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dgawell



Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Replies: 63

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Post Posted: Tue May 24, 2016 7:13 am      Post subject: unmarried women with children
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Hi,

I'm trying to research and speculate the circumstances of some ancestors. My great grandparents had eight children living to adulthood with three immigrating to the USA. Of the five remaining, one man committed suicide at age 33 right in the 1920's (unmarried), two men had "traditional families" getting married and having children, but two of the women had just one son out of wedlock. They lived with the parents and at least the one seems to be held in high esteem in the family's memories.

The unmarried mothers were born in 1900 and 1905 and lived into their eighties. My question is: what would you speculate would be the reason for the only two daughters to have children out of wedlock? The one (held in high esteem) was a cook for the priests in her mid and later years and the church was right across the street. I'm adding that not to imply the priests were involved, but that the family has strong social ties to the church which continue to this day.

There was a large, functioning manor house in the village and I know my grandfather worked there as a gardener and tended the horses.

The one woman born in 1905 gave birth to a son and I don't know his DOB, but his wife was born in 1933 and his first child in 1952. So, that places his birth likely between 1920-1932.

Are there a few typical reasons why young women would have children out of wedlock during this period of time in Poland? This was a village of about 3,000 people.

I'm still pondering all the suicides. I was told that there was a pattern of depression with the men in the family. My great grandfather, two of his sons and his grandson committed suicide.
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zamagurie



Joined: 30 Apr 2011
Replies: 31
Location: United States

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Post Posted: Tue May 24, 2016 3:20 pm      Post subject: Regarding High Regard of daughters
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Hi,
While we are speculating, the high regard may be a response to the daughters staying to take care of the elderly parents. Illegitimate children were not always the stigma we hear about. You may hear the myths that they "baptized the children in another village etc.. etc. The records have a column for illegitimacy for a reason. It happened.

I have run into the situation with a priest and housekeeping in the villages. The towns people knew it was more than housekeeping.

Can you share which village your ancestors were from. A 3000 people count is larger than a village which also may mean it was less of a stigma.

Thanks.

KAM

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KAM
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bwalsh1956



Joined: 10 Apr 2016
Replies: 12

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Post Posted: Tue May 24, 2016 7:40 pm      Post subject:
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I would think some illegitimate children would be the consequence of sexual assaults. My great-grandmother told me that when an invading army came in, the daughters would be hidden in the haylofts for protection. Your great-aunt born in 1900 would have been age 14 to 19 during WWI.
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dgawell



Joined: 01 Jun 2014
Replies: 63

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Post Posted: Wed May 25, 2016 6:57 am      Post subject: That was my inclination
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I was also thinking that the pregnancy came as a result of soldiers coming through or perhaps through employment at the local manor house. I went back and found the son's grave and he was born in 1931. The mother, at that time, had no father (suicide in 1918) and another brother commited suicide just five years previous to the birth, so she would have been living with her widowed mother, maybe just an all women household.

I know this is all speculation, but their experiences like so many others in Poland were so heartbreaking.
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Lyn1982



Joined: 07 Oct 2014
Replies: 96

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Post Posted: Sun Jun 26, 2016 4:56 pm      Post subject:
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I've been wondering about illegitimate births too. In some cases it's not anything sinister. I've got a couple illegitimate births in what I believe to be my polish maluchnik line. In one case the parents are both listed, though they did not marry until a year later. In another case the father is not listed, but the mother did marry a year later. I think it was not as common as it is today but definitely still somewhat common. The difference being the father eventually stepped up in those days. This was in Brodowe Łąki parish , which was quite small. As for the one where father is listed (rare for unmarried birth I think) They were roman catholic and this was in the 1880s. I have not however had the birth record translated yet, just going off the index page here: http://www.geneteka.genealodzy.pl/index.php?rid=A&from_date=&to_date=&search_lastname=maluchnik&search_lastname2=olender&rpp1=0&bdm=S&w=07mz&op=gt&lang=pol Note that a child is born in 1887 and they married in 1888.
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Ballenisles1



Joined: 30 Aug 2015
Replies: 3

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Post Posted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 6:56 am      Post subject:
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Just returned from a visit to my Grandparents village, Szczutowo, which is a few miles southeast of Brodnica. According to the ships manifest, my Grandparents Teodor and Ceceliya Kasprowicz sailed with their son Stefan (11mos) in 1903. However, after checking vital records in Torun and St. Bartholemews Church in Swiedziebnia, we could not find their marriage certificate or Stefans birth or baptismal records. I'm beginning to wonder if they were actually married and if Stefan was born out of wedlock? I wonder if when booking passage what type of legal documents you had to have to purchase a ticket, as well as to present to the Immigration official when entering the United States? Szczutowo was a small village of less than 500 people, with no more than a 100 homes at that time. Seems like there should be records somewhere!! It's a mystery!!
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