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Marriage Certificates

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Marriage Certificates

Postby Lou79 » Fri Mar 27, 2009 11:13 pm

On a marriage certificate, if the father was deceased does it have to state so ? I have some which does say (deceased) under the name and some that dont but I think they were deceased at that time. I know our ancestors didnt always tell the truth (as most of the marriage certificates I have they all lie about thier age!) - but surely they wouldnt lie as to whether their father was alive or not?
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RE: Marriage Certificates

Postby ksouthall » Sat Mar 28, 2009 12:36 am

I have a copy of a marriage certificate which does not state the father as deceased, even though he was,. The marriage took place in 1860.
I think earlier certificates may not have stated this, possibly if the registrar or vicar did not know the family too well. I don't think people were deliberately lying, I suspect they were not actually obliged to state whether or not the father was deceased.
The rules may have changed later, possibly in 1875 when laws on registration changed. (At least, the laws tightened up for births so I assume they may have changed for deaths and marriages, too.)
Perhaps someone else can help out here?
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RE: Marriage Certificates

Postby margaretabram » Sat Mar 28, 2009 6:26 am

I have a copy of my great grandparents' marriage certificate where it is stated that my great great grandfather was deceased - he wasn't. I think that sometimes the bride or groom simply didn't know and guessed. My gg grandfather was in Poland and the marriage took place in London. When my father researched the Polish records my gg grandfather had been alive and well at the time of the wedding, but a long way away.
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RE: Marriage Certificates

Postby Annie08 » Mon Mar 30, 2009 12:23 am

The marriage certificate of my great grandmother shows her father as deceased. However what she did was take the first name of her mother's current husband and her own surname and put them together, and obviously he didn't exist so he was 'deceased'. My great grandmother's birth certificate shows no father's name. So in my experience names for fathers on marriage certificates can be 'made up'. This marriage took place in the 1880s.

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RE: Marriage Certificates

Postby Lou79 » Mon Mar 30, 2009 5:20 pm

Thanks for your replies. I dont think marriage certificates are a very reliable source of information - you cant just accept what is on it. Most of mine have all made up their ages (some are only 15 when getting married but state 21 on the certificate) and I have lots of 'made up' fathers!

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RE: Marriage Certificates

Postby ksouthall » Tue Mar 31, 2009 1:06 am

Lou,
I think you have a point. It is always worth cross-referencing different sources to get as much information as possible.I usually check Birth, Marriage and Death certificates where available, and also cross-check them against parish records, censuses and any other relevant sources.
It's amazing how many different types of records there are out there.
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RE: Marriage Certificates

Postby Cati » Tue Apr 07, 2009 9:43 pm

As ksouthall said, not all deceased fathers are shown as deceased: to confuse the issue further, I have found two incidences in my tree where the father was shown as 'deceased' but, after years of searching, I discovered that the child was illegitimate and no father shown on the birth/baptism records (I guess that this may have been to avoid any embarrasment with the inlaws?); I've also found a marriage certificate registered under the groom's middle name rather than his last name, and a completely incorrect father's name - Daniel rather than Edwin: he was alive at the time of the marriage and indeed was living with the bride and groom at the time of the next census!
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