Why do I have birth certificate for my grandfather's brother yet no further trace of him !

+7 votes
My Grand father George Garland ( http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Garland-1692 ) always thought he was illegitimate .

When starting research 10 years ago to my surprise I found that his birth certificate listed a father ( http://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Garland-1693 ) and a brother whose wiki page is listed as the reason for this query.

I can find no further trace of Frank Pine Garland in any historical record - yet I know he was born on 25th March 1895 in Hammersmith London.

If my grandfather was illegitimate then why is the same person listed as father on both his and Frank's birth certificates ?!

I hope I've explained the puzzle. I cannot trace my Garland-1693 ( another George ) or his son Frank , Garland-1694.

Another possible oddity is that my Ancestry DNA test results indicate that I have 12% Irish ancestry - yet in my research so far all my direct ancestors are British back to 1700s and beyond.

Might George ( who by trade was a Butler according to the birth certificates )  have been of irish origin - explaining the DNA puzzle.

This gap in my tree is so puzzling - any help or information would be amazing.
WikiTree profile: Frank Garland
in Genealogy Help by David Garland G2G Crew (380 points)

4 Answers

+1 vote
The thing about birth certificates are, mothers can, did, and do sometimes lie. They can say one man's the father when he's not. They can make up a name. If a woman had an illegitimate child, sometimes the repercussions were quite serious for both her and the baby alike... still true, though in the modern western world, a bit less damning a sentence. But in the early 1900s and earlier?... definitely.

I notice you have another Garland in your family tree, Charlotte, with a well-developed line. Families tended to stay close together and copulate together. It's possible he might be from the same line of Garlands. If you are in or by London, maybe you could go check the records/archives in person to see if you can find any information about your relatives? That's really the best hint I have, since I saw nothing on FamilySearch.
by G. Borrero G2G6 Pilot (108k points)
Many thanks for your reply. Gorge as the father is also listed on the baptism record so if Fanny was lying she did so for the birth certificate AND the baptism record . The curious thing is I can find no death record for anyone with a name resembling Frank who was born on 25/3/1895 !

I havent been in London for a while but your idea of a visit is a good one .
+1 vote
England & Wales,Death Index.George Pine Garland .born June 15 1892,

Died Sept 1979,Camborne-Redruth, Cornwall England.

London England,Church of England "Baptised" Aug 14 1892, Father

George Garland ,mother Fanny Garland.There is a picture Pines Garage

Online.Bridgwater,Taunton,Road.There c omment is, they were cousins.
by Wayne Morgan G2G6 Pilot (920k points)
Thanks Wayne

The cousin was a Frank Pine also but was several years older than Frank (1895) would have been.

 The curious thing is I can find no death record for anyone with a name resembling Frank who was born on 25/3/1895 !

+1 vote
As has been suggested above, I would check who was the informant on the birth certificates.

If George Garland (the father) was real, given he may have been a butler, and from the 1881 and 1891 census Fanny Pine was a servant, they may have been unable to marry or George perhaps would have lost his position?  No matter the situation, I think having more than 1 illegitimate child by the same man might not have been that uncommon.

As to the disappearance of Frank, maybe he was fostered or adopted, again perhaps not that uncommon?  Certainly one of my great grandfathers who was illegitimate, was fostered (?) for awhile and appears in the 1871 census under a different surname.

Interestingly George Garland (the son) seems to appear in the 1901 census as George Pine.  So perhaps he appears in records using either surname?
by John Atkinson G2G6 Pilot (523k points)
Many thanks for your reply. George as the father is also listed on the baptism record so if Fanny was lying she did so for the birth certificate AND the baptism record . The curious thing is I can find no death record for anyone with a name resembling Frank who was born on 25/3/1895 !

George is called Pine in 1901 but took up the name Garland again when employed by the railway. he used to talk about cousin Frank apparently but I couldn't find out if this was his ACTUAL cousin ( another Frank Pine but older ) or an oblique reference to his brother.
+1 vote

Fathers could be listed on Birth certificates even for illegitimate births. Both George's and Frank's births are easy enough to find after that it gets harder.

How about this as a candidate for George?

Household Role Gender Age Birthplace

Fanny Pine Head  F 44 Stoke St Gregory, Somersetshire
George Pine Son  M 8 London
Samuel Pine Boarder M 17 Athelney, Somersetshire

"England and Wales Census, 1901," database, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:X94M-Z1B : 29 August 2015), George Pine in household of Fanny Pine, Taunton St James Within, Somersetshire, England; from "1901 England, Scotland and Wales census," database and images, findmypast (http://www.findmypast.com : n.d.); citing Taunton subdistrict, PRO RG 13, The National Archives, Kew, Surrey

Edit: Oh I see from the comments you were already aware of this record. The absence of Frank suggests to me he probably died very young.

There is no such thing as purely British or Irish genes. Some genes are more prevalent in certain areas so are labeled "Irish" etc. It doesn't mean that an individual has recent Irish ancestry. It's just giving a general picture.

by Matthew Fletcher G2G6 Pilot (113k points)
edited by Matthew Fletcher
Thanks Matthew.

It is such a puzzle. I have other illegitimate ancestors from that time who were born in Lambeth and the baptism record has a column for legitimacy where their status is stigmatised for all time (!). I guess some churches were more tolerant as there is no such column in the Hammersmith record.

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