I have been capturing genealogical information (Birth, Marriage, Death, Tombstones) in the Spis Region of Slovakia, which includes Jews who migrated from Galicia, parts of Hungary, or were living in the Austro-Hungarian empire and moved within it, in the 18th and 19th centuries. The records I have were maintained by the rabbis, as required, beginning around 1833 and going roughly up to WW I, when records were not necessarily collected by the rabbis of the communities after that.
I have learned some interesting things, such as in that part of the world, there were secular laws that did not allow a man to marry his dead wife's sister, (considered "incestuous"). This was acceptable by Jewish law, but not in common law. (Even in England there was such a prohibition until about 1910.) According to Jewish law then, a rabbi could perform such a marriage.
The problem I cannot understand has to do with the rare birth records that show that a woman had a baby, with no father's name present, and the baby is listed in German as "unehelich" or "törvénytelen" (in Hungarian) meaning "illegitimate" or born out of wedlock. Perhaps I'm naive, but I find it (1) hard to believe it happening in those times and (2) if listed in that manner, was it illegitimate per the state and their inability to wed, or was the baby truly a "mamzer?" I have only 10 such instances out of more than 5300 birth records.
Does anyone have any explanation of this?