Monday, 11 August 2014

More than BMD

(This article talks more about the records in Québec, but the links are global.)

This past spring my daughter was proud to accept the role of godmother of her friend's child.  Since it was to be a catholic baptism, my daughter had to provide proof that she was confirmed in the catholic church, under Canon Law. A baptized person of another faith can be a "Christian witness", not a godparent. The rite of confirmation comes when the child is old enough (in the eyes of the church) to confirm for themselves the profession of faith made on their behalf at their baptism. When my children had their confirmation they picked a "godparent" different from the one they had at baptism.

When the early arrivals came to New France, they too had to provide proof of confirmation to be able to be godparents to the children of their friends.  Since many could not do this, and just to be sure, the church confirmed many soldiers, workers and others not long after landing in Quebec. There are records starting about 1659 at Ancestry and Drouin (both pay sites). At Ancestry they are under the Quebec, Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967 ( Q - Quebec - not stated - 1649-1662. In the Drouin Collection they can be found under Registres paroissiaux 1621-1876 - Q - Québec - Registre des confirmés 1659-1771.

My father's family attended St Stephen's Anglican Church in Montreal, and my grandmother was confirmed there in April 1919 at the age of 31.

When I was a teenager I would hear whisperings of adult gossip about a bride being left in the lurch, and one phrase I heard was "breach of contract". Before getting to the point of saying "I do" in many countries some couples sign a marriage contract. The only one I know of in my family who had a marriage contract was my Aunt Bessie. In Quebec these are drawn up by a notary, so if you know the year and name or place you may be able to find a contract for your ancestor on the BANQ site in the Notary Collection.  BANQ has made a database of marriage contracts in three regions of Quebec. (They are in French only). Click the box on right above images “Consultation de l’instrument de Recherche” for database search.

Marriage Banns were usually read in the church for three consecutive Sundays. This was to give a chance for anyone to come forward with a reason why the couple could not canonically or legally be married. If there was some reason that the wedding could not wait the three weeks, then a special dispensation may have been given and the Banns read just one week or not at all. You may find where the Church has recorded the publishing of the Banns in their registers. Researching my British ancestors at the Lancashire OnLine Parish Clerk site, I see that they list some Bann registers there.

Sometimes the marriage doesn't work out, and the couple gets divorced.  My grandfather divorced his first wife and in the early 1900s that was not an easy thing to do.  My grandfather was living in Ontario at the time, and in late 1909 he went to Detroit, Michigan to establish residency.  There in 1912 he was granted his divorce on June 29th and married my grandmother on July 31st. I found the divorce record in the Wayne County Divorce records on Ancestry. 

In Canada ...

"From 1867 to 1968, a person wishing to obtain a divorce was first required to place a notice of intent to petition the government for an Act of Divorce in the Canada Gazette and in two newspapers in the district or county where the petitioner resided. It was to appear for a 6-month period."

I found the divorce of my mother's cousin in these records. To search for your ancestors in the Canada Gazette, use keywords surname and divorce.
Can also try the city.

For the US there are "Records of the field offices for the state of ?, Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands" from the 1800's which contain a myriad of letters, receipts, registers and records, some of which are marriage and divorce.  After the introduction there is a list of contents which may help in the search.

Relevant Links:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Leave me a note to tell me you were here! Thanks for visiting.

By joining our Facebook group you get other genealogy news from time to time, and you can download pages of links that go with the posts. Use follow buttons at top right under search bar.

Copyright © Genealogy: Beyond the BMD
Division of Dianne at Home