Ronny Roberts mentions that "Pathen" in the Vital records has proved a
useful column to discern kinship links. I always understood that
grandparents - mainly the men- would take on the role of being a witness to
a birth in the family. So yes it is a vital piece of information if it was
As for illegitimacy we know that if a male didn't have a Familiant number it
was forbidden for him to marry in the eyes of the State. A Jew could have a
Rabbi marry him but it wouldn't necessarily be recognised when the
Familianten laws were in place. They prevented legitimate marriages for many
years for the Jews. That is the most likely explanation for the so called
illegitimate births you are finding Ronny. The child would most likely be
registered under the mother's name until such time as the parents were able
to marry and once that happened the children could then be given the
However the birth records would stand.
I'm delighted you are finding such good new material and hope that others
are as well.
Regards >from Sydney