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Old 11-11-2009, 12:16 PM
 
Location: Amelia View
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Default Marriage ceremonies and traditions in the 1700s?

Does anyone know, or can recommend a good resource to find out details, about marriages during the colonial and post-colonial times?

What I've picked up so far is that, first, a couple planning to marry had to file intentions. I presume these intentions were filed publicly such as with a town clerk or with a court? I also presume intentions were "published" in some way so that anyone who wanted to object could do so.

The marriage itself: I believe the "legal" marriage was a civil one in front of some magistrate. I also believe that there was, perhaps usually simultaneously, a ceremony in front of a minister or pastor.

Does anyone know what the ceremony would have been like? Did they have the "dearly beloved, we are gathered here today ....."? Did the couple say their "I do's"? Was there any kind of hoop-dee-doo afterwards akin to today's wedding reception?

Another interesting tidbit is that when a child seems to have born before the parents married, that wasn't always exactly true. I was told that couples would marry in church, and for all intents and purposes they were "married". When the circuit judge came through they would go through the civil ceremony, and this would be the marriage date recorded. This would make logical sense for rural and outlying areas that didn't have a permanent court, and civil matters would be taken up when the judge came to town.
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Old 11-11-2009, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
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he courting process in Colonial times was entirely different between families and churches. At one time on Long Island, for instance, 52 different languages were spoken, but there was only one Dutch church. The Quaker rites wre different from the Dutch. The Dutch. Caltholic and Quakers all posted Banns. It was commonly posted two times between the announcement of the intended marriage and the marriage itself. Presumably so obljections could be addressed. Jewish weddings were entirely different. The movie "Fiddler On The Roof" is a very good example of a Jewish wedding. It has not change appreciably in the last 5000 years. I suspect most of the Christian Churches during that time whether it was Episcopal, Presbyterian. Lutheran, Anglican or Crist's Churh had similar rites regarding matrimony. Again I speak of 17th and early 18th century religions.

I personally have not read anything to date about marriage Banns as it relates to first cousins, as it was not that uncommon for first cousins to marry in the 17th century.

The Methodists, Baptists and Mormons did not form until later in the 18th, or in the 19th centuries.

My ancestor was instrumental in founding the first Presbyter Church in Monmouth County before the Revolutionary War. It was granted a Royal Charter ca 1750. The first Baptist in America formed about 1775 in Rhode Island.
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Old 11-11-2009, 02:16 PM
 
Location: Providence, RI
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I believe you'll find that the First Baptist Church in America was founded by Roger Williams in Rhode Island in 1638 not 1775.
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Old 11-11-2009, 02:24 PM
 
Location: Not where you ever lived
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I believe you are right. Thanks.
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Old 11-11-2009, 03:08 PM
 
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I have a great book about marriages in the Northern Neck of Virginia and there are so many interesting details in there...it is called "Married well and married often" and it covers marriages from the late 1600's- late 1800's...perhaps it could help as well. Just let me know and I can look something up for you.
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Old 11-12-2009, 06:43 AM
 
Location: Amelia View
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Thanks linicx and mrstewart for the info!
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Old 11-12-2009, 08:37 AM
 
Location: Colorado
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The Food Timeline: history notes--Colonial America and 17th & 18th century France

History of Weddings - LoveToKnow Weddings
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Old 11-14-2009, 04:17 PM
bjh
Status: "Happy Thursday, y'all!" (set 19 hours ago)
 
Location: Memphis - home of the king
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About Colonial Marriage Customs | eHow.com

This one's very academic:
http://www.austincc.edu/jdikes/1301r...Ways%20ALL.pdf
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Old 11-15-2009, 04:44 AM
 
Location: Amelia View
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Thanks bjh!! The info in those two links helps to confirm my observations. My database contains as many people as one would find in a small city, and after entering so much information I begin to see traits (currently only for New England where the bulk of my database relates).
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Old 11-15-2009, 12:45 PM
bjh
Status: "Happy Thursday, y'all!" (set 19 hours ago)
 
Location: Memphis - home of the king
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Cool!

I really enjoyed the article from austincc.edu. I found myself "agreeing" with the Puritian POV most. Not surprising since we have so many such ancestors.
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