Author Topic: Was a Partner called a Friend?  (Read 349 times)

Offline ThumbelinaPM

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Was a Partner called a Friend?
« on: Friday 17 August 18 17:56 BST (UK) »
Hi, I have a female relative who was never married but had several children with someone. On her death certificate the Informer (ie her partner) calls himself a 'friend'.
This was 1949 and seems rather cold.
Unless of course that was what an unmarried partner would call themselves in those days.
Does anyone know?
Many thanks

Offline lizdb

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Re: Was a Partner called a Friend?
« Reply #1 on: Friday 17 August 18 17:59 BST (UK) »
The term "partner" in this context (which personally I hate) is only a recent thing.

Going back, there was no standard word.  "Mistress", "co-habitee", "common-law-husband/wife" were terms that come to mind.

"Friend" sounds as good as any description in the circumstances!   
Edmonds/Edmunds - mainly Sussex
DeBoo - London
Green - Suffolk
Parker - Sussex
Kemp - Essex
Farrington - Essex
Boniface - West Sussex

census information is Crown Copyright from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Offline Greensleeves

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Re: Was a Partner called a Friend?
« Reply #2 on: Friday 17 August 18 19:45 BST (UK) »
Back in the 1970s, friends of mine who lived together but who were not married came unstuck when they applied for a mortgage.  In the forms they had to fill in, one box asked for their relationship.  They put 'Lovers'.  They were handed back  the form by a very tight-lipped manager at the building society, and told that the term was not acceptable.  It was eventually agreed that the building society would accept the term 'Friends' as appropriate to their situation.   ;D
Suffolk: Pearl(e),  Garnham, Southgate, Blo(o)mfield,Grimwood/Grimwade,Josselyn/Gosling
Durham/Yorkshire: Sedgwick/Sidgwick, Shadforth
Ireland: Davis
Norway: Torreson/Torsen/Torrison
Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk