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No fathers on marriage certificate

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No fathers on marriage certificate

Postby woodchal » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:12 am

I have just obtained a marriage certificate for a distant relative from 1936. The marriage was in a Methodist Chapel.

The ages are entered as 19 for the groom and 16 for the bride. Unusually there is a dash through both the father's name and f'ather's profession for both the bride and groom.

The address details indicate that the bride had recently moved (from being a near neighbour of the groom) to another address - perhaps she had been sent to a home to have the child. Perhaps she had been thrown out, although we do know that a few years later she was living at home after a divorce.

As I understood things they would have need permission from parent(s) to marry so young - any one have an idea why there might be no parentage information - she was probably pregnant at the time.
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Re: No fathers on marriage certificate

Postby AdrianB38 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 10:27 am

My understanding is that a missing father's name on a marriage certificate means that the person is illegitimate. It doesn't mean that the parent is unknown.

It's never occurred to me before but while fathers of illegitimate children can appear on the child's birth certificate under certain circumstances, I don't think that there is any circumstance under which they can appear on those children's marriage certificate. Well, apart from people not admitting to illegitimacy.

NB- this refers to England and Wales.

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Re: No fathers on marriage certificate

Postby woodchal » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:06 am

Adrian

I think the absence of a father on a birth certificate is what you are thinking about it terms of illegitimacy. Absence of parents on marriage certificates can be for various reasons.

The question here was that both fathers are missing and they are both under 21 and they would have required some form of parental permission

There is every indication that they knew their parents both before and after the marriage.

You say It's never occurred to me before but while fathers of illegitimate children can appear on the child's birth certificate under certain circumstances, I don't think that there is any circumstance under which they can appear on those children's marriage certificate. Well, apart from people not admitting to illegitimacy.

This is not correct - For example I have a great aunt who was born illegitimately, with no father's name on birth certificate, although his surname was used as her middle name. However the father is fully acknowledged on her marriage certificate and I believe that he paid her an allowance until she was 21
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Re: No fathers on marriage certificate

Postby AntonyM » Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:50 am

The father's name on a marriage register entry is entered from whatever information the bride/groom choose to give. It is not checked or verified in any way, and illegitimacy is irrelevant.

The couple can choose to show their natural father, step-father( a fairly recent change) or adoptive father, or none at all - entirely up to them. The only rule from GRO is that a step-father ( who must be married to the mother, not just a cohabitee) will have "step" shown.

If it is blank (and to have both blank is unusual), then all you can say is that the information was not recorded, either because of an error by the celebrant (assuming they registered the marriage), or because the couple chose to have it that way....... I would suspect the latter.
Last edited by AntonyM on Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:46 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: No fathers on marriage certificate

Postby AdrianB38 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:09 pm

AntonyM wrote: ... illegitimacy is irrelevant. ...


Hmm, thanks for that. It must be because the omissions in my lot are all for illegitimate spouses that I'd got it into my head that it was a requirement for omission in such a case.

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Re: No fathers on marriage certificate

Postby woodchal » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:31 pm

Adrian/Antony - Thanks very much for your interest - Yes I think it must be rare to have both father's details absent. I haven't seen it before but I thought others on the forum may have seen it before so I was interested to see what the community had to add.

The main questions remains that to marry a 16 year old girl I think someone must give permission - usually the parent, but might be "loco parentis" . Maybe the the mother gave permission, if that was possible by 1936 and there wasn't anywhere to record a mother?

I think that the celebrant/registrar must have been given permission (licence) to conduct such as marriage but nothing is recorded on the certificate that might indicate this - perhaps this might be recorded elsewhere?
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Re: No fathers on marriage certificate

Postby AntonyM » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:43 pm

As this wasn't at a CofE church, then I would expect the wording on the entry will say that the marriage was according to the rites of the Methodist Chapel and "by certificate".

That means the couple would have given notice at the register office so that the Superintendent Registrar can issue the certificate that allows the marriage to go ahead. It is at that "giving notice" stage that the parental permission is needed - there is no requirement for a parent to be present at the actual ceremony.

Marriage Notice registers do survive - they may still be held by the register office, or at the local archive. They can be difficult to track down and get access to.
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Re: No fathers on marriage certificate

Postby woodchal » Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:52 pm

Antony - thanks for explaining at which stage the permission is granted. You are right it does says "by certificate".

Perhaps we can assume that the pregnancy between two young near neighbours would have caused some family friction at the immediate time, though parental contact resumed shortly afterwards. In this case young love did not prevail, as a divorce followed fairly quickly.
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Re: No fathers on marriage certificate

Postby AdrianB38 » Wed Jan 24, 2018 12:41 pm

Oh well - it was worth a punt.

Having been disabused above of my (very) long-standing notion that illegitimacy meant no father on the marriage certificate, I thought I'd return to my 2G GM Emily Beech. She has no father on her marriage or birth certificates but I do know her father because he appears on her baptism (both of them). The issue is her 5 younger siblings who are all illegitimate with no father visible anywhere on baptisms. Who was he?

So far I've only identified one marriage for the 5 so, as a result of the above, I sent off for the certificate just in case it had a father - but alas - neither party admits to a father. Whether groom has omitted his in sympathy with bride, I've no idea yet. Still, worth a go...
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