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Same couple - Married twice

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    Same couple - Married twice

    Came across something really odd yesterday.

    DNA has shown I have a connection to someone who appears to be descended from a couple I had tentatively been considering as my 6x ggps. So I thought I'd stick them in the tree, give it a good shake and see what else comes out.

    William Bunting born about 1722 in Matlock, Derbyshire, married Sarah Simpson there on 31 December 1746. No other details available.
    There are three children baptised in Matlock over the next 6 years with father William.

    There is another marriage recorded for a William Bunting to Sarah Simpson in Bonsall in 1754. Bonsall is a few miles away from Matlock by road, but only a short distance if you take the direct route over the hill.

    There are several more children baptised in Matlock after this with father William, and the later ones also give mothers name Sarah.

    Two couples? Plenty of Buntings in this area.

    I then found a Will for William Bunting of Matlock who died in 1779 naming his wife Sarah and his children, who appear to be ALL of the baptisms I found after 1746.

    So it looks like it was the same couple, and they were actually married twice.

    I found a very strange entry in the Matlock marriages register at the start of 1754 referring to "The New Marriage Act" and the names of several couples who also had previous marriages. No idea why William and Sarah remarried in Bonsall rather than Matlock.

    it appears that Hardwickes Marriage Act of 1753 caused some confusion about whether certain marriages were legal, so for the avoidance of doubt some couples would have married again. Perhaps encouraged in this by a vicar who had a vested interest in collecting more fees!

    That's really interesting. I have never seen an example but have come across notes in parish registers which indicate that the local vicar was a bit confused about how to proceed with the new regulations. Can't put my finger on any now, its just an impression I have gathered over the years.


      Ah. Have been trawling the Bonsall records and it appears these were 2 separate couples after all. What's the chances of that I wonder? I would think the 2 William Buntings were cousins of some degree but as yet I haven't a clue about the different Simpsons. Thank goodness both pairs stayed put! Looking at the online Ancestry trees, some people have been rather confuddled. It's definitely easier if you use both a calendar and a map to work out which baptisms belong to each couple.

      There are definitely some Matlock couples who did remarry though.


        Oooh, I have this in my tree! John Trafford marries Mary Slater. Jonathan Trafford marries Sarah Green. Nathan Trafford marries Mary Slater. Umpteen children over 48 years all born to Nat. Trafford and "his wife". I didn't know if I was dealing with one, two or three couples. Eventually I solved it thanks to monumental inscriptions, phew. One man, three wives, the two Mary Slaters were aunt and niece!

        As you say, who would believe it.