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General => The Common Room => The Lighter Side => Topic started by: Aulus on Friday 12 September 08 17:31 BST (UK)

Title: What's the most witnesses to marriages in your tree?
Post by: Aulus on Friday 12 September 08 17:31 BST (UK)
Having seen so many certificates (and parish register entries pre 1837) with the names of just two witnesses, I was surprised to receive two marriage certificates (one 1867, one 1920) yesterday where half the families seem to have felt obliged to sign the register: one has six witnesses; the other has seven witnesses' signatures!
Title: Re: What's the most witnesses to marriages in your tree?
Post by: Just Kia on Friday 12 September 08 22:15 BST (UK)
The most I have come across so far is in marriages in Scotland where it seems they had 2 witnesses for the groom and 2 for the bride.
Title: Re: What's the most witnesses to marriages in your tree?
Post by: Mogsmum on Sunday 14 September 08 10:09 BST (UK)
The most I have is 5 and, with a bit of 'digging' around, I discovered that one of the female witnesses subsequently became the wife of one of the male witnesses, whilst another was a cousin of the bride which finally led me to discover a whole new side of their family.
Title: Re: What's the most witnesses to marriages in your tree?
Post by: doraneh on Monday 14 September 20 18:31 BST (UK)
I realise this is a very old thread, but I would love to know why one person in my tree had four witnesses to marriage.  All other marriage records I have relating to my tree show two witnesses.  Suggestions gratefully received!
Title: Re: What's the most witnesses to marriages in your tree?
Post by: Girl Guide on Monday 14 September 20 20:15 BST (UK)
Welcome to Rootchat Doraneh  :D

Perhaps the Best Man and Chief Bridesmaid were also included as witnesses.  Do any of the witnesses names suggest that they are family members?
Title: Re: What's the most witnesses to marriages in your tree?
Post by: louisa maud on Monday 14 September 20 20:33 BST (UK)
Possibly don't know who to choose so give them all the privilege

Louisa Maud
Title: Re: What's the most witnesses to marriages in your tree?
Post by: andrewalston on Monday 14 September 20 20:45 BST (UK)
Some places (and some families) developed a habit of having more than the required two witnesses. It seems more common where a family thought of themselves as "professional".

The first in my tree is in 1870. Several events have four witnesses, three have five and the last "oversubscribed" one, in 1948, has six signatures.

Of course these are well beaten by Quaker marriages, where it was normal for all who attended to put their name to the record, even in the period when such gatherings were illegal, in effect confessing to a crime. One I have, from 1689, bears the names of 58 witnesses.
Title: Re: What's the most witnesses to marriages in your tree?
Post by: Tickettyboo on Monday 14 September 20 21:00 BST (UK)
No idea, but as a transcriber for Free Reg, I do know that multiple witnesses involved a LOT more typing than the run of the mill 2 witnesses (often unrelated) marriages did. Though as a researcher the multiple, related witnesses were very helpful.

Boo
Title: Re: What's the most witnesses to marriages in your tree?
Post by: louisa maud on Monday 14 September 20 21:22 BST (UK)
If they are all related it helps with a family tree as well

Louisa Maud
Title: Re: What's the most witnesses to marriages in your tree?
Post by: stanmapstone on Tuesday 15 September 20 08:55 BST (UK)
There are about twenty witnesses on the marriage certificate of The Queen and Prince Philip
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/in_pictures/7101753.stm image number 5
See Topic: Nine witnesses to a marriage - is this a record?
https://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?topic=726083.0

Stan

Title: Re: What's the most witnesses to marriages in your tree?
Post by: doraneh on Tuesday 15 September 20 12:40 BST (UK)
Blimey...most impressed with such speedy replies! 
Certainly one of the witnesses was a brother of the groom.
The marriage took place in 1873 and my relative (the groom) was a miner who signed his name with an X, so have had to discount the suggestion that they may have thought of themselves as "professional"  :)
His funeral service took place at Bethesda Chapel, so presume he was a Methodist.
I'm just puzzled because no other marriage in my tree has more than two witnesses.
Anyhow, thank you all for your input which is much appreciated.