Susan: I firmly believe that when a person got married in the UK after 1
July 1837, it would depend on what they were asked when they got married. If the
person marrying them asked the bride for "the name of your father and his
occupation" the information would be given. If the bride was asked "is your
father alive" she could say no and nothing would be written down.
My great grandfather, Thomas Davies died in 1870 age 38. My grandmother was
a child. When she was married in 1884, she was apparently asked "Your
father's name and occupation" which she gave, never saying that he was deceased.
of a shock when I looked at the 1871 census and her mother was listed as a
Secondly, if the bride (or groom) was asked "is your father alive" and he
isn't, they might not put it down. It happened in my family and it was a shock
to find out that she had a father who lived a very long life.
If it is early enough, pre 1 July 1837, I would look up the BT or PR to see
if there is a record of her father dying. .
Until you have more info, you don't really know if she had a father or not.
Susan Tudor-Coulson <susantudor-coulson(a)blueyonder.co.uk>
I hope no-one minds my posting a general query here but I'm trying to
understand a confused and confusing situation and would appreciate the
thoughts of more experienced researchers than myself!
In your experience, how likely is it that a woman would leave details of
her father and his occupation blank in the marriage register if she were
*not* illegitimate? Other than illegitimacy, under what sort of
circumstances would she do it?
I'm finding it very difficult to differentiate between two women of
identical name and almost certainly born in the same parish. The baptism of
me, the other the names of both parents. One marriage took place before the
introduction of civil registration (so father's details wouldn't appear in
the record of the marriage) the other a few years afterwards but the
father's name and occupation is blank.
Both marriages date from the 1830s and both are in market town/village