• All members must be aware of our current Family History UK Community Rules

    Please read the following:

    Read the current rules of the forum

    Thank you

    If you are a business -please contact us to advertise or be a sponsor on our FHUK Community Genealogy forums

Change of surname

Since I started researching my family history recently, I have uncovered a disturbing family secret. My paternal grandmother married in 1899 at the age of 19. In 1902 she gave birth to my father. I was always told that my grandfather had died when my father was three, but I have just discovered a record of his birth to find that my grandmother reverted to her maiden name and my father is registered under her name, with the birth marked as illegitimate.

Mother and child emigrated to America about 1906, but she died there in 1915 at the early age of 33 and he returned to Scotland to be brought up by his mother's married sister. I know that he was known by his mother's married name at this time, with her maiden name as a middle name. I have the same middle name and surname as my father, but I am curious to know how his name was changed from what appears in the birth register, and whether his father was the man his mother married or someone completely different! In the 1901 census my grandmother's husband was living with his mother and siblings while my grandmother (who had already reverted to her maiden name) was in domestic service elsewhere.

I would be extremely grateful for any advice in trying to work out this complicated puzzle. All the members of my father's immediate family who might have explained it are long dead.

Similar threads