Can anyone help me understand the information I have in relation to my ancestor Rhoda Ann Thompson. Her birth certificate shows she was born 4th December 1864 in Wortley. Mother was Martha Thompson (born 1842). No father stated. Martha Thompson married Benjamin Goddard (born 1841) and in the censuses Martha took on the name Goddard. However when she married she used her legal name, Thompson. In the parish record of her marriage to Charles Kirk on 6 April 1885 at St Phillip Shalesmoor Church Sheffield Rhoda's father's name is said to be Thomas Thompson (born 1814), and that he is deceased. However this is her grandfather's name. In 1851 Thomas and his family, including daughter Martha, were living at Skew Hill, Birley Carr Hamlet, in the Wortley district.
What can I deduce, if anything, about the identity of Rhoda Ann's father, or is there any other source of information I could use? I cannot find a parish record of her birth, only a civil record. I think that:
- it is unlikely that Benjamin Goddard was her father because he did not adopt her, and she married under the name Thompson, and she did not name Benjamin as her father on the record for her marriage
- it is unlikely that Thomas Thompson, her grandfather, was her father - surely if so that would not be recorded?
- it is most likely that she did not know who her father was.
Her mother, Martha, was alive when she married, and all these events happened in Wortley. If her mother knew who Rhoda's father was, this information does not seem to have made it to the parish marriage record when Rhoda married Charles Kirk.
Can anyone please offer any suggestions or guidance to help me with this "brick wall"?
It is not uncommon for people to name their grandfather as their father on the marriage certificate. It would probably be to prove to the vicar and the grooms family that she was not illegitimate. I doubt very much that you will find who her real father was (it could be Benjamin its just that if he had not married Martha the his daughter could not take the surname Goddard also (I might need a more expert oppinion on this bit) when a birth was registered didn't the father have to attend for both names to appear on the certificate as is in deed the case today. John