Most records state that the child is illegitimate and the mother unmarried. This, of course, is the "official" view. Jewish couples married under the Chuppah and, in the eyes of the entire congregation were married. Most did not bother to pay the exorbitant price charged to register the marriage. But there were more serious reasons.
Until 1830 there was a law that allowed only one son in each family to marry legally. In order for other sons to marry a heavy fine was imposed. This law was largely ignored and religious ceremonies were performed.
In 1792 the Austrian Toleration Patent gave equal rights to all religions and marriage became a civil matter. There was strong resistance from religious groups who were reluctant to have the authorities interfere with what they considered a religious matter.
"In Austro Hungarian Galicia, according to civil law, only one son in each Jewish family, was allowed to marry. In addition, only those couples who possessed between 500 and 1000 > florins and who paid 10% > of their wealth as a marriage tax could marry. Galician Jews who had less than 500 florins could not even apply for permission to marry; those with more than 1000 florins had to pay a higher marriage tax. The results was that most Galician Jews were married only in a religious ceremony by a rabbi. The marriages were never recorded nor recognized by the civil authorities. The children of such unions were recorded by the civil authorities as 'illegitimate' and they were required to adopt their mother's maiden name as their own surname. Frequently a mother's maiden name was followed with the husband's surname listed as 'vel' or 'v', meaning 'also known as'."
Excerpt from: "Introduction to Polish-Jewish Genealogical Research" by Jeffrey K. Cymbler. Source: Jewish Roots In Poland: Pages From The Past And Archival Inventories by Miriam Weiner
(Quoted portion reprinted with permission)
|The Birth||The Child||Name and surname of father, his status or occupation and place of residence|
|Day||Month||Year||Place||House #||Name||Sex||- Legitimate
|8||July||1890||Sokolow||343||Don||Masc||Fem||Illegitimate||Mojsesj Leib Kleinman Merchant of Sokolow|
|Name and surname Of Mother , her status place of residence Name, surname Occupation and Place of residence Of her parents||Declaration/ Statement "by own hand" Signature with occupation and place residence of witness||Stillborn child||Remarks|
|Witness or Sandek or Schames||Person who performed the ceremony or circumcision||The Midwife|
|Ruchel Kleinman Unmarried Daughter of Jacob and Leia Szwarz of Sokolow||Jacob Szwartz||Samuel Szipper||Chane Goldstein||Illegible but it seems to be a certification by the Registrar|
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