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Family formation, marriage and procreative careers in late nineteenth century Scotland. Alice ReidEilidh Garrett Department of GeographyFaculty of History.

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Presentation on theme: "Family formation, marriage and procreative careers in late nineteenth century Scotland. Alice ReidEilidh Garrett Department of GeographyFaculty of History."— Presentation transcript:

1 Family formation, marriage and procreative careers in late nineteenth century Scotland. Alice ReidEilidh Garrett Department of GeographyFaculty of History Cambridge Group for the History of Population and Social Structure University of Cambridge Acknowledgements: ESRC Wellcome Trust General Register Office for Scotland (now National Records for Scotland) Ros Davies, Andrew Blaikie 1

2 Civil registers of births marriages and deaths 1861 – 1901 Census enumerators books 1861, 1871, 1881, 1891 & Linked the two sets of records. Number of marriages Kilmarnock 8,600 Skye 2,800 Rothiemay 300 2

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4 Date and place of marriage Denomination Name, occupation & marital status of groom (signature) Maiden name, occupation & marital status of bride (signature) witnesses Age of each party Usual residence of each party Groom’s father’s name and occupation, mother’s maiden name, whether either parent dead Bride’s father’s name and occupation, mother’s maiden name, whether either parent dead Signature of official, (signatures) of witnesses Date and place of registration signature of registrar 4

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6 19 th Century Scotland had 4 forms of marriage – all legal if involving proven ‘exchange of consent’. 1 Regular: Performed after banns by a minister of any religious denomination (after 1836). Responsibility of the couple to register the marriage. 3 Irregular: declaration of marriage to a Registrar, declaration to a magistrate or to the Sheriff, or as the result of a prosecution. Also marriage ‘by habit and repute’ – evidence of marriage (exchange of consent), but did not constitute a marriage. (Royal Commission on Laws of Marriage, 1868) 6

7 Percentages of all marriages conducted ‘by declaration’, Scotland, Kilmarnock, Skye and Rothiemay Location of marriages by declaration, Kilmarnock 1880s and 1890s. 7

8 Name of child Date and time of birth Place of birth Sex of child Name and occupation of father Name and maiden surname of mother Date and place of parents marriage Name of ‘informant’ and relation to child – whether signed Date and place of registration Name of registrar A Scottish birth certificate:

9 Rothiemay: births 1861 – 1901 Type of birthN% 1.Legitimate* Illegitimate (both parents register) Illegitimate (mother only registers) ? (father only registers)20.1 Total births Rothiemay: 769 ‘procreative units’ Illegitimate – both parents register Illegitimate – mother only registers Legitimate Mothers observed to have: N% Legitimate children only Illegit. and legit children293.8 Illegit. children only Of 488 ‘all legitimate’ families, 87 (11.3 % of total) observed to include a prenuptial conception. In all therefore, 47.9% of fertile women observed in Rothiemay demonstrably began their procreative careers before marriage 22.2 * Legitimate births were those registered by both parents with information given about parents’ marriage, and no statement of illegitimacy. 9

10 Co-residence of unmarried couples – not always easy to identify. 10

11 Percentage of couples bearing children in Kilmarnock before 1901 stating they were married in Kilmarnock in selected years whose marriage cannot be found in the civil registers of Kilmarnock. 11

12 Women claiming to be married in the census (with at least one birth registered in Kilmarnock) but unwilling or unable to supply marriage information on their child’s birth certificate: Kilmarnock

13 Percentage of couples giving precise street addresses on their marriage certificates, where bride and groom record exactly the same address for ‘usual residence’. Not easy to calculate euivalent figures for 2 rural communities as addresses tend to be given as by ‘hamlet’ or ‘township’ 13

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