Early Pennsylvania Lutherans - consorts?

+6 votes
I'm trying to sort out some relationships and genealogy of my family who were among the first Lutherans in Somerset County Pennsylvania in the late 1700s. I found a document that lists consort rather than wife and I'm wondering if anyone can explain this to me.

As a follow up, do we have a wikitree genealogist expert who happens to live near the Somerset genealogical society? I live in MN so can't get there but would love someone to offer help. Specifically, I'm trying to iron out the parents of Eve who was "consort" to Christian Spangler, original member of Friedens Lutheran Church.

WikiTree profile: Christian Spangler
in Genealogy Help by Jennie Skancke G2G4 (5.0k points)

3 Answers

+10 votes
Best answer
Had an uncle, way back, named Sam. Seemed he couldn’t marry enough. After each wife died, off he went to get another one. In any case, three of them are buried with him, and at least one is listed as a consort on her gravestone. I have the marriage record, so in his case the consort was a wife. But I wouldn’t bet on that being the case all of the time.
by Pip Sheppard G2G Astronaut (2.8m points)
selected by Alexandra Florimonte
+11 votes
I have a similar situation with one of my ancestors. I seem to remember being told that it could mean a wife or other domestic partner.  That sort of puts the ball back in the court of the researcher to try to find a marriage certficate which can be hard for those early dates.
by MaryLee Young G2G6 (6.6k points)
+6 votes

I don't know if this web page is authoritative, but it says that a consort is a wife who dies before here husband:

From the 17th through 19th centuries, consort was usually used on the graves of women, although a man could also be a consort.  The word consort was normally used in this manner:  

‘Nancy consort of John Clark.’  Consort meant that Nancy was John’s spouse and died before her husband did.  There is no other information listed. The fact that she was married to John is all that’s left as a reminder of her life and identity.

by Kerry Larson G2G6 Pilot (240k points)
Thanks! She didn’t die before him in this place, however it is true that she’s just tied to him and doesn’t seem to have much other info.
Hi - Most of the time "consort" is used for wife. It sounds like, in your case, it is used because it was not his first wife.  In some families, wives were given a pecking order, so their children were given a better inheritance.  If a gentleman had quite a few "wives" and one or more were called "consorts", their children were at the low end of the inheritance spectrum. It was the same principle  for "Royal Consorts". They were wives, just wives that could never become Queen's.

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