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Uncle - Neice Marriage

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Uncle - Neice Marriage

Postby juliemuirhead49 » Wed Jun 02, 2010 2:13 pm

Just wondering if anyone has every come across a marriage of an Uncle to his neice (in this case his brothers daughter). I have a situation where I can find no other explanation for a marriage other than this, I have with this particular family had first cousin marriages but never this.

If anyone can shed any light on whether this did indeed happen it would be much appreciated.

Thanks
Julie
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Re: Uncle - Neice Marriage

Postby ksouthall » Wed Jun 02, 2010 5:39 pm

I haven't found an uncle marrying his niece, which does sound a bit dodgy as she was a blood relative. Mind you, cousins often married.
I did recently find someone who married his uncle's widow, after his uncle died, however I am not aware of any blood relationship between them.
Not that this answers your query.
Did the couple you found marry out of parish?
Last edited by ksouthall on Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Uncle - Neice Marriage

Postby paulberyl » Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:18 pm

A marriage between uncle and neice is illegal under UK law. Therefore if they did marry the person performing the ceremony would not have known of the relationship and the couple must have lied (not unknown) to enable the marriage to go ahead.

I cannot imagine that the family would have been happy, or even allowed, such a marriage and therefore presumably the family would not have been aware of the marriage.

I would be inclined to re-check the information. Who were the witnesses to the marriage? Was an error made in the information on the marriage certificate (e.g wife's maiden name which may not have been identified if both parties illiterate)? When were they married and do any subsequent censuses provide additional information? Did they have children and do their birth certificates tie in with the marriage certificate?

Paul
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Re: Uncle - Neice Marriage

Postby juliemuirhead49 » Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:42 pm

This happened in 1825 so very limited information on the parish register entry, have been wondering about this for sometime and can find no other explanation. The parish in question has fantastic records but the family have been known on a couple of occasions to marry first cousins. I have a full set of the parish records and a CDs for marriages, baptisms and burials in Hampshire and checking everything including the later census records I can find nothing to alter my opinion that the uncle did indeed marry his neice, the only other alternative is the neice marrying her brother.

The family most definitely would have known they were an extremley large family in the village they lived and married into most of the other labouring families at one time or another. An awful lot of inbreeding occurred as was often the case in the villages it's just that this time the relationship seems to have been extremley close.

I presume the vicar would have been aware as he was vicar of the parish from 1817-1831 so would have had a lot of dealing with the family.
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Re: Uncle - Neice Marriage

Postby ksouthall » Wed Jun 02, 2010 6:52 pm

Although it is possible that an uncle married his niece, I am surprised they got married in their home parish, unless the vicar did not know the exact relationship between them. I have found several cases of first cousins marrying in my family, however they travelled to well outside their usual parish, presumably so that the vicar did not realise.

Is it possible that it was someone marrying a second cousin, or an even more distant relationship with the same name? Even if the family themselves were unaware of the law, I would have thought that the vicar would have known whether or not the marriage was legal.
Last edited by ksouthall on Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:16 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Uncle - Neice Marriage

Postby juliemuirhead49 » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:18 pm

I've checked everything now and there is no other possible explanation based upon all the evidence I have other than that one of the uncles older sisters was really his mother and if so this would make the parties marrying 1st cousins. The marriages to first cousins I have also occured in the same parish, in fact the majority of marriages for the family occured there with the exception of a couple that happened in other nearby parishes only because the bride was from there and then they went straight back. This particular family still have a presence in the village today nearly 300 years after I can first pinpoint them there.
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Re: Uncle - Neice Marriage

Postby ksouthall » Wed Jun 02, 2010 7:38 pm

It is possible that the groom was illegitimate and therefore the bride's cousin, however this would probably have been mentioned in the parish register when he was baptised. I guess you will have to assume he was the bride's uncle until you get any differing evidence that disproves it.

I have been trying to find a website that clarifies the laws on marriage at that time but have not found one. Perhaps Paul knows of one and could post a link please?
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Re: Uncle - Neice Marriage

Postby juliemuirhead49 » Wed Jun 02, 2010 8:03 pm

I found this website a short while ago and it does confirm Uncle - Neice marriage is illegal.

http://www.genetic-genealogy.co.uk/Toc115570145.html

The parish registers make no mention of the groom being illegitimate if he is indeed so it was covered up in 1804 when he was baptised. Illegitimate children are common in this parish and I have slowly been transcribing all of the records due to the complex relationships of my ancestors there but it seems impossible to prove that he was illegitimate.
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Re: Uncle - Neice Marriage

Postby debsstock » Wed Jun 02, 2010 10:12 pm

Thanks for posting the website link - I have recently discovered a definite half-uncle/half-niece marriage, in 1902, and was wondering about the legality, so this is really helpful. Intriguingly, the couple didn't marry in either of their family's parishes, although members of the bride's family were witnesses, including possibly her father.
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Re: Uncle - Neice Marriage

Postby Sylcec » Thu Jun 03, 2010 12:46 am

Of course it was illegal, but don't think that stopped things happening! Was the man an uncle by marriage or actually a blood relative of the neice? i.e. was he married to her aunt, or the brother of one of her parents?

I have forwarded a link to this thread to Cathy Day in Canberra who has recently completed a PhD on intermarriage and illegitimacy in some Wiltshire villages. This is her: http://arts.anu.edu.au/aanda/people/students/day.asp and if anyone is interested in the Wilts database see: http://arts.anu.edu.au/dayca/index.htm
Cheers, Sylvia
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