Wednesday, 22 June 2016

Spotlight on Marriages

In a recent newsletter of the New England Historic Genealogical Society (NEHGS), the result of a recent survey was posted. It asked about: Ancestors’ Experiences with Love and Marriage. I thought the results were very interesting.

Some of the results of the NEHGS survey are as follows:

·         14%, At least one of my ancestors had an arranged marriage.   
·         21%, At least one of my ancestors had a broken engagement.   
·         36%, At least one of my ancestors had a fiancĂ© or spouse who was killed in a war.   
·         15%, At least one of my ancestors had a spouse who died within six months of their wedding day.   
·         32%, At least one of my ancestors died within six months of a spouse's death.   
·         15%, At least one of my ancestors was involved in a bigamous marriage.   
·         45%, At least one of my ancestors was married more than three times.   
·         5%, At least one of my ancestors was reunited with a long-lost love.   
·         60%, At least one of my ancestors was married 60 years or more.     

I could probably say yes to every question, except the bigamy one I believe. But it would take some time to go through my whole family list. Of the past five generations of my, and my wife’s direct ancestral lines this is what I can answer about the length of their marriages at least. All of the marriages ended with the death of one partner, none in divorce:

Relationship
Wayne
Linda

Years
Dates
Years
Dates
Parents
35
1939-1974
45
1931-1976
Grandparents
45
1914-1959
32
1902-1934
58
1895-1953
14
1908-1922
Great-grandparents
1
1891-1891
46
1857-1903
35
1884-1919
<43
1868-bef 1911
48
1866-1914
47
1880-1927
29
1851-1880


2nd Great-grandparents
35
1855-1890
48
1802-1850
41
1851-1892
<35
1846-bef 1881
<20
1848-bef 1868
<18
1833-bef 1851
51
1854-1905
60
1851-1911
8
1838-1846
<21
1850-bef 1871
54
1840-1894


57
1801-1858


43
1817-1860


3rd Great-grandparents
44
1826-1870
<74
1787-bef 1861
58
1819-1877
<41
1820-bef 1861
38
1823-1861
<46
1825-bef 1871
24
1827-1851
<13
1828-bef 1841
20
1825-1845


51
1820-1871


abt 29
1804-ca 1833


38
1811-1849


abt 55
1783-ca 1838


38
1790-1828



The furthest back I can go is to my 8th great-grandparents who married in 1630. He died in 1657 and she in 1685, so their marriage lasted only 27 years.

It’s an interesting exercise to see the longevity of your ancestors’ marriages. The short ones are all too sad, especially that of my paternal great-grandparents which last only one year when she died of pthisis (tuberculosis). I wrote about her on 23 June 2015.

The analysis also tells you that there is still a lot of work to do in finding when, where and how people married and long their union lasted.

It’s also great when you have a photo taken on a special day such as this one for Linda’s 2nd great-grandparents, James & Mary Walker in Elgin, Moray, Scotland on their 60th wedding anniversary, 6 February 1911.




Linda and I will celebrate 46 years together next Monday!



Wayne Shepheard is a volunteer with the Online Parish Clerk program in England, handling four parishes in Devon, England. He has published a number of articles about various aspects of genealogy and is a past Editor of Chinook, the quarterly journal of the Alberta Family Histories Society. Wayne also provides genealogical consulting services through his business, Family History Facilitated

2 comments:

  1. I just wanted to say thanks for doing this. I have just recently found that I am related to your wife Linda, I always knew I was adopted but just recently found I felt like a puzzle piece that didn't quite fit. Reading your blogs on Linda's family has finally started to put my family puzzle together.
    So again thanks for sharing your knowledge.
    Shannon

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    1. Tell us more Shannon. I won't publish your email address.

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