View Full Version : Meaning of 'Full Age' on marriage certificates
26-01-2005, 5:13 PM
Please could someone confirm (or otherwise) my assumption that the description 'Full Age' in the Age column of a marriage certificate indicates an age of 21 years or more?
26-01-2005, 5:14 PM
26-01-2005, 5:26 PM
Just thought I'd check as my ancestor Ellen QUAIFE is described as Full Age on her wedding day 3 Aug 1879, but has an age of 20 in the 1881 census. I've viewed the image and it is clear.
I have found a birth in the index for Ellen RANDALL (her maiden name) in the right area (Clerkenwell) in Sep 1858 which ties in with the marriage but not the census. So I guess the marriage cert. is right and the census not.
26-01-2005, 7:51 PM
Census are notorious for getting ages wrong, there is more chance the date on the marriage certificate being correct than the census.
Having said that some did give the wrong age at marriage for various reasons.
26-01-2005, 9:01 PM
my ancestor Ellen QUAIFE is described as Full Age on her wedding day 3 Aug 1879, but has an age of 20 in the 1881 census. I've viewed the image and it is clear.
Bear in mind that the image you've viewed is a copy of a schedule. Poor handwriting in a schedule could easily have been misinterpreted by the enumerator when copying the records into the census book.
27-01-2005, 2:59 AM
Also bear in mind that people did lie about their age to get married without their parents consent. My husband's great grandparents married when he was 21 and she was 19 but the marriage certificate says that they are both 21 and family lore says that her father was not too keen on the man his daughter had chosen. He must have been a pretty good judge of character because great grandfather upped and left great grandma with a brood of small children.
27-01-2005, 1:40 PM
True People did lie on certificates, My G grandma states 21 on her Marriage cert in 1892 but was only 16, she told the truth on the census however. I think you have to accept that people will tell little white lies for all sorts of reasons. Half the fun though is finding out what the reason was :-)
27-01-2005, 1:53 PM
At the moment I'm inclined to believe that she was 21 (just) when she married as I have found a potential birth entry that fits with that though none that fit with the census age.
I'll have to obtain the birth cert to get a better idea to see if the father's name matches that on her marriage cert.
Of course if it doesn't match that doesn't mean it's not her either does it?
I've got a couple of instances where I am as sure as one ever can be that I have the same person (unusual surname QUAIFE) but the name of their father varies between their birth and marriage certs. I believe this can be because the birth father has died or because they were brought up by another family member?
Also, I'm sure people don't tell/know the truth for a variety of reasons too!
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