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Witnesses to marriage

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date

Maureen R

Maureen R Report 9 Jan 2013 21:12

That's a good point. I hadn't thought about the fact that she couldn't sign her name being a factor against her being a random choice.
It's going to be another of the mysteries that goes in the "too hard for the moment" box I think!

mgnv

mgnv Report 9 Jan 2013 20:19

Maureen - I would vote against Margt just being some parishioner. Firstly, because she's a woman, secondly because she couldn't sign her name, just make her mark, and thirdly, because she doesn't appear as a witness on other marrs (there was no other marr that day, but one usually finds the "parishioner's" name appearing on almost every marr for the surrounding weeks). The only times I've seen a woman being used as an unrelated witness were in Canada, where it wasn't uncommon for the minister's wife to be a witness.

Maureen R

Maureen R Report 6 Jan 2013 11:40

Thank you very much Chris. That is a possibility. It's probably one of those mysteries I'm never going to solve - can't ask the bride & groom why they chose those witnesses nor who they are- but Ann Hodgson did come from Houghton so it could be that she asked a friend or relative with a different surname.

Maureen

Chris Ho :)

Chris Ho :) Report 6 Jan 2013 09:00

(for reference)

County Durham
Place Houghton-le-Spring
Church St Michael
RegisterNumber 622
MarriageDate 06 Sep 1834
GroomForename John
GroomSurname CHICKEN
GroomAge
GroomParish
GroomCondition
GroomOccupation
GroomAbode
BrideForename Ann
BrideSurname HODGSHON
BrideAge
BrideParish
BrideCondition
BrideOccupation
BrideAbode
GroomFatherForename
GroomFatherSurname
GroomFatherOccupation
BrideFatherForename
BrideFatherSurname
BrideFatherOccupation
WitnessOneForename Robert
WitnessOneSurname CHICKEN
WitnessTwoForename Margaret
WitnessTwoSurname GREENWELL
Notes Bride and 2nd Witness signed X

Chris :)

http://www.freereg.org.uk/cgi/Search.pl

(from above link)


County Durham
Place Houghton-le-Spring
Church St Michael
RegisterNumber 656
MarriageDate 31 Oct 1824
GroomForename George
GroomSurname GREENWELL
GroomAge
GroomParish
GroomCondition
GroomOccupation
GroomAbode
BrideForename Margaret
BrideSurname ERRINGTON
BrideAge
BrideParish
BrideCondition
BrideOccupation
BrideAbode
GroomFatherForename
GroomFatherSurname
GroomFatherOccupation
BrideFatherForename
BrideFatherSurname
BrideFatherOccupation
WitnessOneForename George
WitnessOneSurname WILSON
WitnessTwoForename Lancelot
WitnessTwoSurname APPLEBY
Notes Bride signed X

(a posible?)

Maureen R

Maureen R Report 6 Jan 2013 08:32

My GG grandfather, John Chicken, married in 1834, so before GRO registration. From the Bishops Transcript of the marriage record I have the names of the witnesses as Robert Chicken and Margaret Greenwell.
Although I haven't at the moment identified Robert I'm convinced he's a relative and I will find him eventually in my searches. But Margaret Greenwell is more of a problem.
I can find a Margaret Greenwell in the 1841 census in the right area (Dawdon, Co Durham) but there's no guarantee that's the right one.
I wondered whether anyone here had had any success in tracking a female, apparently unrelated to bride or groom, prior to the introduction of civil records in 1837? I realise that sometimes the witnesses were merely parishioners who were asked to do the job, unlike today when they are almost always family or friends.
Maureen