Should this person have unknown birth name, biological father unknown, birth mother kept maiden name?

+3 votes
165 views
WikiTree profile: Thelma Coor
in Genealogy Help by Bridget Swahlen G2G Crew (420 points)
Funny that she has a mother who married someone with that surname which the child should carry. An adoption maybe? Birth out of wedlock? Strange.
Yes, we have family records that Thelma's mother, Lena Mobley (my great-aunt), married Daniel Coor in 1916.  He was always regarded as Thelma's father, he re-married, and she lived with other family alot.  She is listed in 1920 as Thelma Coor, living with her Aunt and Grandfather.  She went by that last name of Coor the rest of her life.  She never married and never had children.

2 Answers

+6 votes

Bridget,

I think you need to find a few more records to answer your question.

So Thelma's mother died in 1917,  and Thelma is living with relatives in this 1920 census..."United States Census, 1920," database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:M4VY-B56 : accessed 17 August 2018), Thelma Coor in household of Mamie A Coor, Encinosa, Lincoln, New Mexico, United States; citing ED 100, sheet 5A, line 41, family 79, NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1992), roll 1077; FHL microfilm 1,821,077

In 1910,   Thelma's mother is in this census,   WITHOUT  Thelma.... a bit odd.  But she's going by her maiden name.

"United States Census, 1910," database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:MGS8-H2N : accessed 17 August 2018), Lenah V Mobley in household of Noah A Mobley, Hagerman, Chaves, New Mexico, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) ED 26, sheet 10A, family 226, NARA microfilm publication T624 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 1982), roll 913; FHL microfilm 1,374,926.

You should probably at least try to find Thelma in 1910  to see what surname is being used.   But best of all would be a birth record.

by Peggy McReynolds G2G6 Pilot (442k points)
Bridget,

I still haven't found Thelma in 1910...... Her mother is listed as  "Single" in that census.   Perhaps they hid the 3 year old when the census taker came.
I think your right,  I have a family picture of the Mobley's in circa 1907, and Thelma is a toddler.  Her mother Lena is in the picture also.  Knowing family history I would not be supprised if she was left off of the census.  So I guess the question is, if we never find her biological father, but know her mother went by her maiden name of Mobley.  Do we list Thelma's birth name as Mobley or unknown?  She never was married or had any children.
Dunno what the rule was in New Mexico, but in most of Europe, an illegitimate child was obligated to bear the mother's surname, even if the father was known.
Good to know.
+1 vote
Without a birth record it is difficult to be sure what name to use. An example is my great grandfather who went by Albert Perkins his entire adult life. He listed various father names, all Perkins. When I finally found his birth certificate, he was born Egbert Hardy and his parents were married but later split up. Without looking at his brother and other Perkins people from the area he claimed to have been from I wouldn't have found the birth certificate. You may need to broaden the search.

Where have you looked for birth records or possible earlier marriage?
by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (424k points)

Bridget,

I did find the following record in Texas  for a child of Lenna Mobley, father Ottis McGilvray,   but this Lena McGilvray appeared in the 1920 and 1930 census still living with her husband... so certainly a dead end.

"Texas Deaths, 1890-1976," database with images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:KSYL-GXG : 13 March 2018), Lenna Mobley in entry for Ottis E Mcgilvray, 12 Dec 1971; citing certificate number 85206, State Registrar Office, Austin; FHL microfilm 2,223,503.

Since the profile has already been created as  "Unknown".... perhaps  just document what you know under  "Research Notes"  in the biography and leave it  "as is" until you've done a complete search.    Also,  post the family search documents.   (The decision is certainly yours to make,  I'm just commenting on what I'd do.)   Had I created this profile to start with,  I would have given her name as Thelma Mobley,  with  an "Uncertain" designation.    Until her birth certificate is found or her appearance on a 1910 census shows up, nothing disputes the Mobely name.

Profiles are always a  "work in progress".

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