Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

Xmas marriages and christenings

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

    Xmas marriages and christenings

    New to the site so apologies if this has already been answered elsewhere. During the 19th century, I have discovered a few weddings and baptisms in my tree that appear to have taken place on Xmas day. I know this would be quie unusual nowadays but does anyone know if it was common practice at that time - pehaps these were tacked on to the end of the Christmas day mass? Many thanks for any replies.

    #2
    Hi Lyn and welcome to the Forum

    From memory (and someone will correct me if I'm wrong :))marriages and baptisms were common on Christmas Day because they were free
    Barbara :)

    Comment


      #3
      Thank you Barbara, that's really interesting. I can imagine people who had nothing better to do on Xmas day installing themself in the church for the duration of the day's entertainment. I do hope someone eventually invited them home to share in the wedding breakfast.

      Comment


        #4
        They could also be certain that everybody would have the day off, holidays being few and far between back then.

        Comment


          #5
          Could it be that workers did not have to work on Christmas Day so no loss of wages and I think for ordinary working people there was a lot less fuss around a wedding than there is these days . Families would probably be going to church together anyway so why not include a wedding / baptism while you're there anyway and no charge on Christmas and Boxing Day I think . I've certainly found several baptisms on Christmas Day on different lines in my research over the years . No weddings yet so far though. Oh and welcome to the forum.
          Liz
          my avatar is Emily Varndell Andrews,my paternal grandmother born 1891

          Comment


            #6
            I remember reading a memoir by someone who had married on Xmas Day in the early 1800s. He said that because there were quite a few other couples marrying that day, and he and his bride were last in the queue, his father left the church before they married because the pigs hadn't been fed!

            OC

            Comment


              #7
              Christmas Day baptisms and marriages were only common in a few city churches, it was not a general scenario.
              In most churches there was no increase at that time of year.
              Cheers
              Guy
              A forum is a place where ideas & views can be exchanged
              I read what others write & add my view or idea based on a lifetime of research
              Some people agree with me some disagree that is their prerogative & valued
              If I add a previous posting it is to remind forum users of the post I am replying to
              If I am addressing a particular person I will address them by name
              If not I am making a general comment to no one in particular.

              Comment


                #8
                A lot depended on whether the church did free weddings on feast days, or not. The tradition of marrying at Eastermust surely have something to do with SOME churches/cathedrals performing the ceremony free of charge.

                A quick google shows that for a time (50 years or so) St George in the East performed about one-sixth of its weddings on Xmas Day. (No figures for Easter).

                OC

                Comment


                  #9
                  is that right OC ? well I suppose that was more important feeding the pigs;D


                  Val

                  Comment


                    #10
                    I have several (from different places) Christmas Day marriages. However I don't know if they represent a higher proportion of my marriage list as a whole. I suspect not, and that one just immediately notices they are on that date. It jumps out at you!
                    Anne

                    Comment


                      #11
                      A number of years ago (in 2001) I did some research into the Christmas marriage scenario.

                      At the time I only had records available up to the middle of the 19th century for around a thousand parishes mainly in rural areas or towns with only a few city parishes.

                      Though I have read of multiple marriages in some London and Manchester churches on Christmas Day.

                      I am still interested when this “custom” started and where such marriages took place and would welcome detail of the churches and time period (dates)

                      http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.co...-02/0981855183

                      Guy Etchells wrote on Feb 9.....

                      >>.....there has been acceptance for many years that Christmas day was a very popular day for marriage supposedly because either that was the only day the couple and family had off or because vicars did not charge a fee for Christmas day marriages.

                      >>After transcribing many thousands of marriages I find that in actual fact there were very few marriages on Christmas day.
                      I must qualify that statement as the marriages I have been transcribing are mainly up to the middle of the 19th century so if this custom started after about the 1840s or 50s I could have missed it.<<

                      I THINK I can prove your point, Guy, with some statistics from a particular parish in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries.

                      I have just analysed all the marriages for the parish of Kirkby Malham for a period of 216 years between 1597 and 1811 inclusive, which I have put into a database from an IGI download. There were a grand total of 930 marriages during this period, and guess how many took place on Christmas Day - precisely FOUR!

                      Of course, this is only one parish, but it is probably fairly
                      representative.

                      Curiously enough, one of those four Christmas Day marriages was that of my 5-times gt-grandparents NICHOLAS BRACEWELL and DOROTHY BOWKEN (or BOWKER) who were married at Kirkby Malham on December 25 1947.

                      Roy Stockdill
                      Editor, The Journal of One-Name Studies

                      I did a quick follow up in 2004 with similar results
                      https://groups.google.com/forum/#!to...in/isdg1oC9VfE

                      This may be true in cities but I have still to find proof of it, from
                      the data I have available December 27 seems more popular.
                      I have just checked 3810 marriages (parish registers) for the years
                      1837-1901 and only come across 10 Christmas Day marriages.
                      I have also previously checked a baptism database (370 entries) for the
                      years 1730-1740 and find no evidence for it in fact December 27 had the
                      most baptisms.
                      In a larger database covering the years 1581-1851 (11327 entries) the
                      27th was the most popular day again.
                      I would be interested to hear of any evidence pointing to Christmas Day
                      being popular for marriages or baptisms.
                      Cheers
                      Guy
                      A forum is a place where ideas & views can be exchanged
                      I read what others write & add my view or idea based on a lifetime of research
                      Some people agree with me some disagree that is their prerogative & valued
                      If I add a previous posting it is to remind forum users of the post I am replying to
                      If I am addressing a particular person I will address them by name
                      If not I am making a general comment to no one in particular.

                      Comment


                        #12
                        Thank you to everyone who has commented here. Yesterday I found another old thread on here (sorry, I've lost it again now) reiterating what you have all said about people having a day off work and also that some churches offered the service without charge on that date. I'm guessing the reason why there are several of these (one wedding, several christenings) in my tree is because the people concerned were agricultural workers, who might well have had no other day free. They also seem to have had healthy babies for whom there was no big rush to get them christened.

                        I love OC's story about feeding the pigs and it just goes to show that we can never second-guess what our ancestors were up to or why they did the things they did. I am forever speculating about why people did things on a certain date or at a particular place that perhaps I hadn't expected but I've rarely thought of including the pigs' mealtimes in the equation!

                        Comment


                          #13
                          ring.JPG
                          I have a relative who when charged with bigamy insisted his first marriage wasn't legal as the service was free and he used a Brass Ring:D
                          Last edited by Val wish Id never started; 22-09-14, 11:08.


                          Val

                          Comment


                            #14
                            Val

                            I bet your relative was Jewish. that's the only ethnic group I can think of where it would invalidate a marriage if the ring was NOT of gold. C of E marriages do not require a ring to validate the marriage.

                            OC

                            Comment


                              #15
                              funny enough OC this one wasn't ? the second wife must have been desperate or daft though as she met him in December and married him the following month


                              Val

                              Comment


                                #16
                                I had a look on my tree, and between 1764 and 1919 there were 6 marriages on Christmas day, that I have found so far. The final one in 1919 was in a London borough, and the images are on Ancestry - in that church that day they had 8 marriages. Looking back through the register, there were an average of 8 per month, so substantially more for Christmas Day.

                                http://interactive.ancestry.co.uk/16...0_197777-00031
                                Last edited by ozgirl; 22-09-14, 11:49.
                                Linda


                                My avatar is my Grandmother Carolina Meulenhoff 1896 - 1955

                                Comment


                                  #17
                                  For Guy:

                                  http://www.stgite.org.uk/media/registers2.html

                                  Scroll down to St Marks, where the Xmas Day marriages are given in brackets - but the whole web page is a truly fascinating read and shows how some clergymen operated to their own rules about baptism, for instance.

                                  OC

                                  Comment


                                    #18
                                    Thank you all for your replies. I thought I'd replied earlier to this thread but it seems my post has disappeared so apologies if this now appears twice. My relatives who were either married or had their children christened on Xmas day were all agrcultural workers so it certainly seems likely that, for them at least, it was a question of having only that one day free. I really appreciate all the input from everyone here, it can make a huge difference to suddenly see your genealogy problem through someone else's eyes.

                                    Comment


                                      #19
                                      Just for interest (and to see if I could do it!) I ran a query on all my own family and my One Name Study. There are a total of about 16,000 individuals in Family Historian files (mostly in the One Name Study).
                                      There are 45 Christmas Day marriages that we know of. Of course there may be others which I only have Q4 in the GRO Index for.
                                      The marriages are in many areas of the country including London, Bedfordshire, Hertfordshire, Lincolnshire and Yorkshire.
                                      The dates are from 1813 to 1921 (I asked the query for all between 1700 and present day)

                                      In contrast there are only 18 marriages on 24th December.

                                      Anne

                                      Comment


                                        #20
                                        Thank you for your comments Guy; if it's any help to your research my Xmas wedding couple were EDWARD JOHN BOUNDY to ELIZABETH HERD, married on Xmas day 1888 at the parish chirch in Davidstowe, Cornwall by banns. If there's any more info that would be helpful just let me know.

                                        Comment

                                        Working...
                                        X