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March 20, 2010

What About Georgiana's Illegitimate Birth?

On March 8, I wrote a post called "What About The Women" One of my goals for March was to find my ancestor Georgiana Fuller's death and figure out more about her illegitimate birth to the widow Hannah Golding nee Philpot

There were several comments on that post and I thank everyone for their contributions. I want to answer two of the comments:

Michelle Goodrum said...
I am curious about Georgiana's father George Norris. What happened to him and why did Georgiana not use his surname?

Michelle, I don't know. I was not aware of his name until I found Georgiana's marriage to Charles Fuller in Lenham Kent England. On the marriage certificate Georgiana names her father as "George Norris"

A search of census records for Lenham turned up only one George Norris - a neighbour to Hannah Golding and her family. In the earlier 1841 census his parents and siblings are living a few houses from Hannah Golding and her family. In 1851 his parents and a few brothers and sisters live next door to Hannah and her children. In the 1861 census for Lenham, I found George, age 50, living with his mother and unmarried.

I do not know what happened to George and have no absolute proof that he is the George Norris named on Georgiana's marriage record. But Lenham was a tiny village and it seems most plausible that Georgiana's father would be someone who Hannah knew from her daily life in the village. I've not yet found George in any other census other than 1861 but searching for him is on my To-Do list.

I also plan to send for the birth certificate of Hannah's illegitimate son Edward John Golding born 05 Mar 1843 in Lenham to see if his father is listed, and if he and Georgiana shared the same father. I may need his marriage record, as Georgiana's birth record did not have a father's name.

Brett Payne said...

FreeBMD shows the death of a Georgina FULLER, aged 44, in Hollingbourn Registration District, Kent in the 4th quarter of 1882. Despite the ages not quite matching up with what you say is shown on the 1881 Census, I wonder if that is her? Perhaps it would be worth sending off for the death certificate if it's in the right area.

Brett was absolutely correct. A cousin informed me that he had sent for that death record and it was indeed our Georgiana. She is listed as 44 years of age, the wife of Charles Fuller, a farm labourer. Georgiana died on 19th December 1882 of complications from pregnancy, aggravated by heart disease.

So now I know what happened to Georgiana. After 10 children in a 23 year time period, her 11th pregancy was her breaking point.

Georgiana's oldest child was 23 when his mother died, her youngest was 2 years old.


Christy said...

The first question that comes to mind here is Why did George Norris and Hannah Golding nee Philpot not marry if Hannah was a widow at the time of Georgiana's birth and George Norris was unmarried? Have you looked for Bastardy bonds? Or Chancery Court records for the time? These should contain something of use as the parish would have wanted to be sure the care of Georgiana didn't fall to them.

Christy Fillerup

vintage-cove said...

We tend to take our current standards of living and healthcare for granted. Women didn't always have it as good as we do today.
I came across an ancestor who gave birth in a destitute asylum and, from what I have learned from local historians, she was very lucky to have survived the birth.
The asylum is now a historical museum with a display of their tools of medicine. I can't put into words how I felt looking at those tools.
Kind regards, Sandra.