View Full Version : Strange marriage record

Sue from Southend
06-04-12, 08:34
Looking for possible parents of my 4x gt grandmother before I post on TO4GGP I came across this marriage - John Briley to Mary Davis, 1781, St Botolphs Bishopsgate (bottom entry, right hand side) http://search.ancestry.co.uk/iexec?htx=View&r=5538&dbid=1623&iid=31281_A101359-00156&fn=John&ln=Briley&st=d&ssrc=&pid=352191

Look at the "signatures" - the names are competely different, John Bridgeman and Elizabeth Bear! I've looked for a marriage between these two thinking that maybe "my" bride and groom had also signed the wrong record but it doesn't exist.

Can anyone think of a reason for this anomaly? Are they the same people? Was it legal?

So many questions, so few ideas....:confused:

06-04-12, 08:41
How strange - it's definitely not a mistranscription as it's plain to see.

Were they perhaps runaways and had taken new names but had to give the church their old names? for it to be legal?

Sue from Southend
06-04-12, 09:39
It's possible I suppose. But I would have thought that the signatures and the names at the top had to match and surely if they had decided to use names other than their own the Vicar would never had known anyway?

Still confused!

Olde Crone
06-04-12, 10:20
For a marriage to be legal, a man and a woman must go through the marriage ceremony. That's all. They can call themselves Donald Duck and Minnie Mouse if they want, or sign the wrong certificate or not sign it at all - as long as they can produce two witnesses (if required) to say that they went through a marriage ceremony and were entitled to do so (i.e. not already married, not under the legal age for marriage) the marriage is legal.


Sue from Southend
06-04-12, 10:44
Thanks OC. I find that very odd! I can understand the fact that they can call themselves whatever takes their fancy and no one querying it, but to use two different names for the same event seems very bizarre!

Mary from Italy
06-04-12, 11:23
The previous marriage on the page also has the wrong names.

Sue from Southend
06-04-12, 11:46
Oh so it has! I hadn't noticed that Mary. I looked to see if their names matched the strange signatures on the first record but didn't think to check if their details matched! I wondered if it was clerical error but after a cursory look I can't see a marriage for the signatories on that marriage either. Curiouser and curiouser!

Mary from Italy
06-04-12, 12:13
Same vicar in both cases.

06-04-12, 13:26
It's New Year's Eve...

06-04-12, 13:34

06-04-12, 14:24

Sue from Southend
06-04-12, 14:29
- for richer for poorer, for auld lang syne, m'dear......hic!

06-04-12, 14:31

It must be something like that although if the people getting married could write then perhaps they could read and might have noticed!

Perhaps they didn't dare to say anything or they got the records written out before the actual marriages and got them signed after and those two couples didn't turn up and they forgot about the records!

Plus it was New Year's Eve and *hic*....

Uncle John
06-04-12, 15:01
Are the church communion wine purchase orders on line?

06-04-12, 16:16
Are the church communion wine purchase orders on line?


06-04-12, 17:31
My guess would be that the vicar copied the wrong names onto the forms and that the people who actually got married are the ones who signed the forms.

Mary from Italy
06-04-12, 18:03
Yes, I think that's the most likely explanation.

A lot of vicars seemed to fill in the forms before the marriage, and just got the couple to sign at the ceremony, but I get the impression from some registers that sometimes the couple signed a blank form and the vicar filled in the names afterwards, maybe from memory, or from rough notes.

In fact that Briley looks a bit like Bridg.