Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Illegitimate Children

While researching the Halls family that settled in Wellington County, I discovered that one of William Halls daughters had a child out of wedlock.

The scandal must have been terrible.

The mother's name was Agnes Halls, the child's name was William Thomas, and the father's name was "Illegitimate" (from the perspective of 140 years later I have to wonder what the father did not to have his name scandalized too).  William Thomas was born in on Nov 25th, 1876 somewhere near Eden Grove, in Brant township, Bruce county at the residence of his uncle Alexander Clark and aunt Eliza Clark (Agnes' sister). The birth was registered in Jun of 1877. The township registrar added the note, "Mother from the neighbourhood of Elora, Ontario.  Child born at Alexander Clarks".  In the 1881 Census of Canada, there is a four year old Thomas Halls living with Eliza and Alexander Clark.

As of the writing of this blog entry there is a gap in the records of 68 years.  I have been unable to find census records, marriage records, or anything else about the family Clark family, much less William Thomas Halls, though I know from other sources that the Clark family stayed in the area of Eden Grove.

Then, in 1949, a Statement of Birth was filed for a Thomas Clark, son of Alexander and Eliza Clark, born on Nov 25th, 1876.  The document was witnessed by Emma Clark Willoughby, who was born in 1880 at least three years after William Thomas was born.  The Statement of Birth also indicates that as of Aug 29th, 1949, only one of Alexander and Eliza's children were still alive (presumably Emma, above, who was the youngest).  The doctor who was present, wasn't.  The 1877 record indicates Dr McLaren Paisley was present, and the 1949 record indicates that Dr Baird was present.  The Statement was certified on May 15th, 1950.

As for Agnes Halls, she married John Allan in November of 1882 (a suitable length of time one supposes), in Elora, Ontario.  They had at least two children.  She died in 1926, and he died several years later in 1932.  They are buried together in the Elora Municipal Cemetery.

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