A Miscellany of Bastardy Records for Wiltshire. Volume 1 - 1728 to 1893 transcribed by David Mattock and Rosemary Church. Published by Wiltshire Family History Society, 10 Castle Lane, Devizes, Wiltshire SN10 1HU, England. 1997. 83 pp. Introduction, map. £6 plus £2.20 p&h. surface.

The 2 page introduction contains an excellent summary of the laws and the records that were created when an illegitimate child was born. Not all records for all courts have survived, nor have all that have survived been included in this one volume. There are two further volumes produced by the society on this subject.

The book contains six lists:

The information contained in these indexes is often brief, containing a name (s) with possibly an age, occupation or parish. An archive reference number is always given so that the original can be examined.

More information sometimes is included, such as: MOUNTJOY, Rebecca, aged 28 yrs, single, and illegitimate child Isabella, aged one month, 23 rd Oct 1893, Order of Removal from St. Marylebone, London to Calne Union. Lawful daughter of Edward & Martha Mountjoy and was born in Cone on 23rd June 1865. That at the time she attained 16 yrs her father was also settled in Calne, he having resided there for 3yrs & upwards to gain a settlement.

For anyone who has found that their tree apparently comes to an end with an illegitimate birth in Wiltshire these indexes need to be examined.

Reviewed by Paul Milner
BIGWILL v.6 no. 2, 1999