Better news with a marriage certificate, but more confusion

6 Jun

The disappointment which accompanied Harriet WRIGHTs incorrect birth certificate was reduced slightly by the arrival of the marriage certificate for William GEERING and Emily GREEN. They were married on the 29th June 1890 at the parish church of Sutton cum Seaford, Sussex.

I needed their marriage certificate to identify Emily’s parents, my 3x great grandparents. Previously I hadn’t been able to confidently identify her parents, there were a couple of options, so I had to bite the bullet and order the certificate.

Now I know that Emily’s father was William GREEN, and from this I have discovered that her mother was probably Charlotte TEMPLEMAN, both were from Seaford. There is however one troubling problem….

The ages shown on the marriage certificate for both bride and groom were different from the ages given on census returns, both before and after their marriage. Normally I would trust the marriage certificate over a census return, but in this case the census returns are pretty consistent across the years.

The marriage in 1890 gives their ages as 21 (for William) and 20 (for Emily). Their census ages in 1891 were 23 and 27 respectively. I did wonder whether the ages 21 and 20 were simply indicating whether they were “of full age” or not, implying that Emily was under 21, but if anything they would be the other way around.

The baptism record for Emily GREEN (daughter of William and Charlotte GREEN) shows she was baptised at St Leonard’s Church, Seaford on the 20th January 1862, and that she was born on the 17th December 1861. So Emily was nearer 29 years old when she married, not 20. Curiously though I can’t find a birth entry in the GRO BMD indexes.

I clearly need to do more work on both the bride and her parents to satisfy myself that I am looking at the correct individuals, although I am pretty confident that they are the correct couple. I especially need to check the parish register for the marriage entry, to see if an error has occurred on the certificate.

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