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Register Office Weddings

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Register Office Weddings

Postby meekhcs » Sat May 05, 2018 6:30 pm

My gt grandparents married in a "Register Office" in the District of Droxford, Hampshire 7 June 1878. I have the certificate.

Droxford is a village in Hampshire and at that time was head of the Droxford Union which contained about 12 local smaller villages.

The Registrar was Alexander Day Holmes and the Superintendant Registrar was Thos. Hayden.

My Great grandparents were C of E but Gt Granny gave birth to a daughter prior to the wedding so I am surmising that was the reason for a Register Office wedding!

I am wondering where the marriage would have taken place as there isn't a Registry office in Droxford?

Mr Holmes lived in, and was the local postmaster for, the village of Soberton, a member of the Droxford Union. He was also the Registrar, and the Collector and Assessor of Taxes, for the Union.

A Court House was added to the Police Station in Droxford a few years before my gt grandparents married. Is it likely the marriage would have taken place there or would they have gone to the home of Mr Holmes?

Many thanks Sally
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Re: Register Office Weddings

Postby AdrianB38 » Sat May 05, 2018 8:26 pm

I am seriously vague about this, Sally, so this is simply to start discussions and just in case someone with better knowledge than mine doesn't turn up.

But I did once try to look at where the Registrars and Superintendent Registrars of Chester lived and worked. So far as I could see, it looked like the Superintendent Registrar had the permanent office - which would figure as he (presumably "he") was the one with the responsibility to file the completed books. The Registrars, on the other hand, seemed (from the Directories) to work out of a different place each time one was appointed - I presume therefore, that they operated from their homes, shops or offices. In this instance though, the Registrars were Registrars of Births & Deaths and the only guy authorised to do marriages was the Superintendent Registrar.

In your case, Ancestry has the 1885 Kelly's for Hampshire, which, on image 881 of 1006 has Registrars of Births, Deaths and Marriages. Alex. Day Homes is there as the Registrar of Marriages. Soberton was in Droxford RD https://www.ukbmd.org.uk/reg/districts/droxford.html - unfortunately, I can't spot the Superintendent Registrar of Droxford to see where he was based (I can't see Mr Hayden). Oh, just realised - image 362 of 1006 shows Mr Homes as the Registrar of Marriages for the whole of Droxford Union, not just Soberton. And on the same page, Mr Homes is,as you say, the Postmaster at Soberton.

By analogy with Chester, I'd guess that the marriages would take place at Mr Homes normal office - could this be the Post Office? Or where did the Board of Guardians for Droxford (Poor Law) Union meet, if he has a role in relation to them? Not much help, I'm afraid - treat these as suggestions.
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Re: Register Office Weddings

Postby junkers » Sat May 05, 2018 8:45 pm

The Register Office is now in Bishop's Waltham near Southampton but it may have been in Droxford in 1878 (have you looked up Mr Holmes in the 1881 census?), so I think you need to look at the trade directories for 1878/9 or ask the Southampton Branch of the Hampshire archives office.
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Re: Register Office Weddings

Postby peter kent » Sun May 06, 2018 8:05 am

Marriages may have been conducted in the Guardians' Boardroom.
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Re: Register Office Weddings

Postby Guy » Sun May 06, 2018 8:24 am

Further to Adrian’s reply the 1875 Post Office Directory of Hampshire, Wiltshire & Dorset (avail on Ancestry)
states that not only is Alexander Day Holmes a Registrar of Marriages for the Droxford union but also Registrar of Marriages for the Hambledon District also the postmaster, a Fire Insurance agent (Sun Fire) and one of two assessors of Assessed and Income Taxes at Soberton.

In view of the above I would suggest he would have operated from an office which reading later directories seems to have been the Post Office.
Cheers
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Re: Register Office Weddings

Postby peter kent » Sun May 06, 2018 8:52 am

A register office marriage is conducted by the Superintendent Registrar. The Registrar strings along to manage the paperwork.

The Superintendent Registrar's office is the likeliest venue.
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Re: Register Office Weddings

Postby AdrianB38 » Sun May 06, 2018 9:59 am

The problem is, Peter, that I couldn't find the Superintendent Registrar for that patch, to know where his office was - ie no success in finding Mr Hayden or any successor. (Poor OCR could be hiding him, of course).

Given that Holmes is the Registrar of *Marriages* could Hayden come in from further afield to use Holmes' office? Otherwise, why is he a Registrar of Marriages? (Not, note, a Registrar of Births, Marriages and Deaths).

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Re: Register Office Weddings

Postby ianbee » Sun May 06, 2018 10:06 am

AdrianB38 wrote: In this instance though....the only guy authorised to do marriages was the Superintendent Registrar.

Can read about it here
Marriage in England is a public ceremony...
https://books.google.co.uk/books?id=t0h ... &q&f=false
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Re: Register Office Weddings

Postby meekhcs » Sun May 06, 2018 10:17 am

Morning Everyone, and thank you for your replies, as Adrian suggested it has produced good discussion and ideas.

One thing I failed to mention yesterday was that the marriage was registered in the Droxford District

I continued to dig yesterday and found in a newspaper report on FMP that a Thomas Hayden was The Secretary to The Board of Guardians for the Droxford Union. Today I will try and find more detail on him and try to prove he is the same Thomas Hayden as the Superintendant Registrar.

Alexander Day Holmes was a local man.

I found the 1878 UK Cities and County Directory for Soberton. It records the following for ADH
Registrar of Marriages for Droxford Union, Collector of Taxes, Agent Sun Insurance and Postmaster.
Letters received 8.30am Despatched 5.20pm Mon-Sat and 10.45am Sundays via Bishops Waltham. Droxford the nearest money order office. There is no mention of Hambledon but the village was a member of The Droxford Union.

My Gt Grandparents wedding took place 7 June 1878 which was a Friday. Gt Gd lived in Droxford and Gt Ga lived in Meonstoke

Meonstoke to Droxford 1.2.miles
Soberton to Droxford is 1.2 miles
Soberton to Bishops Waltham 4.5 miles
Meonstoke to Bishops Waltham 5.2 miles

So who was Thomas Hayden and where did the Board of Guardians meet? The newspaper article I mentioned was under the heading of Droxford

Continued thanks for all your ideas and suggestions Sally
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Re: Register Office Weddings

Postby meekhcs » Sun May 06, 2018 10:36 am

Adrian and Ian your posts came in whilst I was labouring over mine and of course I had overlooked a vital piece of info concerning the wedding!!

The witnesses were Thomas and Louisa Holloway. In 1881 they were living at The Union Workhouse in Droxford. Thomas was the Porter. In 1871 Thomas was single and a Police Constable in London.This is pointing towards the marriage taking place in Droxford, possibly at the Court House.

So given Peter's comment and Ian's reference I need to try and establish where the Superintendant registrars office was. If the two references I have for Thomas Hayden point to it being the same man perhaps his office would have been in the Court House in Droxford. I cant imagine they all travelled to Bishops Waltham

I am on a flying visit to Hampshire the week after next and I hope to make time to drop into Southampton and Winchester Record Offices. Meantime because the Southampton Office is only open for limited hours I will drop them an email concerning this.

Sally
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