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Parish Records

Thu Jan 08, 2015 6:49 pm

Can anyone tell me what is meant by 'legally resident in the parish' and how it differs from 'sojourner'?

Re: Parish Records

Sat Jan 10, 2015 11:45 am

It is helpful with any question to provide a context, in this case a time frame would be good. Presume that you are looking at an English Parish Register - a "legal resident" (not a term I remember coming across before) would refer to someone who is "settled" in a Parish. i.e. the Parish is responsible for a person settled there in cases where they need financial support. A sojourner is just staying there temporarily and does not 'belong'. Should this person become unemployed and unable to support themself or family, then the parish would carry out an examination as to which is their parish of settlement and send/escort them back to that place. If you google "parish settlement" you will find plenty of information.
Last edited by Sylcec on Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:16 am, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Parish Records

Sun Jan 11, 2015 11:17 am

I should have been more specific. These terms relate to marriage banns and certificates in Devon for marriages in the time frame 1780 to 1800. Usually it states 'of this parish' or 'of the parish of ...', but two of my ancestors were described as 'legally resident' for one and 'sojourner' for another. I would be interested in discovering exactly what this meant in relation to marriage banns and the entry fo marriage.

Re: Parish Records

Sun Jan 11, 2015 4:27 pm

One of my ancestors was married in Stoke Damerel in 1774. He was described as a "sojourner of this parish" whilst his wife was "of this parish."

The parish register states that he was "of Buckland Monachorum" so it appears he was temporarily staying in Stoke Damerel. His wife was the widow of a porter in Devonport Dockyard.

They were married by licence by his son.

I think it was quite common for people to marry in a neighbouring parish rather than their local parish. This may have been more likely if the bride and groom came from different parishes.

Re: Parish Records

Mon Jan 12, 2015 12:17 am

Thanks for the extra info - interesting. However, I think that my previous response, combined with Katherine's added information do answer your question.

Re: Parish Records

Mon Jan 19, 2015 9:57 am

I have on a marriage from the late 1700s 'resident in this parish' for the groom. Can I assume that he had been living in that parish for awhile but was not born in the parish?
I can not find a birth for him there.

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Re: Parish Records

Mon Jan 19, 2015 1:26 pm

The phrase "resident in this parish" should be taken to mean that and no more. If it's a different phrase than all the other entries then it might mean he'd moved in - or it might mean that the clerk writing it up was different.

Frankly if you can't find him in the parish of the marriage, but can find a candidate for him elsewhere, then he probably has moved into the area. Have the courage to believe your own logic.

What you need to do is look in the parish of the marriage first for baptisms. Then in nearby parishes. If you find one or more candidates, then you should try to find out what happened to them - forget that marriage and just look for their names. Were your candidates buried elsewhere before that marriage? (Here's an assumption I do make - anyone buried with the comment that they are a son or daughter of someone, can be assumed to be a child). Were your candidates married elsewhere? What you need to end up with is one single candidate whose only plausible fate is that marriage.

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Re: Parish Records

Mon Jan 19, 2015 10:34 pm

Thank you. He is the only one that states as being a resident. The bride is of this parish. There is a gap in the parish registers on-line for the village next door which is a likely place as the couple lived in both places during their marriage. I plan on doing what you suggest and eliminating others in the are with the same name.

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Re: Parish Records

Tue Jan 20, 2015 12:11 am

So if he's the only one with the word "resident" and the others use the time honoured phrase "of this parish" then there must be a very good chance that he's an incomer. That's as certain as I'd want to be. If you proceed as you suggest then let's hope you can get an answer.

Good luck.

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Re: Parish Records

Tue Jan 20, 2015 7:11 am

TheProf wrote:Can anyone tell me what is meant by 'legally resident in the parish' and how it differs from 'sojourner'?

A sojourner is someone who is just passing through the parish. He/she will have stopped in the parish for at least the minimum period required for banns to be read (if the marriage was by banns) but does not intend to remain in the parish (example he could be a farm worker who is their for harvesting or potato picking and will move on when that has ended).

'Legally resident in the parish', is more difficult and tends to mean someone who has the legal right to live in the parish (settled) but does not live there permanently.
This could be similar to the above in that he/she could be someone who has settlement in the parish but who stops in various other parishes to work.
He/she has come ‘home’ to marry.
Please not he/she may never haved lived in the parish and not even been born there if his/her parents were settled in the parish.

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