Marriage Law for Genealogists: The Definitive Guide

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Media: BOOK - paperback, 168 pages
Author: M. Probert
Year: 2016
ISBN: 9780993189623
Other: rev 2nd ed., tables, index
Publisher: Takeaway Publishing

The indispensable guide for all family historians tracing the marriages of their English and Welsh ancestors between 1600 and the twentieth century.

Based upon years of painstaking research, this book explains clearly and concisley the why, how, when and where people in past centuries married.

Family historians just starting out, will find advice on where 'missing' marriages are most likely to be found, while those who are already well advanced in tracing their family tree will be able to interpret their discoveries to better understand their ancestors' motivations. How, for example, should we interpret our ancestors' decisions to marry in a particular form or place, or at a particular time? Did their choices make them exceptional or normal for their day? Might their marriages have been bigamous, clandestine, or void? Or might they have conscientiously followed the rules set down by Church and State?

Professor Rebecca Probert explains the mistakes and confusion found in most genealogical guides, and thoroughly rewrites how family historians should understand their ancestors' lives in this most personal and universal of areas.

1. Why do genealogists need a guide to marriage law?
 - Introduction
 - The approach of this book
 - Definitions of key legal terms
 - How the law of marriage works
 - Common mistakes
2. Whether and why your ancestors married
 - How many couples lived together without marrying?
 - Why couples married
 - Unconvincing arguments about cohabitation 
3. Who your ancestors married
 - Mental capacity to marry
 - Being free to marry
 - The prohibited degrees
 - Same-sex 'marriage'
 - The lack of other limitations on marriage
4. How your ancestors married
 - A brief timeline and overview
 - Anglican marriages
 - Civil marriages
 - Non-anglican religious marriages
5. When your ancestors married
 - Age at marriage
 - The timing of the marriage
 - Choosing a date
6. Where your ancestors married
 - From 1600 to March 24th, 1754
 - From March 25th, 1754 to June 30th, 1837
 - From July 1st, 1837
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