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Archiver > DEVON > 2003-03 > 1049080075

From: "Bill Churchill" <>
Subject: RE: [DEV] Sojourners
Date: Sun, 30 Mar 2003 21:07:55 -0600
In-Reply-To: <000001c2f6df$85a15d40$2ad2fc3e@oemcomputer>

From "Ancestral Trails", by Mark D. Herber!

Being "of the parish" or "otp" really meant being "legally settled", or
entitled to "poor relief".

The Settlement Act of 1662 was designed to overcome the problem of large
numbers of vagrants/temporary/migrant workers becoming a burden on
parish funds in the event of their needing relief from starvation. The
Act stated that a person was only entitled to relief from the parish if
they were:

A. Someone who held office or paid the parish rate,
B. Someone who rented property worth more than 10 pounds,
C. An unmarried person who had worked in the parish for one year,
D. A woman who married a man of the parish,
E. A legitimate child, aged under 7, whose father lived in the parish,
F. A child who was illegitimate and born in the parish,
G. An individual apprenticed to a master in the parish, or
H. A person resident in the parish for 40 days after having given the
parish authorities prior written notice of his intention to settle.

Disputes regarding legal settlement were examined by Justices of the
Peace who could issue removal orders for people to be sent back to their
legal parish of settlement. In many cases this continued even after
1834 when parish Unions & workhouses came into being and apparently the
practice continued into the early 20th century!

Records of those who were residents of a parish are contained in
surviving copies the settlement registers.

As for the marriage of two Sojourners in a parish, I think that they
could not be married by Banns. I have been told that one of them had to
be "of the parish" for Banns to be used. Obviously, would anyone of a
parish necessarily know if a Sojourner from another parish had
impediments that would preclude a marriage?

If your ancestors were both Sojourners, I believe they would have needed
a license for marriage. Possibly someone could comment about that.

I say, look for a license.

Bill Churchill

-----Original Message-----
From: Martin Cross [mailto:]
Sent: Sunday, March 30, 2003 3:30 AM
Subject: [DEV] Sojourners

Dear list,

I visited the Exeter Records Office last week in search of my Brixham
ancestors. One of the things that struck me was the use of the phrase
'sojourner in this parish' in the records of marriage banns. I had not
come across this in Yorkshire, where most of my research has been.

Is there a definition of a sojourner? Presumably it is someone not of
the Parish, but does it mean they are living there at the time of the
banns, and if so, how long would you have to live somewhere before
becoming 'of this parish', rather than a soujourner? My ggg
grandparents, Thomas PALMER and Johanna TAYLOR were both sojourners in
the Parish of St. Mary's, Brixham at the time of their marriage in 1819,
so I would guess that at least one of them must have been living there
if they were married there.

Any thoughts gratefully recieved.

Martin Cross
Brighton, UK


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