Gladys McSWEENEY was born in Boolarra, Victoria in 1918 died 1966.  She put her three children into an orphanage in May 1945, the eldest being Cully James McSWEENEY (my brother-in-law) who was adopted when he was 7.  We have been trying to find his birth certificate and have approached all the Australian State registry offices but none of them can find him registered under that name.

According to the orphanage and adoption papers, his mother was supposed to have married in the UK but we can find no record of a marriage.   The husband's surname is blacked out on the adoption papers but the first name is listed as William and in fact we have come to the conclusion that the three children were illegitimate and the UK marriage a fabrication. The date and place of birth for Cully James  are recorded in the adoption papers as 25 January 1938 Perth Western Australia.

My brother-in-law who is now in his mid 70's would dearly love to obtain his real birth certificate and find out if at all possible who his father was.

Can anyone help as we seem to have exhausted all regular routes

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Comment by Debra on September 30, 2013 at 11:47

Hi Elaine,

Records in that time period are not available to anyone except your brother-in-law, and by having a search done at all registry offices that is really all you can do.

Unfortunately it is highly unlikely that the father would be named on the birth certificate if it was an ex-nuptial birth.  If the mother was not married then the reputed father's name could not be recorded unless he was present at the registration and gave his permission.  Of course many births were illegally registered under false names, usually with the collusion of a sympathetic midwife.

If you know what religion Gladys followed then you may find evidence of a baptism by contacting the appropriate church archives, but again they will only release this information to your brother-in-law.



Comment by Elaine MacGregor on October 2, 2013 at 4:52

Thanks Debra

I'm pretty sure it was an illigitimate birth - not sure what religion they were, but am becoming convinced it was a Victorian birth and not WA as I have found her teaching at a school in Morwell Victoria in 1936 when she was 18 years old, then going off for six months "ill" - seems very co-incidental


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