Wiltshire Marriage Patterns 1754-1914: Geographical Mobility, Cousin Marriage and Illegitimacy

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9781443845359: Wiltshire Marriage Patterns 1754-1914: Geographical Mobility, Cousin Marriage and Illegitimacy
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This is the first study to use pedigrees of a mainstream English population to determine cousin marriage rates amongst ordinary labourers, tradesmen and farmers, and to demonstrate the association between cousin marriage, occupation, religious affiliation, geographical mobility and illegitimate reproductive experience. Using birthplace rather than place of residence, it shows the geographical source of spouses, their parents and grandparents. The marriage prospects of parents of illegitimate children and the children themselves are described, along with the association between being the mother of an illegitimate child and both low geographical mobility and high rates of cousin marriage.

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About the Author:

Dr Cathy Day is a Visiting Fellow at the School of Archaeology and Anthropology at the Australian National University, where she completed her PhD, upon which this book is based. She also holds post graduate degrees in applied linguistics and in electrical engineering, and undergraduate degrees in Asian studies and in arts.

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In her research for this book, Dr Cathy Day has done something really quite interesting and in some respects broken new ground. She has applied family reconstitution techniques, on a smaller geographical scale than in the historical demography of the famous Cambridge group, but in more depth, using a multiplicity of sources. The result is an absorbing picture of the marital demography of two Wiltshire parishes, from 1754 to 1914, with special attention to marital mobility, consanguineous marriage and illegitimacy, and to how these phenomena interact. The rich and precise detail in which the author has painted this picture reflects her innovative approach, drawing not only on Anglican records, but also on many others, including Catholic and Methodist church records, Catholic recusancy records, Bastardy Bonds and other Poor Law administrative records, monumental inscriptions, civil registration records, census records, wills, information offered by living descendants and even a record of the occasion in 1751 when the local grand family invited every inhabitant of their village to Christmas dinner in their stately home. --Dr Robert Attenborough, Senior Lecturer in Bioanthropology, School of Archaeology and Anthropology, ANU College of Arts and Social Science, Australian National University

This book makes a substantial contribution to English population history. Cathy Day uses a wide range of sources providing data about named individuals to answer more fully and accurately questions about marriage patterns which have in the past been tackled only approximately and tentatively. The book demonstrates the value of harnessing the databases now in existence which contain nominative information about historical populations. Many of these are now easily accessible using the internet. Anyone interested in record linkage, or the collective biography approach to population history, will benefit from reading this book. --Dr Andrew Hinde, Head of Division of Social Statistics and Demography, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton

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