Who was the father of Sarah Kimble's daughters Susanna and Sabra, ca 1745 Baltimore, Maryland?

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Sarah Kimble was born in 1722 in Baltimore, Maryland to Rowland Kimble and Hannah Jackson Kimble. On 9 May 1747, she married James Taylor, Sr. in Baltimore, Maryland, and went on to have 12 children with him.

However, before she married James Taylor, Sr., Sarah Kimble had two other children with an unidentified father. The two girls kept their mother's maiden name, Kimble.

Susanna 'Kimble,' my ancestor, was born on 8 June 1743 in Maryland (Maryland Church Records, 1668-1995), while her sister Sabra 'Kimble was born on 9 Aug 1745 in Perryman, Baltimore County, Maryland. No father was listed on Susanna's birth record, just her mother "Sarah Kemball."

Who was Susanna and Sabra's father? Why did they not keep their father's name (or could their father's name also have been Kimble, as in a cousin)? Could she have been an unwed mother in those times?
in Genealogy Help by Doug Shannon G2G1 (1.5k points)

Unwed mothers have been with humankind since the first laws were written ref to what is legally married defined as and what is not  Marriage is an invention of humankind meant to basically regulate among many matters, the matter of procreation  

Other than, as you say, marriage to someone with the same surname, the unwed mother's surname was bestowed upon the child(ren) -- that's in countries that practiced patronymic naming patterns ... and patronyms Patronymic - Wikipedia only gradually became the standard 

BBC - Family History - What's In a Name? Your Link to the Past   "Over time many names became corrupted and their original meaning is now not easily seen. After 1066, the Norman barons introduced surnames into England, and the practice gradually spread. Initially, the identifying names were changed or dropped at will, but eventually they began to stick and to get passed on.Apr 26, 2011"

Thank you. I realize I wasn't clear with what I was trying to ask about unwed mothers. Of course there have always been unwed mothers. What I was wondering was that given the social mores of the mid-1700's in the British Colonies, would generally not anything at all have been recorded about the unwed fathers?

Bastardy bonds is what you might be looking at Colonial American bastardy laws - Wikipedia and Illegitimacy in the United States Genealogy - FamilySearch Wiki and Virginia Bastardy Laws: A Burdensome Heritage  

"Insolent and Contemptuous Carriages": Re-Conceptualizing Illegitimacy in Colonial British America  as well as Bastardy | NCpedia and Bastardy Bonds - Appalachian History

There's apparently a lot more of this but it will provide a background for your two women and their mother and in general the era in which they lived 

1 Answer

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If she was not married, then her surname would have been given to the children, because if the parents were not married, they had no right to inherit from their father, even if acknowledged.  You actually can't tell from just what you have whether the same man was the father of both girls.  You also can't tell whether their father was the man whom their mother later married, in which case the first two girls would have been full genetic sisters of the later 12, but legally only half sisters.  

Susanna and Sabra were aged 2 and 4 when their mother married her husband, so clearly he would have been the father figure in their lives and assumed financial reponsibility for their wellbeing.  It would be interesting to find his will and see if any provision was made for Susanna and Sabra.
by Jack Day G2G6 Pilot (343k points)

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