I have just stumbled over the fact that my Great x 3 Grandmother remarried a Charles Chant.

My Great x 2 Grandfather Henry is listed along with his sister Fanny as step children.

Does this mean that Charles actually adopted Fanny and Henry? I do t know anything about researching adoptions.

1871 Census

  • 2
    What research have you already done into the subject?
    – user104
    Aug 26 '19 at 9:18
  • Off topic, but I just love how they probably thought their cursive handwriting was super legible, but I can't even tell what "condition" is supposed to say other than they all seem to be the same. Is this a reference to their health?
    – Michael
    Aug 26 '19 at 19:29
  • @Michael I don't know what the column stands for. Aug 26 '19 at 19:31
  • 1
    "Condition" is what in the US would be called "marital status". The top row with the entry that says "wife" is "Mar" for 'Married' and the children's rows say "Unm" for 'Unmarried'. This FamilySearch Wiki article has a link to an article that has the census instructions in it. familysearch.org/wiki/en/…
    – Jan Murphy
    Aug 26 '19 at 22:09
  • 1
    1871 directions to the enumerators: freepages.rootsweb.com/~framland/history/census/… say "In the column “CONDITION” write “M.” for married ; “Un.” for unmarried ; “Wid.” For widow ; or “Widr.” For widower." Enumerators don't always follow the instructions!
    – Jan Murphy
    Aug 26 '19 at 22:14

The legal process for adoption wasn't introduced in England & Wales until 1926/7.

The relationship on the census shows exactly what the situation was - that they were children of his wife, not his, and weren't using (or known by) his surname. There is no suggestion from that that any form of adoption took place.

  • 1
    A brief review of adoption law can be read online via JSTOR: jstor.org/stable/30009455 -- The English Adoption Law by Earl D. Myers, Social Service Review Vol. 4, No. 1 (Mar., 1930), pp. 53-63.
    – Jan Murphy
    Aug 26 '19 at 22:20

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.