Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bond, Marriage Bond

Marriage Licenses Bonds and Allegations

In England, a marriage by license consisted of three documents. These documents were obtained from the archbishop, bishop, archdeacon or a clergyman from a peculiar. It involved making a sworn statement or allegation that complied with canon law, a set of rules in the Book of Common Prayer that the couple were fully qualified for marriage. Forbidden were those of too close consanguinity of blood. Although first cousins were accepted by the Church of England, it was condemned by Quakers and Catholics (unless a dispensation was paid for). These allegations usually include the parish of residence and the place where the marriage was performed, but may also include age, occupation and parent names.

The marriage bond was a sworn statement by the groom and a bondsman (usually a friend or relative), and a bond fee was paid to ensure compliance.

Once all the legal conditions had been met, a license was issued. The groom would then present it to the clergyman who would perform the marriage ceremony.

Marriage index books can be found for most counties. Finding the original allegations, bonds and licenses might be a little more difficult. A keyword search in the catalog could bring up some good results. A caution should be noted that not all licenses produced marriages.

Word of the Week:
Plancher = A flat board (apparently they might have had some value in the seventeenth century, as seen in some wills.)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Stop Your Whining

Ancestral Quest has been my favorite genealogy program for years. It is compatible with and has all the features of PAF and an abundance of other properties, a wide variety of reports, charts and scrap-booking capabilities. It also has research manager, direct connection with Family Search, World Vital Records and What I like most about AQ is the ability to move about to various families and names in a rapid manner, since I’m working on about as many lines as a lounge lizard has to pick up the ladies.
Last week I reviewed three genealogy programs for Linux Operating System. So I figured that a good genealogy program was not available for Ubuntu. When I was a kid, my grandfather used to tell me “Stop your whining.”
This week I sucked in my bottom lip and tried a package called Wine (a Windows emulator) in conjunction with Ancestral Quest. First, I installed Wine, then I went to the cdrom directory in terminal and typed in ‘wine setup.exe’. Then I let Wine and Ancestral Quest do their thing. Testing the program produced no errors so far.

Word of the Week:
Wand = A portion of communal land, marked by corner sticks (wands).

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Testing or Testing my Patience

My favorite genealogy program is Ancestral Quest; I have been using it since its inception. My spare computer has been turned into an Ubuntu operating system, which is Linux based. So I decided to evaluate different genealogy software programs on my Ubuntu machine:

Gramps is probably one of the best linux-based genealogy programs. It was a fairly easy install and opened up with my 6000+ gedcom file with no problems. It can produce some cool reports and has a nice look. Some graph reports (.dot), however did not show up properly. It also lacks the ability to move quickly around to various names and families.

Lifelines a text-based package which reminded me of an old 8088 software program. After download and installation, I soon found out it only runs in terminal. Then I tried entering my name and it took five minutes. This program is not even worth the effort it took to uninstall it.

GeneWeb is an html-based program. After installing the three packages geneweb, gwsetup and gwtb, I then converted my gedcom file in terminal to where? I don’t know. Two hours later, I still couldn’t bring up my database. I consider myself a bit of a geek, but this was a total waste of time. If anyone finds my genealogy database somewhere on the net, please let me know.

There might be other genealogy software for Linux systems that I haven’t heard of yet, please let me know if you are aware of any. As for the above three, Gramps is workable, but the other two programs are impractical.

Word of the Week:
Brandwithe: A fence around a well, used to prevent people and animals from falling into it.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Pyramid of Confusion

Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction of English Probate Courts
In England the Anglican Church had jurisdiction over probate from 1537 to 1858. The highest ecclesiastical court was the Prerogative Court of Canterbury (PCC). It had authority over all of England, Wales, Scotland, Ireland, the colonies, foreign soldiers and mariners. The next level was the provincial courts, at the time of the early wills there were only two: Once again the PCC and the Prerogative Court of York (PCY). The PCY included the northern counties of Cheshire, Cumberland, Durham, Isle of Man, Lancashire, Northumberland, Nottinghamshire, Westmorland and Yorkshire. All the remaining counties in the south were under the jurisdiction of the PCC. The third level was the Diocese, Bishop or Episcopal jurisdiction, similar to county boundaries except some counties had more than one diocese and yet some dioceses included more than one county. The fourth level was the Archdeaconry, as the diocese was broken down further into smaller units. The fifth level was the Rural Deanery consisting of parish groups of twelve and more. And the lowest level was the Parish and Peculiars. As for parishes, most wills were proved in higher courts, but peculiars had certain rights not bound by some higher courts, many of them were the Dean and Chapter, Manor courts, Prebends, Chancellor, Sub-Dean, Succentor, Vicarial and various other titles.

If a testator owned land in different jurisdictions, then the probate was most likely certified in the court that included both jurisdictions. (Example: if the testator owned a messuage north of the Humber River and a farm south of Humber then the higher court of PCC would have authority over the said properties).

Word of the Week: Cordwainer is a shoemaker who worked with new leather, as opposed to a cobbler who made shoes generally from used materials.