On this day – 8 July

171 years ago, my 2nd Great Grandfather Alfred Legge was born.

I have always assumed that Alfred was the biological father of my Great grandfather Herbert Henry Legge but as he did not marry my 2nd Great Grandmother Charlotte Laming until three years after their son was born, can I be certain?

Alfred and Charlotte

Alfred and Charlotte both grew up in Canterbury, Kent and at the time of the 1871 census, a year before Herbert Henry was born, their families were living a few doors apart on Blackfriars Street, a stones throw away from the magnificent cathedral.

Charlotte, who had just celebrated her 17th birthday was working as a domestic servant and living with her siblings and parents George and Sarah Ann, but twenty one year old Alfred was not with his family and has yet to be found on any census.

A little over a year later Charlotte became a single mother and as we saw in the previous post registered my great grandfathers birth with the name Legge, but did not provide his fathers first name.

Alfred eventually married Charlotte three years later on Christmas day in 1875, but why wait three years if he was Herbert Henry’s father?

Mystery Solved?

Did Charlotte’s father George who died a few months before the wedding refuse her permission to marry so they had to wait until she was 21?

Possibly, but I also discovered from his death certificate that Alfred had spent time serving in the army so perhaps he had been posted without knowing about the pregnancy?

Army Record

Alfred joined the 76th foot regiment shortly after his 21st birthday in 1870 having previously spent time as a volunteer with East Kent Militia. He then served in India until he was discharged on medical grounds early in 1875 so he married Charlotte within a few months of returning to England.

Unanswered Questions

I thought the army Record and a recent DNA match leading back to one of Alfred’s older half brothers confirmed my theory that he was posted without knowing Charlotte was pregnant, but on reviewing all the records for this blog I have spotted a few anomalies I had not considered before.

Why did Charlotte record Alfred’s occupation as “Iron moulder” when he had joined the army in 1870? He was a Whitesmith and plumber/gasfitter in civilian life so could conceivably been working in a foundry prior to joining the army.

When did Alfred leave for India? His record does not say he was based anywhere else during his career.

Where was Alfred when the 1871 census was taken.

What do you think was Alfred the father of my Great grandfather Herbert Henry?

Sources and Citations

One thought on “On this day – 8 July

  1. Diane 8th Jul 2020 / 8:34 pm

    Ooh!! a family scandal.
    Am enjoying these little stories.

    Liked by 1 person

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