This is a great strategy to help find the father of an illegitimate child.
In most families, sooner or later you will encounter a child born to an unwed mother. Finding the fathers of these ‘illegitimate’ children can be difficult, but not necessarily impossible.
I’ve researched dozens of these cases, both in my own tree and for clients. In fourcases, I have been able to prove who the father was.In two other cases, I have developed good theories which I hope to prove through DNA. In the majority of cases, I ended up with a list of possible fathers, but no clear candidates. With the growing popularity of DNA testing and advances in tools for exploring DNA matches, it may be possible to solve these cases in the future.
While working these cases, I developed some strategies that may help you with your own cases too. I will use anonymized examples from my own research to illustrate how you can find out who the father of the illegitimate child was.
Many unmarried women tried to hide their pregnancies so a pregnancy may have gone unnoticed in the community until the child was born. At that point, there are several possible records that may have been created:
Strategy 1: Examine records from around the birth
Strategy 2: Find out where the mother was around the time of conception
Strategy 3: Research the men in the mother’s life
Strategy 4:Get to knowthe mother
Strategy 5: Analyze the baby’s name
Strategy 6: Understand the community
Strategy 7:Find out what was going on
Strategy 8: Follow the money
Strategy 9:Research from cradle to grave
Strategy 10: DNA testing