, but those seem long gone/destroyed [as is commonly annotated on the cards] ;-/

 

My current thoughts - Hoping to learn more from your question's answers.

:-) M

 

Edited by Matlock1418
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This is the card I referred to above. There is no note of 'illegitmate' or similar against Bernard's name.

I am unclear about what is written in the 'Remarks' section.

 

image.png.ed68c85753cb08f1aa118db06c7eaf04.png

Image courtesey of Fold 3.

 

Regards,

Alf McM

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34 minutes ago, alf mcm said:

This is the card I referred to above. There is no note of 'illegitmate' or similar against Bernard's name.

I am unclear about what is written in the 'Remarks' section.

 

You seem to know better that Bernard was illegitimate

[As my previous post - it appears being illegitimate need not be an impediment, so long as there was dependency]

 

So perhaps not always so important to have illegitimacy identified on a card - which after all was only an index tool for filing and file administration really.  [We place more importance on the cards now than in the past, as we have so little, when there were once full pension files] - I feel rather sure however such a detail was known at the MoP and would have been in the full pension file.  But name(s) I feel sure were generally important.  Of course sometimes they don't appear on the card(s) even though illegitimacy is clearly recognised by an annotation of an acknowledgement that there is one, or more, such child involved..

 

50F 6.3.18 - Form 50 sent and date - internal admin for claim

£5 grant, 19.9.18 - Death Grant/gratuity [for expenses associated with death] paid with date

 

No. for whom SA is paid 4 - Separation Allowance - typically for the children [in my experience the mother's SA is not included in this total] - so 4 children being acknowledged

I do acknowledge that some might suggest this means mother plus 3 with 1 illegitimate child not being counted - but I do not subscribe to this hypothesis

 

SA issued up to 22.4.18

Normal SA typically paid for six months after death of soldier before a pension & allowance(s) kicked in 

 

Authorised to issue pension in respect of Bernard from 22.4.18 - so child's allowance was paid for Bernard [even though you say he was illegitimate - that probably was known and thus the remark as a clarification - sadly no full file]

The other dates thereafter I think are admin but I am not quite sure what C2 was - I think a pension office

:-) M

Edited by Matlock1418
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Thanks for the details Matlock.

   David Caven married Catherine McQueeny in Edinburgh on 25th August 1906. His army service records include a request from the army that someone visits from the Linlithgowshire Pension Committee to check if Bernard had been brought up with the family. This was done and the correspondenc confirms Bernard was indeed part of the family.

 

Regards,

Alf McM

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M,

 

Going to display my ignorance here, but what is the pension increase for a child actually called?

 

Cheers,

Peter

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Thank you for your replies. This is very interesting. I will need to go back through all records and check.

From what I remember children being rasied in the family were listed and DoB given. I can remember at least one with "born before marriage". (If I had anything to do with it I might have argued that the powers that be didn't understand Scottish marriage law - although the couple hadn't helped by being economical with the truth about their marriage date on the child's birth certificate.)

 

However where the child is being raised by the mother (The parents had not married.) or a guardian, often the mother's mother, frequently only the name and address of the mother or guardian is mentioned. I am stuck with one of those at the moment as I have only the guardian's name and address and no information at all about the child.

There is an oddity which I mentioned in a thread last year - where the parents married some years after the birth of their daughter and had more children. I suspect that the daughter never lived with her parents since only a guardian (as I found out later - the girl's grandmother) is mentioned on a pension card (as the guardian of an illegitimate child).

 

RM

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3 hours ago, PRC said:

what is the pension increase for a child actually called?

 

I use Allowance, as it was paid to a mother/guardian, rather than as a pension to a child [under 16]

[and rather regardless of it being a sort of part of a soldier's widow's pension]

Not least as from J M Hogge & T H Garside's War Pensions and Allowances, 1918 [in the Army Pensions etc. section - immediately after the widows' bit] on page 149 is the following :

414526412_ChildrensAllowancesHGp149.png.6360dd20dbe1449992288eb3210741e6.png

and in Appendix 2, p.432

541123204_ChildrensAllowancesHGp_434.png.50ad7d126ad6ea81a3af9d0f7b8c05bb.png

Extracted images courtesy of www. archive. org - with thanks

I don't have access to the relevant Royal Pay Warrant.

Though, as above, in War Pensions and Allowances [which also uses both illegitimate child and bastard child] there is this reference to Children's Allowance in the Army widows section there also seems to a common usage of "pension" elsewhere in there too [including when it is not another allowance, such as Separation Allowance, being referred].

The word "payment" seems commonly occurring in there too.  As does "allotment" [no, not for veggies! ;-)]  And "grant" appears too.  As do "gratuity" and "award".

Other sorts of allowances were also available to be provided for disabled soldier's children or after his death e.g. education, medical, lodgings etc.

Allowances could be extended beyond 16, typically for up to 5 years, in exceptional situations such as special physical and/or mental/educational needs circumstance(s).

 

It is not always that clear to me - especially hard when reading an electronic copy [I do so prefer physical paper so I can flip backwards and forward more quickly/easily - my age showing??] = my current vote is for Allowance.

 

We may all yet be further/better educated by a subsequent response(s)!

:-) M

 

Addit:

May be of further interest.

The following is immediately after in War Pensions and Allowances - on pages 149 & 150:

763543383_MotherlessIllegitimateChildrenHGp149-150.png.8affe4d42f92ac418c8bce0796a4f6fe.png

Extracted images courtesy of www. archive. org - with thanks

Motherless children typically being orphaned or if not then under the care of a guardian who was not their mother - typically a guardian from the wider family - might be a grandmother(s), aunt(s) or even older female sibling(s) [most usually female members of the family].

Other more formal institutional types of guardianship were also possible [when this was the case then not quite so often of the female gender]

Edited by Matlock1418
Addit - added images, text & acknowledgements for abstracted images
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I'm sure this has been posted elsewhere on GWF but surely can't really harm to post again

 J M Hogge & T H Garside - War Pensions and Allowances, 1918

https://archive.org/details/thewarpensionsallow00hoggrich

Hope it helps.

:-) M

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10 hours ago, Matlock1418 said:

I'm sure this has been posted elsewhere on GWF but surely can't really harm to post again

 J M Hogge & T H Garside - War Pensions and Allowances, 1918

https://archive.org/details/thewarpensionsallow00hoggrich

Hope it helps.

:-) M

 

Thanks Matlock,

  It’s an extremely interesting document.

  I had noticed on the pension cards that the widow’s date of birth is usually given. This appears to be because she was given an increase to her pension of 1s.3d. per week upon reaching the age of 45, bringing it up from 13s.9d. to 15s. in the case of the widow of a Private. {page 148}

  The increased children’s allowances came into effect on 1st May 1918.

  Using the pension card I posted above for David Caven,  I thought it would be interesting to note how his widow Catherine’s pension {and children’s allowances} would change at various dates {or soon after}, assuming no further changes. All rates are per week.

17/04/1918 – 28s.9d. {Initial income}

01/05/1918 – 33s.9d. {Increased children’s allowances}

15/06/1920 – 29s.7d. {Bernard’s allowance removed}

21/12/1922 – 25s.5d. {Joseph’s allowance removed}

28/01/1924 – 20s. 5d. {John’s allowance removed}

06/12/1927 – 21.8d. {Age increase}

20/02/1931 – 15s. {Stephen’s allowance removed}

  This would be her income from the state until she received her old age pension {60? 65?}. Would her army pension be replaced or additional to her old age pension?

 

Regards,

Alf McM

 

 

 

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20 minutes ago, alf mcm said:

The increased children’s allowances came into effect on 1st May 1918.

That was the date the 1918 RW came in to effect.

 

Quote

I had noticed on the pension cards that the widow’s date of birth is usually given. This appears to be because she was given an increase to her pension of 1s.3d. per week upon reaching the age of 45, bringing it up from 13s.9d. to 15s. in the case of the widow of a Private. {page 148}

Yes, this was an increase brought fully in to effect by the 1917 RW.

 

20 minutes ago, alf mcm said:

Using the pension card I posted above for David Caven,  I thought it would be interesting to note how his widow Catherine’s pension {and children’s allowances} would change at various dates {or soon after}, assuming no further changes. All rates are per week.

 

17/04/1918 – 28s.9d. {Initial income}

 

01/05/1918 – 33s.9d. {Increased children’s allowances}

 

15/06/1920 – 29s.7d. {Bernard’s allowance removed}

 

21/12/1922 – 25s.5d. {Joseph’s allowance removed}

 

28/01/1924 – 20s. 5d. {John’s allowance removed}

 

06/12/1927 – 21.8d. {Age increase}

 

20/02/1931 – 15s. {Stephen’s allowance removed}

  This would be her income from the state until she received her old age pension {60? 65?}. Would her army pension be replaced or additional to her old age pension?

 

Keep in mind that Hogge was the 1917 rate - rates were increased relatively regularly.

 

The initial 28s 9d was made up of
     13s 9d basic allowance for a widow.

The remaining 15s was for the 4 children

     5s for the 1st

     4s 2d for the 2nd

     3s 4d for the 3rd

     2s 6d for the 4th

     15s in total

 

In this case the children were not paid as per Article 18 (motherless or illegitimate children). They were regarded as the soldiers child when,

image.png

 

(Article 18 is badly worded in the legislation in that it applies only to motherless children - hence the slightly higher rates if 10s and 6s 8d paid (1918 RW) when compared to a widow with children. - Hogge makes it a bit clearer than the actual legislation does).

 

Craig

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28 minutes ago, alf mcm said:

I had noticed on the pension cards that the widow’s date of birth is usually given. This appears to be because she was given an increase to her pension of 1s.3d. per week upon reaching the age of 45,

Yes.  In fact it seems there was also an earlier uplift at age 35 and well as the 45 one.

Some would perhaps say because of a reducing chance of remarriage as she got older.

28 minutes ago, alf mcm said:

This would be her income from the state until she received her old age pension {60? 65?}. Would her army pension be replaced or additional to her old age pension?

I don't know about pensions more generally.

There are certainly widows' pension index cards [typically typed] from the DHSS with annotations dating in the 1960s into the 1980s

@ss002d6252may be able to assist further with post-war and later pensions.

 

Not for the first time I've mentioned here on GWF - for anyone interested in the treatment of widows then I recommend Andrea Hetherington's book: British Widows of the First World War - The Forgotten Legion

:-) M

Edited by Matlock1418
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Clause 24 of the 1925 bill on old age pensions was designed to cover this. I 'm not sure that there was an earlier provisions to cover the situation.

 

image.png

 

Craig

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There certainly was an earlier attempt at avoidance of doubling-up of pensions and/or allowances [for the life of me I can't exactly recall the name given for such an event ;-/ - Might it have been 'over-lapping'??] - commonly if a widow got something from a man's pre-service employer [sometimes such an offer was made by a patriotic employer as an inducement for a man to enlist] and/or from charities or local funds

:-) M

Edited by Matlock1418
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Overlapping entitlement is the current term used.

 

Income would be taken in to account where a person was working, for example, but whether or not war pensions were covered is not something I've looked at.


Craig

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17 hours ago, Matlock1418 said:

I use Allowance, as it was paid to a mother/guardian, rather than as a pension to a child [under 16]

[and rather regardless of it being a sort of part of a soldier's widow's pension]

Not least as from J M Hogge & T H Garside's War Pensions and Allowances, 1918 [in the Army Pensions etc. section - immediately after the widows' bit] on page 149 is the following

Thank you, that partly answers one question. However why when the allowance was paid to widows and guardians do the names of children of a marriage even if born before marriage who were living with the widow appear on the cards and/or ledgers and the names of illegitimate children living, for example with the mother's family do not?

 

Also we seem to have drifted a little from one of my questions. Does anyone know what happened when when a women aksed for an allowance for an illegitimate child and the soldier's name did not appear on the birth certificate?

 

RM

 

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RM,

  I believe my first post answers your second question. The image in my second post is what the link in my first post refers to. Davis Caven was not the father of Bernard McQueeny, yet he is listed on the pension card.

  Children of parents who were born before marriage were treated inthe same way as if they had been born after marriage, as long as they were brought up as part of the family.

 

Regards,

Alf McM

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8 minutes ago, alf mcm said:

RM,

  I believe my first post answers your second question. The image in my second post is what the link in my first post refers to. Davis Caven was not the father of Bernard McQueeny, yet he is listed on the pension card.

  Children of parents who were born before marriage were treated inthe same way as if they had been born after marriage, as long as they were brought up as part of the family.

 

Regards,

Alf McM

I think it probably does, although it is a little different from my cases where the illegitimate child[ren] were not living in the soldier's family and are not listed on the card/ ledger. i suppose that someone from the pensions committe was sent to interview the claimant. I don't want to post examples as they come from rural areas where there are probably still descendents.

 

When going through various documents this morning I have noticed that in the cases of two men (at least) on the same war memorial the mothers instituted paternity preceedings in 1917 (before the men died) for children born in 1914.

RM

 

 

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1 hour ago, rolt968 said:

i suppose that someone from the pensions committe was sent to interview the claimant.

As indicated above that is a likely scenario.

Evidence of earlier dependency on the soldier and later maintenance by the mother/guardian(s) was gathered and that was put in the main pension file.

Not really always necessary to have a child(ren)'s name(s) on a card - as cards were only tracing/tracking indices tool to link/find files and the payments were to an adult.

Adult name(s) [and address(es)] were the most important thing for a card, not the child(ren)'s name(s) - regardless of their status at birth [or even who was the biological father].

:-) M

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1 minute ago, Matlock1418 said:

Not really always necessary to have a child(ren)'s name(s) on a card - as cards were only tracing/tracking indices tool to link/find files and the payments were to an adult.

Adult name(s) [and address(es)] were the most important thing for a card, not the child(ren)'s name(s) - regardless of their status at birth [or even who was the biological father].

True.  I was reminded of being told by an archivist that military records were not designed to help 21st century genealogists but to ease administration at the time.

RM

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9 minutes ago, rolt968 said:

I was reminded of being told by an archivist that military records were not designed to help 21st century genealogists but to ease administration at the time.

:thumbsup:

:-) M

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16 hours ago, Matlock1418 said:

I'm sure this has been posted elsewhere on GWF but surely can't really harm to post again

 J M Hogge & T H Garside - War Pensions and Allowances, 1918

https://archive.org/details/thewarpensionsallow00hoggrich

Hope it helps.

:-) M

 

RM,

   A search of the book mentioned in Matlock's link above shows only 1 mention of 'paternity'. See page 131. I must admit I am a bit confused by what it says for the Old Warrant. Under the New Warrant 5s. could be claimed for each illegitimate child, as long as an order was in force or there was proof of paternity.

With no paternity order in place it might have been difficult to prove the deceased soldier was the father, unless of course his name was on the birth certificate.

It could be that the mothers didn't know they could make a claim.

 

Regards,

Alf McM

 

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1 minute ago, alf mcm said:

With no paternity order in place it might have been difficult to prove the deceased soldier was the father, unless of course his name was on the birth certificate.

Alf,

BTW, Well done for what I suspect was a long read of H&G!  It is a quite a challenge to fully interpret.

I don't think it always had to come down to documents - enquiries might have provided alternative evidence that could have been accepted I think.

2 minutes ago, alf mcm said:

It could be that the mothers didn't know they could make a claim.

Certainly seems a possibility.

Also it seems quite a challenge for any civilian/non-professional to fight their way through the Warrants and guidance, widows perhaps being particularly badly placed if literacy was less than perfect - so perhaps claims weren't made.

Or mothers were perhaps reluctant to do so because of the date(s) of birth and a fear of stigma being attached??

 

I think we are all learning a bit more each time this subject is looked at.

Pensions entitlements are still often hard now - back then I am sure it was a similar challenge.

:-) M

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