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Illegitmate Births in Cleveland, OH, 1895

Eighty-eight births recorded in 1895

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Information Given in Births of Illegitimate Children

Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, OH

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Because the names of illegitimate children and their parents are not recorded in the birth certificates of Cleveland, Cuyahoga County, OH, these 88 certificates for 1895 are listed under [blank] at the end of the year in the browse levels. It appears that there were three primary homes for unwed mothers at the time - 21 Marion St, 1450 St Clair, and 160 Courtland. Most of the certificates have the word "Illegitimate" written on them. Information usually given includes date of the birth as well as address, color and gender of the child, age of the mother, nativity of the mother, and medical attendant's name. Ages of the mothers range between 16 and 38, so these were not necessarily cases of teen pregnancy.

There are possibly two cases of twins, or the birth certificates were duplicated (in both cases the gender of the children was identical). It is interesting to note that, of the eighty-eight certificates, 33 of the mothers were ages 19-21. Four young girls age 16 gave birth that year. Fifteen mothers were between ages 24 and 26. One mother declined to give her age.

Also of interest is the fact that 50 of the mothers were born in America, so this is also not a case of naive immigrant girls being take advantage of. The next highest nationality is Ireland (12), followed by women from Germany (10), Hungary (5), Poland (2), France (1), Bohemia (1), and Canada (1). This may reflect the make-up of the population in Cleveland at the time. Three mothers did not identify their nationality.

It would be interesting to compare these statistics to those of other years, and to compare them with the economics adn sex ratio of Cleveland at the time and the United States in general.  

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