What is the exact meaning of “entered to be published”?

+3 votes
125 views

I am trying to resolve the parentage of Achsah Bennet in my line. Specifically who her mother is. In the Sandwich, MA VR, there is an entry between Stephen Bennet and Mehetable Tobey that reads “entered to be published”, if I am reading it correctly.

What is the exact meaning of the term? Intentions to be marriage? Or the actual marriage itself? Or something else?

The matter is further complicated in that the only Mehetable Tobey from Sandwich seems to already be married to Nathaniel Bourne, since 1779, and he was still living. Also, Stephen Bennet’s 1st (?) wife, Zerviah Hammond, has no death record that has been found, so it is unclear whether she was living at the time, or not. (Although she would be in her very late 40s at the time of Achsah’s birth, which is already a red flag.)

Thanks for any info!

WikiTree profile: Achsah Kenney
in Genealogy Help by Christopher Kenney G2G6 (7.5k points)
edited by Christopher Kenney

2 Answers

+6 votes
Intention to be married is the same thing as marriage banns. The couple's intention to get married is published in the town and or church records. These were probably second marriages for both Stephen and Mehitable.
by Nancy Downing G2G6 (8.6k points)
+2 votes
Marriage intentions in New England effectively were marriage banns, but filed with the town clerk rather than a religious congregation.

I haven't done much research in the Sandwich area, but it's worth noting that there was a large/significant Friends (Quaker) meeting there in the 18th century. I don't know if the meeting records were digitized as part of the same set of records as the town records. If they weren't, many Friends at the time might well not have filed intentions or births/deaths with the civil government, as they had their own process for recording those events. Bottom line: frequently worth double checking Friends meeting records, just to be certain.
by B. J. Jamieson G2G6 Mach 1 (15.8k points)

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