Tuesday, December 8, 2020

The Story of Bernadette: Part 3 - A Questionable Baptismal Record

old documents
Although Bernadette and I shared the same surname and this is how she originally located me, I found from building out her family tree that our closest common ancestor was four generations back through a great-grandmother from a completely different ancestral line than our last name. We were only distantly related as half-cousins through our common surname with our closest shared relative from this lineage living in the early 1700's.

The first clue I had that Bernadette was seeking help with questionable parentage was when she related the story of her marriage in 1954. She was thirty years old. When Bernadette and her perspective groom went to the local priest to locate her original baptismal certificate in order to marry in the Catholic Church, the priest questioned its authenticity. Apparently the record contained the name of Bernadette's mother, but her father was recorded as someone else - a prominent businessman of the area with the same surname as her father.

This caused quite a stir and the priest refused to marry the couple until Bernadette was re-baptized and the certificate re-issued to include the name of her birth father. No one seemed to know how this mistake had occurred! The baptismal record was corrected and the marriage ceremony took place without any further mishaps.

But the unknown circumstances of her baptismal registry planted a seed of doubt in Bernadette's mind.

The Story of Bernadette - Part 3


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