Author Topic: Marriages in Northern Ireland  (Read 931 times)

Offline Jardiner

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Marriages in Northern Ireland
« on: Monday 04 December 17 15:18 GMT (UK) »
Until 1782 it was illegal for Presbyterian ministers to perform marriages and it was not until 1845 before all restrictions were lifted. The Presbyterian Historical society therefore advise researchers to look up local C of I records for marriages into the early 19th century.

Regards

MK

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Online Elwyn Soutter

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Re: Marriages in Northern Ireland
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 05 December 17 19:41 GMT (UK) »
Until 1782 it was illegal for Presbyterian ministers to perform marriages and it was not until 1845 before all restrictions were lifted. The Presbyterian Historical society therefore advise researchers to look up local C of I records for marriages into the early 19th century.

Regards

MK

The legality of early Presbyterian marriages was hotly debated, and there certainly were cases of Presbyterian Ministers being prosecuted for conducting marriages in the 1600s, but the law wasnít enforced that rigidly. Most Presbyterians simply ignored it. There are plenty of Presbyterian churches in Ireland that routinely conducted marriages since the denomination was established there in the early 1600s. For example, Antrim 1st Presbyterian Church has marriage records that start in 1675.

So what I would say is if you canít find a Presbyterian marriage in the area you are interested in, then by all means search the Church of Ireland too, but donít assume all Presbyterian marriages prior to 1782 were in the Church of Ireland. They werenít.

Other thing to remember is that tradition was to marry in the brideís church, so if the groom was Presbyterian but the bride Church of Ireland, then the marriage will usually be in the Church of Ireland for that reason, rather than because of doubts about the validity of the marriage.
Elwyn

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