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Family Secrets: 18th and 19th Century Birth Records...Windham County, Connecticut
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Family Secrets: 18th and 19th Century Birth Records Found in the Windham County, Connecticut, County Court Records and Files at the Connecticut State Library Archives, Hartford. Marcella Pasay. Index, 101 pp. Did you ever wonder as to the reason for the paucity of births in early vital records? A hint of scandal or embarrassment associated with a birth may have made an ancestor reluctant to document it in a public record. This work is a compilation of Fornication and Maintenance of (Illegitimate) Child suits brought to the Windham County, CT, County Court from 1728 to 1847. All the towns of early Windham County are represented, plus towns in Tolland, Hartford, Middlesex, and New London Counties in CT; Dudley, Worcester Co., MA; Warwick, Providence Co., RI, and others. File records from the Archives were searched and any additional information was included. There are over three hundred cases in this book, each representing a birth which was most likely not recorded in the vital records. Previously unpublished marriage dates, names of alleged fathers, some maiden names, and even the names of midwives are revealed. Some file documents such as depositions were copied verbatim to provide good examples of the court and town dealings with illegitimacy, social Customs of the era, neighborhoods, and the relationship of the Plaintiff and Defendant involved in the suit. Not only are litigants indexed (both married and maiden names) but also witnesses, including midwives, relatives, neighbors and friends, and court and town officials. Cases are listed alphabetically.