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Wedding witnesses

Discussion in 'Comments on the latest newsletter' started by SarahLC, Oct 15, 2020.

  1. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Fascinating - that would make a great article for the newsletter (if you can find it).
  2. At home in NZ

    At home in NZ LostCousins Star

    I agree with Peter, it is fascinating, it also makes me wonder how this will pan out in the future when people who have two mothers want to marry.
  3. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Megastar

    I think I've found it but not the accompanying letter. I knew I'd looked at this marriage a long time ago, but my memory of whose marriage it was and where it happened didn't quite match up, so it took a bit of finding.

    Anyway, the marriage was in East Farleigh (Kent) on 4 Oct 1890 between Richard Solman(s) & Rose Emma Craddock, and Richard's 'father' is given as Harriet Solmans (illegitimate). I viewed this marriage on film in Maidstone back in 2002, so it's maybe not surprising my memory of it was a bit hazy. (I wasn't able to get copies at the time, so all I have is my written notes which only include details of the marriage itself.)

    Anyway, East Farleigh registers are now online at FMP, but I couldn't find the letter. I checked a few pages either side of the marriage, and inside the front and back covers but it wasn't there. I haven't been through the whole register to look for it as images are so slow to load at FMP, but it may be that this letter - being a loose insert - wasn't digitised. There is a letter from the Registrar General stuck on the inside back cover but that is a standard one dated 1837.

    Assuming I have remembered this correctly, then presumably the letter is still there in the original register and on the old LDS film.
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 1
  4. jorghes

    jorghes LostCousins Superstar

    Just as an aside - I was randomly reading 70 facts about Queen Elizabeth's wedding and the page includes an image of the marriage register, which includes signatures of at least 20 witnesses (at least two of which were reigning monarchs). [I may have miscounted, purely because some have added their titles as well as their names, and it can be a touch confusing]

    If you're interested in seeing it, you can find it here between numbers 22 and 23.
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 2
  5. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Fascinating. The two reigning monarchs I spotted are George VI and Haakon VII, but there may be someone I've overlooked.

    This marriage isn't in the GRO indexes, presumably because those in line for the throne marry under different legislation.
  6. A. Muse

    A. Muse LostCousins Member

    Don't give up, my great uncle worked his way across Canada, ended up in Alberta, had a fist fight with his immediate boss in a lumber yard at 40 degrees below zero and jacked in his job despite the workers begging him to stay, and set out for Australia. On the boat to Australia he struck up a conversation with a fellow passenger who persuaded him that the opportunities were better in Hawaii. He got off in Hawaii and lived there until he died.
    At that time the world was James's oyster, keep searching.
  7. jorghes

    jorghes LostCousins Superstar

    According to Wikipedia it also includes King Micheal of Romania and King Frederick of Denmark (and his queen).

    I'm not sure about the signature directly below that of Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mother, as that also looks like someone has added the "R".
  8. Margery

    Margery LostCousins Member

    An interesting site. I was a very new Girl Guide at the time and can remember the excitement, especially as we had contributed towards the wedding cake (I seem to remember that we gave the dried fruit).
    Being a Guide was a wonderful experience for an only child with no extended family. Over the years I have held many positions in the Association and still keep in touch with my Guiding colleagues. "Once a Guide, always a Guide".
  9. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Megastar

    I've just been looking at an 1843 marriage in Batheaston (Somerset) and this has 7 witnesses.

    OK, so not as many as at the marriage which prompted this thread but above the norm for this era.
  10. Sue_3

    Sue_3 LostCousins Member

    My 1977 marriage has five witnesses. I wanted my mother to be a witness as she would otherwise not be on the record and she had raised me alone after I was 6 months old. I also wanted my mother's brother, who had been a surrogate father in some ways and who I had asked to give me away, to be a witness. It was only fair to ask my husband's parents sign as well, plus the best man!

    This was a marriage in London, England, in a Roman Catholic church, with a (Deputy) Registrar present.
    Last edited: May 25, 2021
    • Thanks! Thanks! x 2
  11. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Megastar

    I've just come across another marriage with 7 witnesses, in 1823 in Heacham, Norfolk. His brother married the same year in the same parish but he had only 5 witnesses.

    It seems to have been a thing in this parish to have lots of witnesses - there is another marriage in 1824 with 7 witnesses. The parish clerk (I assume) has added his signature to every marriage so most marriages had at least 3 witnesses.
  12. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    The new form does not specify the gender of the parents.
  13. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    I've seen a marriage register entry with only one witness - but as I understand it this doesn't invalidate the marriage.
  14. Pauline

    Pauline LostCousins Megastar

    When two of my ancestors married in 1831 there was only one witness.

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