Sweden Engagement and Marriage Records

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Back to [[Portal:Sweden|Sweden Portal Page]]►  
 
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In pre-1800 Sweden, the state of marriage was considered a “legally-binding” relationship between husband and wife. The legal nature of the marriage relationship required that an engagement or “promise” be made by the “intended” prior to marriage. Thus, the engagement formality was a legally binding statement in which the bride and groom publicly declared that he/she would continue in “good faith” through the conclusion of the engagement and then into marriage.  
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According to the church law of 1686, a record should be kept “recording the names of couples intending to marry and the names of their parents”.<ref>“Alle brudefolck med dheras och föräldrarnas namn…”: Clemensson, Per &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp; Andersson, Kjell. Släktforska steg för steg&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/u&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;. Falköping, Natur och Kultur/Fakta, 2005</ref> Historically the process to get married meant, meeting with the priest, going through the engagement process, and the wedding day. <br> The engagement and marriage records generally begin about 1688, but there are examples of earlier records. In early accounts the engagement and marriage entries were often written in a “general church book” that contained all the birth and christenings, engagements and marriages, and death and burial records for a parish. The engagement and marriage entries might be listed according to the chronological date of the[[Banns_in_Sweden|lysning (public banns)]], or the vigseldag (wedding day). <br>
  
A ”promised” couple went to the minister and informed him that they wished to be married. The minister then filled out an intention of marriage (marriage bann) . The couple next went through a three-week sequence of “reading of the banns”. At the conclusion of his sermon each Sunday during the three-week period, the minister read aloud the marriage bann of each “promised” couple and asked the congregation if anyone objected to the marriage going forward. After the conclusion of the readings of the banns, if no one had objected to the couple’s forthcoming marriage, the couple was then granted permission by the minister to be married. Marriages customarily took place in the parish of the bride, but could also take place at the bride’s home. The bride and groom were each required to bring a witness with them to the formal signing of the engagement contract and the witnesses’ names were recorded in the document. The bride often brought her father or an elder brother to the engagement, not only to act as her witness, but also to give his permission to marry. A reminder to the reader, that the Swedish society in the years before 1900 was patriarchal and a female could only enter into legal agreements with prior consent granted from the male legally responsible for her.
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A typical marriage entry should include:<br>
  
In a Swedish Church Record of marriage you can expect to find:
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*The full names of the bride and groom
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*The residence of the bride and groom (often not recorded in the cities)
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*The amount of the Morgongåva
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*In exceptional cases the names of the parents
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*Sometimes you will see information about the Giftoman or Förmydaren (a legal representative for the bride)
  
*The name of the bride and groom
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<br>
*The date and place of marriage
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*The residence(s) of the bride and groom
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*If the marriage is a first marriage or a subsequent marriage
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*The names of the witnesses to the engagement
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*In case of a widow, if a probate was made after the former spouse
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When working with Swedish Church Records of marriage  
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You may find engagement certificates called “lysningssedel or lysningsattest” mixed among the engagement and marriage records. These papers might include the name of the giftoman, refer to any special permission that was granted for the marriage, mention the “giftomans samtycke” (his agreement), or include reference to a probate. A widow or widower could not remarry until the assessment and divisions of their previous “estate” were legally resolved. <br>
  
<u>'''REMEMBER'''</u>:
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In some cases the lysningssedel replaced the engagement and marriage book. <br>  
  
• Marriages often took place in the parish of the bride
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Historically the single woman was never of independent legal status, the giftoman would have to agree to a marriage and then marry her away. The giftoman was usually the bride’s father. If the father was deceased, then usually the oldest brother would fill this role. Once married, the womans legal representation was by her husband. Only widows had independent legal status. <br>
  
• Marriage banns were read each Sunday for three weeks prior to marriage
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<br>
  
• The terms “ungkarl” and “pigan” indicate a first marriage<br>• The terms “enkemand”, “enkan”, and sometimes "hustru"&nbsp;indicate a previous marriage<br>• After the reading of the third bann, the “promised” couple was considered to be man and wife
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=== Tip ===
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*There was no standard organization to earlier “general church books”. Sometimes the book is divided into sections, other times the entries were recorded chronologically as the events took place. <br>
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*In the case when they are recorded chronologically, you will have to find the engagement and marriage entries mixed among the birth and christenings and death and burials. <br>
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*Sometimes the engagement and marriage information was recorded in the same entry. Other times they are not and you should look for both. <br>
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<br>
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=== Notes  ===
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{{reflist}}
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=== References  ===
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Clemensson, Per &amp; Andersson, Kjell. <u>Släktforska steg för steg</u>. Falköping, Natur och Kultur/Fakta, 2005 <br>
  
 
[[Category:Sweden]]
 
[[Category:Sweden]]

Revision as of 19:03, 11 February 2011

Back to Sweden Portal Page

According to the church law of 1686, a record should be kept “recording the names of couples intending to marry and the names of their parents”.[1] Historically the process to get married meant, meeting with the priest, going through the engagement process, and the wedding day.
The engagement and marriage records generally begin about 1688, but there are examples of earlier records. In early accounts the engagement and marriage entries were often written in a “general church book” that contained all the birth and christenings, engagements and marriages, and death and burial records for a parish. The engagement and marriage entries might be listed according to the chronological date of thelysning (public banns), or the vigseldag (wedding day).

A typical marriage entry should include:

  • The full names of the bride and groom
  • The residence of the bride and groom (often not recorded in the cities)
  • The amount of the Morgongåva
  • In exceptional cases the names of the parents
  • Sometimes you will see information about the Giftoman or Förmydaren (a legal representative for the bride)


You may find engagement certificates called “lysningssedel or lysningsattest” mixed among the engagement and marriage records. These papers might include the name of the giftoman, refer to any special permission that was granted for the marriage, mention the “giftomans samtycke” (his agreement), or include reference to a probate. A widow or widower could not remarry until the assessment and divisions of their previous “estate” were legally resolved.

In some cases the lysningssedel replaced the engagement and marriage book.

Historically the single woman was never of independent legal status, the giftoman would have to agree to a marriage and then marry her away. The giftoman was usually the bride’s father. If the father was deceased, then usually the oldest brother would fill this role. Once married, the womans legal representation was by her husband. Only widows had independent legal status.


Tip

  • There was no standard organization to earlier “general church books”. Sometimes the book is divided into sections, other times the entries were recorded chronologically as the events took place.
  • In the case when they are recorded chronologically, you will have to find the engagement and marriage entries mixed among the birth and christenings and death and burials.
  • Sometimes the engagement and marriage information was recorded in the same entry. Other times they are not and you should look for both.


Notes

  1. “Alle brudefolck med dheras och föräldrarnas namn…”: Clemensson, Per &amp;amp;amp;amp;amp; Andersson, Kjell. Släktforska steg för steg&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;lt;/u&amp;amp;amp;amp;amp;gt;. Falköping, Natur och Kultur/Fakta, 2005

References

Clemensson, Per & Andersson, Kjell. Släktforska steg för steg. Falköping, Natur och Kultur/Fakta, 2005