Author Topic: Engaged or Good friends  (Read 949 times)

Offline chempat

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 8,568
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Engaged or Good friends
« on: Tuesday 20 February 24 09:34 GMT (UK) »
In 1930 in the local paper a list of wedding presents received, with giver's names, is recorded.  A picture is from Jessie Smith and Mr S Bungay.  Jessie and Stanley subsequently marry in 1935.

As they have given a present together would they be engaged, or can they just be 2 friends?  In 1930 they would be aged 19 and 23.

Neither are siblings to the bride or groom, and all other present givers listed are either married pairs, family groups, singles or probably employers.

I did try google search but could not get anywhere so your ideas would be appreciated.

Thanks

Offline Andy J2022

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,463
    • View Profile
Re: Engaged or Good friends
« Reply #1 on: Tuesday 20 February 24 11:25 GMT (UK) »
My view for what it is worth is that if they were giving a joint present they were what we might term 'an item'. Since Jessie would need her parents' permission to marry at 19, perhaps this hadn't been sought or given at the time, so they might not have been formally engaged, but nonetheless would have been treated as if they were. For instance on a seating plan they would have been placed together, whereas a married couple might have split up. I think 5 years is rather long for a formal engagement, unless there were special circumstances, for instance if Stanley was working abroad between 1930 and 1935. Any longer and it might have been thought that Jessie was 'on the shelf'

Offline NickDub

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 42
  • nickduberley dot com
    • View Profile
Re: Engaged or Good friends
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 20 February 24 11:29 GMT (UK) »
Unless you have more family information like letters or a diary, there is no way to settle this for definite. They might have been formally engaged to be married, or they might simply have been going out as boyfriend and girlfriend with view to marrying later, but not formally engaged. In a way, it's a distinction without a difference, unless there was money involved and a breach-of-promise suit a possibility.
Duberley
Worgan Gloucestershire

Offline chempat

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 8,568
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Engaged or Good friends
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 21 February 24 08:47 GMT (UK) »
Thank-you for your suggestions.

I had wondered if there was a 'correct' way of behaving as a couple if an item or engaged or just friends in the situation as guests at a wedding.

In fact it has just occurred to me that they were not necessarily guests invited to the reception as I have seen lists of presents longer than number of guests, I was just assuming they were guests. So they could have been invited either together or singly or not invited but wish to give together.

 I was also interested in how long couples stayed as engaged - the rich and royalty may have had short engagements but the average age of the brides that I looked at in 1935 was 25 - so there was the possibility of long engagements, I just did not know.  If the parents expected the groom to have a certain wage level, or savings made, or bride's kitchen implements accumulated, then she was not on the shelf she was busy sorting out her future life....

As a random point from 'modern' weddings and not invited to the main wedding and reception but to the evening knees-up or similar, I was invited to a wedding but not my husband - when did that custom start?


Offline Top-of-the-hill

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,780
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Engaged or Good friends
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 21 February 24 13:12 GMT (UK) »
  On your last point - it sounds rather odd and rather bad manners!
Pay, Kent
Codham/Coltham, Kent
Kent, Felton, Essex
Staples, Wiltshire

Offline spendlove

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 2,268
  • I've not edited my PROFILE yet
    • View Profile
Re: Engaged or Good friends
« Reply #5 on: Thursday 22 February 24 21:22 GMT (UK) »
Hi,
The name of the giver was Jessie Curtis not Smith.  Married as Jessie Curtis = Stanley Bungay. Plaitford School where she had worked presented her with a silver tea service.

There are other members of the Curtis family also listed as giving gifts, are they related?   Can only assume they were a couple accepted as such by family but probably not engaged.
Census information is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk

Spendlove, Strutt in London & Middlesex.

Offline Andrew Tarr

  • RootsChat Aristocrat
  • ******
  • Posts: 1,855
  • Wanted: Charles Percy Liversidge
    • View Profile
Re: Engaged or Good friends
« Reply #6 on: Thursday 22 February 24 22:58 GMT (UK) »
Don't forget that the early 1930s were the Depression years, so perhaps they decided that they just couldn't afford to marry.  I don't know when my parents became engaged, but they became 'an item' in about 1927, but didn't marry until 10 years later.  A large part of that was because my father damaged his spine in 1931 and spent 18 months in hospital, but I think waiting to marry was a common occurrence.
Tarr, Tydeman, Liversidge, Bartlett, Young

Offline chempat

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 8,568
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Engaged or Good friends
« Reply #7 on: Friday 23 February 24 07:55 GMT (UK) »
Hi,
The name of the giver was Jessie Curtis not Smith.  Married as Jessie Curtis = Stanley Bungay. Plaitford School where she had worked presented her with a silver tea service.

There are other members of the Curtis family also listed as giving gifts, are they related?   Can only assume they were a couple accepted as such by family but probably not engaged.

Yes, sorry, you are correct, don't know why I put Smith particularly as it was their marriage that I was looking at in 1935. 
Curtis is one of the traditional names in the area, as is Smith, some surnames end up dominating whilst others die out quickly.
Of the marriages that I have looked at in 1935 in the area the median age for brides was around 25 to 26 years, by the 1960's it had dropped down to the early 20's and now is a lot older.

Offline mazi

  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • *******
  • Posts: 3,117
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Engaged or Good friends
« Reply #8 on: Friday 23 February 24 10:41 GMT (UK) »
It is my view that they were engaged, this, then was a formal commitment to marriage, accompanied by an expensive diamond :)
When did suing for breach of promise stop.


Mike