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From: Judy <>
Subject: Re: Multiple Marriages
Date: Fri, 30 Jun 2000 22:32:27 +1000


You wrote: "Was it common practice at one time to get married in more than one location? I have found this to be the case at least 5 times in my different
branches of the family. "

What you are looking at is entries for the reading of the marriage banns, which were an announcement of a forthcoming marriage to take place in a few week's time.
The banns had to be read before a marriage could take place, and had to be read in the parish of both the bride and the groom. Therefore, if the bride and groom
lived in two different parishes, the banns would be read in two different parishes, resulting in two sets of entries in the Old Parochial Registers.

In Scotland prior to the 20th century, it was not at all common to get married in church. Most marriages took place at a family home, local hall, even a local
hotel. The ministers of the Church of Scotland were licenced to conduct marriages in any location. As it was far cheaper to get married at home than in the
church, home was the most common location.

When you see a date for marriage banns, you can assume the marriage took place about three to six weeks later. Of course, there is no guarantee that the marriage
actually did take place, but it's a pretty safe bet that it did. Not marrying after having banns reads was pretty rare.

Your 'two ceremonies' thought is a very common assumption. It doesn't help that both the IGI and ScotsOrigins call pre/1855 OPR entries 'marriages' - in fact, the
vast majority of pre 1855 'marriage' entries are not marriages at all but entries for the reading of the banns.

Regards

Judy Strachan

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