Re: Widowed New Mother & New Born Child's Last Name in Lodz (1874) #poland #lodz

Sally Bruckheimer <sallybruc@...>

Often marriages of Jews were banned or heavily taxed on Europe, so couples married religiously only. The government then considered their children illegitimate - but that didn't bother the Jews who knew the couple married. So this baby was 'illegitimate' and given the mother's maiden name. Sometimes birth records didn't mention the father, but usually he came to record the birth, but there was no 'his wife' who gave birth to the baby, just Sura Szwarc or whatever.

I once transcribed records for a Polish town in WW I and later. When Poland became a state, suddenly there were a lot more marriages than usual (maybe 30 times more), with the couples often having 10 or 15 kids. The couples had married religiously, maybe 20 or more years earlier, and now they could marry civilly.

Sally Bruckheimer
Princeton, NJ

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