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Marriage Record observation

Hi All

I have come across an image for two marriage records. The two marriages on the page took place at St George's church, Sheffield on 16th July 1855 (Page 117). The first entry No. 233 is the marriage of a William DIMMOCK to an Ann CURTIS (widow). The second entry No. 234 is the marriage of a James SLON to an Ann WILLEY (spinster). Curiously both parties have acted and signed as witnesses for the other's marriage. From the names of the fathers involved there doesn't seem to be any obvious family connection between the two marriages, so I suppose the two couples could just have been friends, and/or could have been married at the same time in the same ceremony? Or both may have turned up without witnesses, but usually someone connected with the church would have been the witness, like the sexton for instance. I'm perhaps being a bit pedantic, but if the two couples signed together as witness after they had married, would not the two brides have signed using their married names and not their maiden/previous married name, as they did. Could I ask anyone with knowledge of the marriage recording procedure if this is what should have happened?

Kind regards


Re: Marriage Record observation

I would assume that, regardless of any relationship or previous aquaintance, the two marriages took place consecutively. Therefore Ann Willey was a spinster so signed correctly. The only slight error is that Ann Curtis should have signed Dimmock.
An understandable slip in the circumstances.
If the marriages were really concurrent then technically each one witnessed the other marriage as spinsters BEFORE they took the married name, so there would be no error.

Re: Marriage Record observation

Having transcribed and checked many,many marriages it's not uncommon to see this at all.

Similarly, where the Bride and Groom sign (which should be the Brides maiden name) you get the Bride signing her married name (because technically at this point she is married).

At this time Marriages had to take place between 8.00am and noon (I think?),so depending on demand and other commitments it wasn't uncommon for marriages to be performed in 'batches' (particularly on weekends/Christmas Day etc), so as Dave mentioned if that happened then both Brides would have still technically been spinsters when witnessing the others marriage.

It could also be just a simple as the witness, although now married, had just signed her own record with her maiden name - so automatically signed it again as witness.