10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
A first-rate book, debunking some myths (hopefully for good),
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This review is from: Marriage Law for Genealogists: The Definitive Guide ...what everyone tracing their family history needs to know about where, when, who and how their English and Welsh ancestors married (Paperback)
This book for genealogists, based on solid academic research, refutes several ideas that some genealogists seem to have taken on board, such as the idea of 'Common Law' marriage before 1754. Having spent many years in family history research myself, I have never found any evidence for common law marriage. Indeed, the power of the church courts, in which a woman, or both a man and a woman, could be punished for fornication, particularly if a child was begotten in the process, has always suggested otherwise, and I was therefore not surprised by the author's findings.
The world of our ancestors becomes more and more different to our own world the further back we go, and it is important to understand the conventions by which our ancestors lived, particularly regarding marriage, which is a central feature of family history research. This book fills a gap in the market that has been waiting to be filled for some time and I would recommend it to all serious family history researchers.