Thursday 2 October 2014

Marriage announcements: Limerick Chronicle, 1863 of you will already know of Sharon Slater's excellent website Limerick's Life. It's an essential site for any family historian with ancestors from the City, or indeed anyone with a current or past connection to the area.

Sharon's most recent updates sees the result of a project she set herself. She has transcribed all the wedding announcements published in the Limerick Chronicle during 1863, the year before civil registration of ALL marriages became obligatory.

At that time, it was usually only the wealthy that announced weddings in newspapers, so most of those captured from the Chronicle will have been high society affairs. Most of them were held in Church of Ireland churches, but there's a limited sprinkling of Wesleyan, Presbyterian and Roman Catholic marriages, too.

"I was surprised at the number of people who did not get married in their home counties." Sharon told Irish Genealogy News. "It blew the idea that you could trace marriages that way out of the water (at least for those whose marriages were reported in the newspapers)."

To accommodate this phenomenon, she has arranged the transcriptions into 32 county sections, repeating those marriages that mentioned two or more counties. For example, the wedding that took place in Waterford between Francis F Harney of Wexford and Frances Elizabeth Pollock of Youghal, Co Cork, appears in the listings for counties Waterford, Wexford and Cork.

There is also an Outside Ireland listing of marriages where the announcement makes some mention of a location abroad, typically a bride or groom hailing from England, Scotland or the USA.

Sharon says she may well repeat the project, choosing another year from the local newspaper's archives.