how would i find out if my gg grandma was illigetimate

+5 votes
how would i find out if getrude button was the illigetimate child of emma button
in Genealogy Help by Danette DeRose G2G4 (4.3k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith
Have you found a record for her birth or baptism? Is there a father named?
Where might this have occurred, Danette? In some states in The US that far back county court records have what were then called “bastardy bonds.” Might be worth  a look.

Sometimes it is very explicitly called out. My great grandfather's brother was listed as illegitimate on his birth certificate and no father listed. His mother was still married to her husband but something was going on. Husband remarried a year before they divorced.

I haven’t found any illegitimacy in any of my lines since immigration (so far), but I do have at least two shotgun weddings in my direct lines, my father’s parents and another couple much further back.
Emma's and Gertrude's death certificates might be worth looking at.  A maiden name for Emma would be interesting.
Yes it would be very interesting but I'm coming up empty handed any help would be greatly appreciated
i cant seem to find either or very frustating, any directions would be appriciated im overwhelmed i think

2 Answers

+7 votes
Best answer
Still looking for the parents of Gertrude, daughter of Emma, born about 1889 in Illinois, huh?

You might need to ask your older living relatives to see if they know something.  And, even then, there's no guarantee you'll find out much.  Illegitimate children were very shameful back in those days.   My grandfather was illegitimate and my great grandmother put a fake father on his birth certificate just to make it look good.  To this day, we only have speculation and have no clue who his real father is.
by Saundra Stewart G2G6 Mach 5 (56.6k points)
selected by Susan Laursen
Have you considered autosomal testing? Lots of people have solved the identity of the "mystery daddy" in their family using DNA. NPEs are not super-common, but in all our genealogies we are all surely descended from a few.
While Saundra’s response is interesting, I think that the DNA testing response given by Erin will be more useful to you Danette.
+3 votes


You might be able to find out through a DNA test. Through my daughter’s Ancestry DNA test, I was able to discover that her grandfather (my dad) was illegitimate. From there I pieced together that his dad was a “family friend.”

I’ve since had my DNA tested to confirm my suspicions that even though there was a shotgun wedding, my mother’s father was not who my grandmother married. I think she told her brothers it was her current beau even though it was most likely her previous one. Still working on figuring out who the real dad is on that one though. smiley

by Erin Klein G2G6 Mach 2 (23.7k points)

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