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  1. #1
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    Default Register Office Wedding

    My GGrandparents Edwin (AKA Mark) Symonds & Jane Harris were married in Exeter Register Office in 1896. Would this be the "done thing" back then.

    All my ancestors in that branch of the family were baptised CofE, although I cannot find a birth or baptism record for Jane born 1866(ish).

    They both live in Sandford Street, Exeter (not necessarily together but I'm assuming they are). Would this have been uncommon. They both grew up in Sidmouth/Sidford & their daughter was born in Sidmouth.

    There are both single (ie no divorces) and she is not pregnant as far as I know. Their only child, my Grandmother was not born until 1901.

    They are both of age, in fact relatively old (34 & 28) at the time of the marriage.

    I am just a little intrigued as this is out of character with the rest of my family.

    Any thoughts much appreciated.

  2. #2
    Beloved Friend R.I.P. v.wells's Avatar
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    The marriage may have been disapproved of by some family members. They also may not have been able to afford a church/chapel wedding and didn't want a fuss. Sometimes it was socially frowned upon if they cohabited before marriage.
    Sadly, our friend Vanessa, passed away 29th. February 2012.

    Life is brief. Time is a thief.

  3. #3
    Has a well deserved spectacular aura Sandra Parker's Avatar
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    In my lot, a registry marriage usually meant that they had anticipated a short pregnancy!

    Sandra with the spectacled aura

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    My non-conformist ancestors were married in the register office in 1848. If I remember correctly, at that time it wasn't legal to marry in a Methodist etc church, so you had to either marry in an Anglican one or have a civil marriage.

  5. #5
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    I believe the same applies to Catholics because my family have certainly always "had to have" 2 weddings, one civil and one religious.

  6. #6
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    Thank you everyone for your replies.

    I like to think maybe that they thought getting married in a church was hypocritical as they possibly only went to church for weddings, christenings & funerals and the big white over the top affair was not for them (although I doubt any of my family could have afforded to go over the top).

    I suppose I ought to check whether Mark & Jane had their daughter christened. I always assumed she was - I'll have to (tactfully) ask Dad.

    I know these days a lot of children are not christened for one reason or another.
    Back then were they all christened "for the sake of it" ? Would the vicar ask for proof of the parents marriage? especially if they weren't married in the parish were they wanted the baby christened.

    It's great reading everyones stories of their ancestors. So far I have only really been adding names to my family tree, not thinking about the actual lives behind the names.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davran View Post
    My non-conformist ancestors were married in the register office in 1848. If I remember correctly, at that time it wasn't legal to marry in a Methodist etc church, so you had to either marry in an Anglican one or have a civil marriage.
    Not quite right; it was legal, they could take place but the church had to be registered and a Registrar had to be present, also the marriage is recorded in the register office registers. No doubt many non-conformist/RC churches were not registered because of the cost. After 1898 non-conformists were allowed to have their own Authorised Persons responsible for the register and their own registers. (Source, Barbara Dixon's book - I don't think this info is on her website).

    Colin

  8. #8
    A very furry Feen! Feen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sandra Parker
    In my lot, a registry marriage usually meant that they had anticipated a short pregnancy!

    Sandra with the spectacled aura
    I've just come across a 1902 registry office wedding in my family... the first I've found so far and judging by the birth indexes (I haven't ordered the certificate yet but surname is extremely unusual for the area and the baby's Christian names are family names), the pregnancy was very short indeed . By the most... er... charitable... reckoning possible the bride was 6 months gone on her big day.

    Have other people found this in relation to C19 and early C20 register office weddings? I wonder whether my couple simply weren't religious, or whether she felt embarrassed to face the minister with her huge tum .

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