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Posts Tagged ‘family history’

Arranged Marriage

Out with The Granny recently, my sister decided to ask about arranged marriage. I can’t remember how exactly but it was relatively related to what we were talking about.

“So, did anyone ever marry the wrong person back in your day?”

“Yes, ME” replies The Granny.

“Oh no, I meant a person that wasn’t approved of or who turned out to be a nasty piece of work?”

All said in hushed tones across the restaurant table.

“Or were there any arranged marriages?”

According the The Granny, yes one of her aunt’s marriages had been arranged. Rewind to 1940s Wexford where it was all about the land you had and the living you could make from it. There was a local bar, Murphy’s, where a certain bachelor farmer would go from time to time for a drink or two and a chat with Mr. Murphy behind the bar. He was a man in his forties and he made it known to Mr. Murphy – who surely knew every man in the surrounding area (with and without a daughter) – that he was on the lookout for a wife.

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You’d have to wonder what prompted it so late in life, but The Granny sought out her marriage cert and related documents recently in the Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages or wherever such ancient documents are kept nowadays.

It’s almost 60 years since she got married but a lot less years have passed since her marriage was unceremoniously ended, and even that preceded the untimely death of my grandfather about ten years later, alone in a bedsit in Bray.

The man behind the counter of whatever office she was in kindly offered to go fetch her documents for her. He came back several minutes later with her marriage certificate and her permission cert or whatever the proper name is for the signed cert from her parents allowing her to get married. This had to be signed by both her parents as she was under 21 when getting married, not unusual in 1949 I’m sure, she was a bride of just 19.

She was not very happy to discover that the priest’s name was filled in incorrectly-she knows his name as the priest in question was her uncle, my great grand uncle (I think?!) but they had left out one letter, rendering him with a different last name entirely. She asked to have it changed.

The name of her mother was also incorrect and she was much maligned that any future generations seeking to trace back their family history as she has done, would find she had been born to a mother called Elizabeth and married by a complete stranger called Fr. Horan when neither was the case. So she has asked for both to be changed.

I’d wonder what prompted her seeking out the documents but I have to remember that she entered the last year of her seventies last week, possibly age is playing on her mind. Getting things in order while she can, considering her next birthday will bring her to her eighties. Funny how these things happen, I still wouldn’t put her anywhere older than about 72 or 73 and there she is almost in her eighties! Hopefully those young-looking genes are ones that I’ve inherited đŸ™‚

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