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"Unehelichen"/Illegitimacy: applied to mother or child? #germany


Michael Rubin
 

I'm trying to confirm the application of the term "unehelichen" within a birth certificate from 1827 in the Pfalz.  The birth record follows a fairly typical format around the registrar indicating that so and so appeared before him and declared that a daughter was born.  Then this phase is used:   "....geboren sei welchem sie den Vornamen Regina zu geben erklaret, dieses welches Kind von der unehelichen Karolina geboren Isaak, des alters Vier und zwanzig Jahr."  I'm assuming that "unehelichen" refers to the newly born daughter Regina but maybe I'm confused and it should be applied to the mother, ie. Karolina. Or does unehelichen actually imply "unmarried" in this context rather than "illegitimate" as we might use it in English to refer to the child?  
Thanks for your input.
Michael Rubin
Boston, MA  USA 


Rodney Eisfelder
 

Michael,
In this context, I think unehelichen means unmarried, and refers to the mother. Ehe means a marriage, Eheleute means a married couple.
Caveat: I am not a qualified translator, and my German is definitely not fluent.

I hope this helps,
Rodney Eisfelder
Melbourne, Australia


David Lewin
 


True - but the child is an uneheliches Kind


At 10:27 27/10/2020, Rodney Eisfelder wrote:
Michael,
In this context, I think unehelichen means unmarried, and refers to the mother. Ehe means a marriage, Eheleute means a married couple.
Caveat: I am not a qualified translator, and my German is definitely not fluent.

I hope this helps,
Rodney Eisfelder
Melbourne, Australia


info@...
 

Dear Michael,
the one who decleared the birth probably was the midwife, the mother of the child Regina was the illegitimate Karolina nee Isaak, age 24 years.
Wolfgang Fritzsche
Germany


sjgwed@...
 

Years ago, when I first found an online copy of my grandfather's 1883 birth info and name listed as "Unehelichen"/illegitimate, I wondered why, as there was no question or doubt that his parents were married in a religious ceremony.
 
Since then, I have heard that listing the birth of a Jewish baby as illegitimate was common in civil records, and that it's quite likely that the records of Jewish births, like those of marriages and deaths, were reported and registered in the town's Kehilah, where Jewish records were kept - but they were not listed in the civil offices of the town.

Susan J. Gordon
White Plains NY
sjgwed@...
Zbaraz - BIALAZURKER, SCHONHAUT 
Lvov, Chortzkow, Skalat - LEMPERT - 


Sally Bruckheimer
 

"it's quite likely that the records of Jewish births, like those of marriages and deaths, were reported and registered in the town's Kehilah, where Jewish records were kept".

Few Jewish groups kept records. A ketubah was the marriage contract, so the family had the record - no rabbi was needed (unless the government required one). Most Jewish communities were small enough that people knew who had a baby or who died. The only old communities that had records were Sephardi, who were more like Catholics in that regard. 

Jews moved around a lot, and were often expelled from a town or small area, so nobody would have wanted to carry records to remember their former neighbors.

Sally Bruckheimer
Princeton, NJ


jonathan.rose@...
 

unehelichen clearly applies to the child not the mother. Eheichen also appears in marriage records. With regard to the mother of an illegitimate child, it may say nothing or ledig or Standers ledig, whic means single or unmarried. Also the language of the birth certificate may depend on whether the declarant is the father of the child, a mid-wife or a relative or stranger. When the father is the declarant it usually says the the child born to him by his wife with her first name & maiden name. I have seen several where the father is the declarant of an illegitimate child where it does not say that it born to him by him wife & in some he acknowledges that he is the father of the child.
Jonathan Rose
Tempe, Az


Corinna Woehrl
 

Hello Michael and list-readers,

I agree to Wolfgang Fritsche - yet this is a quite unusual phrase word-order-wise, also considering the conventions in that time. The sentence extracted would be literally translated to "... was born, which she declared to name Regina, which (referring to the child) (omitted: was born to) the the illegitimate 24 year old Karolina born Isaak of age 24 years." To clarify the matter I would like to view the document itself, also in the context with the previous and following entries. Often there is a pattern or regional phrasing in the certificates. I offer that you may send it privately (or send me a link) or use the ViewMate-platform, maybe there are other clues which enable us to solve the riddle. Maybe the baby Regina is illegitimate, too but the extracted sentence is ambiguous.

Regards from Germany,
Corinna Wöhrl
Hoisdorf (Hamburg/Luebeck)


Shlomo Katz
 

The reason so many Jewish children are listed as illegitimate is that many couples did not care to have a civil marriage, or in some jurisdictions, were not permitted to marry civilly. In most cases, they did have a religious marriage, and that was all they cared about.

In many cases, you will find a civil marriage record years after the children were born. This was done if there was a need to legitimize the child, for example, perhaps, to get a passport.

For this reason, also, many children carried their mother's family name, not their father's.

These are all points that beginning genealogists often are not aware of. Therefore, for example, if they see a marriage record that seems too late, they assume that is is a different couple that coincidentally had the same names. Then they notice that the bride and groom are in their 50s, which seems odd. The explanation is often as above.

Happy hunting,

Shlomo Katz
Silver Spring, MD


Eva Lawrence
 

You don't say whether the record actually gives the name of the child Regina, which is usually the case in Pfalz birth records. . As quoted, I agree that uneh;lich means unmarried, and I take it, also that Karolina's ,father's name was Isaak. Is Regina also given a surname, in  the record,  I wonder, which would be an indication of her  father's idemtity?
--
Eva Lawrence
St Albans, UK.