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rsowa



Joined: 09 Nov 2013
Replies: 170
Location: Dundee, Michigan, USA

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Post Posted: Wed Dec 12, 2018 5:56 pm      Post subject:
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Another interesting twist to the baptism of children with "unknown" fathers happened when I was researching my wife's Hungarian ancestors (they lived just over the Carpathian mountains from Poland). It turned out that one of her ancestors served as Godfather to at least five children born to women where the father was unknown. We have talked about it a lot and wonder what circumstances would result in him being Godfather to so many children. He had a wife and six children of his own as well.

Richard
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EANWhitson



Joined: 18 Apr 2012
Replies: 357

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Post Posted: Thu Dec 13, 2018 6:56 pm      Post subject:
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rsowa wrote:
Another interesting twist to the baptism of children with "unknown" fathers happened when I was researching my wife's Hungarian ancestors (they lived just over the Carpathian mountains from Poland). It turned out that one of her ancestors served as Godfather to at least five children born to women where the father was unknown. We have talked about it a lot and wonder what circumstances would result in him being Godfather to so many children. He had a wife and six children of his own as well.

Richard


It could be he happened to be available to be the Godfather. (I am indexing an orphanage in Warsaw and there is a man there who is the Godfather of hundreds of children.) Which means he may have just been at the church and they needed a Godfather for these children or perhaps a neighbor of the church grounds.

It could be he was a kind man and known not to judge the women who needed a Godfather for their child.

Sometimes we will never know.
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JGwizdowski
PolishOrigins Patron


Joined: 26 Feb 2016
Replies: 167
Location: United States

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Post Posted: Mon Dec 17, 2018 11:43 am      Post subject:
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rsowa wrote:
Another interesting twist to the baptism of children with "unknown" fathers happened when I was researching my wife's Hungarian ancestors (they lived just over the Carpathian mountains from Poland). It turned out that one of her ancestors served as Godfather to at least five children born to women where the father was unknown. We have talked about it a lot and wonder what circumstances would result in him being Godfather to so many children. He had a wife and six children of his own as well.

Richard


Another example...my grandmother's paternal line consisted of four consecutive generations of church organists. It appears they also served as sextons for the church as their names show up frequently as godparents for births, and as witnesses for marriages and for deaths. As someone else mentioned, just being available made them obvious choices!

Cheers!

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[email protected]



Joined: 21 Jun 2019
Replies: 9
Location: USA

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Post Posted: Mon Jul 01, 2019 2:11 pm      Post subject: [Illegitimate births in selected poviats of Poland
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I was looking for something else and came across this abstract from 2007. It was originally written in Polish.

Illegitimate births in selected poviats of Northern Mazowsze in the period of the second Republic of Poland.
It has various descriptions of how births were reported, status of mothers and father involvement in the reporting based on religion.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19244737
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Edu



Joined: 05 Oct 2019
Replies: 8
Location: Washington, DC, USA

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Post Posted: Mon Oct 07, 2019 9:39 am      Post subject: Puzzling birth record
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Hi All
I am curious to know why a Polish birth record from a small village in Galicia would not indicate a father's name (which would normally indicate an illegitimate birth), yet clearly mark the word "legit" in the column under "legitimate"? Were there ever "exceptions" given under horrible situations (such as rape) where mother and child were considered not "at fault"? How else could this be interpreted? Many thanks for your thoughts on this.
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starshadow



Joined: 09 May 2013
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Post Posted: Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:27 am      Post subject: Re: Puzzling birth record
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Edu wrote:
Hi All
I am curious to know why a Polish birth record from a small village in Galicia would not indicate a father's name (which would normally indicate an illegitimate birth), yet clearly mark the word "legit" in the column under "legitimate"? Were there ever "exceptions" given under horrible situations (such as rape) where mother and child were considered not "at fault"? How else could this be interpreted? Many thanks for your thoughts on this.


Hi Edu. I've seen this also once or twice. But I believed it was probably an error. I've also seen other cases where those boxes seem to get checked wrongly. You might want to check the other entries on the page for related errors. One rare circumstance I can imagine is if the father died before he could marry the mother.
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Edu



Joined: 05 Oct 2019
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Location: Washington, DC, USA

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Post Posted: Fri Oct 18, 2019 12:39 pm      Post subject: Re: Puzzling birth record
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Many thanks for your feedback and ideas, Starshadow - I greatly appreciate it!

This particular situation could certainly be a mistake. However, I still find it curious that the recorder (likely a Church official) wrote the word ¨legit¨ in the legitimate column (not a tick mark in the legitimate column), which appears next to the blank column under Patris, or Father. The Polish archive which copied and send me this record removed all references to others on that same page for privacy reasons - so unfortunately I cannot check for potential errors unless I make a trip to the archives myself. One may wonder if ambiguity some times might be intentional - leaving interpretation open to other explanations given the situation - but this is ultimately unknowable unless other evidence can be found. Many thanks again!
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