Author Topic: "Singlewoman " meaning  (Read 283 times)

Offline pinefamily

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 3,449
  • Big sister with baby brother
    • View Profile
"Singlewoman " meaning
« on: Tuesday 12 March 19 23:34 GMT (UK) »
I have come across the above term in a will which has left me perplexed. I'd like to get the thoughts of fellow Rootschatters.
I know what it normally means, and have seen it on numerous occasions previously. However in this will, dated 1730, it mentions an ancestor as a singlewoman, yet it also names her four daughters. Normally I would think of illegitimacy, but considering they were left quite a bit of property, and the fact three of them went on to marry well, I am having doubts.
Could the term singlewoman also refer to a younger widow, or perhaps a deserted wife?
I'd appreciate any comment on this.
I am Australian, from all the lands I come (my ancestors, at least!)

Pine/Pyne, Dowdeswell, Kempster, Sando/Sandoe/Sandow, Nancarrow, Carrington, Hounslow, Youatt, Richardson, Jarmyn, Oxlade, Coad, Bentham, Holloway, Lindner, Pittaway, and too many others to name.
Devon, Dorset, Gloucs, Cornwall, Yorks, Bucks, Oxfordshire, Wilts, Germany, Sweden, and of course London, to name a few.

RootsChat is the busiest, largest free family history forum site in the country. It is completely free to use. Register now.
Also register instantly with Facebook or Twitter (and other social networks). Start your genealogy search now.


Offline ShaunJ

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 16,039
    • View Profile
Re: "Singlewoman " meaning
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 12 March 19 23:59 GMT (UK) »
Seems akin to "feme sole" :  https://www.britannica.com/topic/feme-sole
UK Census info. Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

RootsChat is the busiest, largest free family history forum site in the country. It is completely free to use. Register now.
Also register instantly with Facebook or Twitter (and other social networks). Start your genealogy search now.


Offline pinefamily

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 3,449
  • Big sister with baby brother
    • View Profile
Re: "Singlewoman " meaning
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 13 March 19 00:38 GMT (UK) »
Thanks Shaun. That's interesting.
I am Australian, from all the lands I come (my ancestors, at least!)

Pine/Pyne, Dowdeswell, Kempster, Sando/Sandoe/Sandow, Nancarrow, Carrington, Hounslow, Youatt, Richardson, Jarmyn, Oxlade, Coad, Bentham, Holloway, Lindner, Pittaway, and too many others to name.
Devon, Dorset, Gloucs, Cornwall, Yorks, Bucks, Oxfordshire, Wilts, Germany, Sweden, and of course London, to name a few.

Offline majm

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 20,790
  • NSW 1806 Bowman Flag Ecce signum.
    • View Profile
Re: "Singlewoman " meaning
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 13 March 19 01:28 GMT (UK) »
On e reader, 1 finger keyboard ....

Yes,  a female, not sharing her domestic living arrangements with a male,  but of her own independent means is raising a child/children .... can be previously married,  but marriage ended .... death/court determination of husband ....or divorce or a settlement made by husband on his separating from her .... to join a monastic order,  or to cohabitate with another,  or to remove out of the country to a place beyond the seas ....
Above is my paraphase of an unpublished paper prepared decades ago by one of my  rellies now in his 90s - retired NSW archivist.  He contends that the word  Widow had a broad meaning until Queen Victoria's husband died .... so singlewoman with children had her own funds,  but widow with children needed society to help provide funds.  In both cases it was possible that no formal religious ceremony occurred or was recorded.  And often such a register which we would, as family history buffs want to find,  .......well ... cannot register an event that never happened...


ADD, now on proper puter with proper keyboard : 

Well, errr ... my one finger typing let me down ... I should have added the words that I am now including:

In both cases if seeking to confirm a marriage for the female, we need to remember that it was possible that no formal religious ceremony occurred or was recorded.  And often such a register which we would, as family history buffs want to find,  .......well ... cannot register an event that never happened... and thus we will remain unsure of if the surname is her maiden surname or perhaps the surname she became known by...


JM
The information in my posts is provided for academic and non-commercial research purposes. 

Random Acts of Kindness Given Freely are never Worthless for they are Priceless.

Qui scit et non docet.    Qui docet et non vivit.    Qui nescit et non interrogat.   

All Census Look Ups Are Crown Copyright from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

I do not have a face book or a twitter account.

Offline majm

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 20,790
  • NSW 1806 Bowman Flag Ecce signum.
    • View Profile
Re: "Singlewoman " meaning
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 13 March 19 03:09 GMT (UK) »
I have added to my post...

JM
The information in my posts is provided for academic and non-commercial research purposes. 

Random Acts of Kindness Given Freely are never Worthless for they are Priceless.

Qui scit et non docet.    Qui docet et non vivit.    Qui nescit et non interrogat.   

All Census Look Ups Are Crown Copyright from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

I do not have a face book or a twitter account.

Offline pinefamily

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 3,449
  • Big sister with baby brother
    • View Profile
Re: "Singlewoman " meaning
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday 13 March 19 03:37 GMT (UK) »
Thanks Majm, that makes good sense. There is reference to the daughters as Whitlock als Loader, in some instances now known as. Not sure what to make of that. There are no Whitlock or Loader baptisms in the parish concerned. If the mother was indeed a Mrs. Whitlock, could the Loader's be maternal relatives? All supposition I know, but as I said above, I'm trying to make sense of it all.
I am Australian, from all the lands I come (my ancestors, at least!)

Pine/Pyne, Dowdeswell, Kempster, Sando/Sandoe/Sandow, Nancarrow, Carrington, Hounslow, Youatt, Richardson, Jarmyn, Oxlade, Coad, Bentham, Holloway, Lindner, Pittaway, and too many others to name.
Devon, Dorset, Gloucs, Cornwall, Yorks, Bucks, Oxfordshire, Wilts, Germany, Sweden, and of course London, to name a few.