Author Topic: Registry office marriage questions  (Read 240 times)

Offline Stanwix England

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Registry office marriage questions
« on: Tuesday 04 May 21 16:25 BST (UK) »
Hi everyone,

Today I've received a copy of a marriage certificate for a Ralph Harwood and Elizabeth Benson, who married on 29th August 1877.

When looking at the certificate, I noticed that it says 'Married in the Register Office' and the pre-printed line which says 'according to the rites and ceremonies of' is crossed out.

It then says 'By certificate' and the preprinted word 'by' is crossed out and only the preprinted word 'mo' is left.

It then gives two names, George Something Something - Registrar and William Something Something - 'Supt' Registrar, which I assume means superintending or supervising?

I know register office marriages are common nowadays, I had one myself, but my research has suggested they were not so common back then.

According to this research
https://media.nationalarchives.gov.uk/index.php/early-civil-registration/
Quote
In fact, register office marriages were very, very rare. The main purpose of the civil registrars of marriage was that they would be present at marriages conducted in Catholic churches, Baptist churches, you name it. There were very, very few which were pure civil marriages. There are statistics that were kept, and the number is absolutely minute. So it’s really quite rare. If someone was married in the register office in the 19th century, it’s extremely unusual. 20th century, it becomes common as anything. But in the 19th century it’s pretty rare.


I'm just wondering then, what might have motivated Ralph and Elizabeth to have a register office wedding. According to the certificate, they were both unmarried and both old enough to marry, Ralph being 22, Elizabeth 21.  They are to my knowledge, an unremarkable family with no particular circumstances that would necessitate this. I was under the impression that they were both Protestant families, although I suppose my research on that could be wrong.

Does anyone have any idea about this. Is the idea that register office marriage was rare back then, simply wrong? Thank you

UPDATE: Ralph and Elizabeth's children seem to be baptised in the Church of England, which to me seems to rule out religious dissent as a reason.
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Offline Kiltaglassan

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Re: Registry office marriage questions
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 04 May 21 16:29 BST (UK) »

Quote
It then gives two names, George Something Something - Registrar and William Something Something - 'Supt' Registrar, which I assume means superintending or supervising?

No, he/she is the Superintendent Registrar.

Researching: Cuthbertson – Co. Derry, Scotland & Australia; Hunter – Co. Derry; Jackson – Co. Derry, Scotland & Canada; Scott – Co. Derry; Neilly – Co. Antrim & USA; McCurdy – Co. Antrim; Nixon – Co. Cavan, Co. Donegal, Canada & USA; Ryan & Noble – Co. Sligo

Offline BumbleB

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Re: Registry office marriage questions
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 04 May 21 16:35 BST (UK) »
It might be unusual, but then everyone is different, and let's face it, we don't know the actual circumstances of bride and groom.   :-\
Transcriptions and NBI are merely finding aids.  They are NOT a substitute for original record entries.
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Offline iluleah

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Re: Registry office marriage questions
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 04 May 21 17:10 BST (UK) »
A simply explanation could be the families didn't get alone or the families attended different churches and being 'of age' neither required permission and just got on with marrying instead of dealing with their family nonsense.
Could be other family members/friends before them had a civil marriage and/or civil marriage was more 'normal' depending on where in the UK they lived.
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Offline Jebber

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Re: Registry office marriage questions
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 04 May 21 17:19 BST (UK) »
Register Office weddings were not particularly unusual for the reasons already given. I have come quite a few in the early years of Civil Registration.  I understand the first one took place on 1st. July 1837.
CHOULES All ,  COKER Harwich Essex & Rochester Kent 
COLE Gt. Oakley, & Lt. Oakley, Essex.
DUNCAN Kent
EVERITT Colchester,  Dovercourt & Harwich Essex
GULLIVER/GULLOFER Fifehead Magdalen Dorset
HORSCROFT Kent.
KING Sturminster Newton, Dorset. MONK Odiham Ham.
SCOTT Wrabness, Essex
WILKINS Stour Provost, Dorset.
WICKHAM All in North Essex.
WICKHAM Medway Towns, Kent from 1880
WICKHAM, Ipswich, Suffolk.

Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: Registry office marriage questions
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 04 May 21 17:49 BST (UK) »
UPDATE: Ralph and Elizabeth's children seem to be baptised in the Church of England, which to me seems to rule out religious dissent as a reason.

Parents did and still do have their children baptised for a variety of reasons, not all of them connected to religious belief.
Some people became more favourable to religious tradition and practice as parents than they were as young adults.
Persuasive grandparent(s) are a possibility.
When you say that Ralph and Elizabeth were both from Protestant families, what do you mean? Were they both C. of E. or did one belong to another denomination?
   
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Offline Rena

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Re: Registry office marriage questions
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 04 May 21 18:22 BST (UK) »
Maybe they preferred (or one of them preferred) saving money that a church wedding would have cost.  If they lived in different parishes, then they'd  have to pay for the banns in both parishes, plus a choir, plus the vicar's costs plus the cost of flowers, plus the cost of the registration certificate itself.   Why not just go to the Registrar's Office and pay out for the registration certificate only?  :D
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Offline Maiden Stone

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Re: Registry office marriage questions
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 04 May 21 19:07 BST (UK) »
As Rena says, maybe they didn't want a fuss and expense.
Choir and flowers weren't obligatory though. Church weddings can be simple, quiet and select.
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Offline jinks

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Re: Registry office marriage questions
« Reply #8 on: Tuesday 04 May 21 20:18 BST (UK) »
I am sure that marriage by certificate or license was more expensive than banns, just less 'publicity'
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