What if a marriage is recorded in two different counties in Ireland?

+1 vote

I was looking for a marriage record for Henry Doyle and Margaret Phelan (or Whelan).  And I found not one, but two, marriage records for them on the same date with the same two witnesses, but one in County Wexford and the other in County Offaly.  Could the record in Offaly be a report of the marriage in County Wexford?

The following weblink will take you to these two marriage records:  https://www.ancestry.com/search/categories/34/?name=Henry_Doyle&marriage=1803_Ireland&marriage_x=10-0-0&name_x=_x&spouse=Margaret_Whelan&types=p

WikiTree profile: Henry Doyle
in Genealogy Help by Kenneth Kinman G2G6 Mach 7 (73.9k points)
I think I have seen this before in England - the wife's family in one, the husband's in the other - It sould be in both newspapers today so I think it may be the same sort of thing

On the other hand I have these two Thomas Whites who both Married a woman with the same name and they got merged and it was a mess - so make sure what you see is what you think it is
Maybe it's a deliberate roadblock to divorce … even if they get a divorce, they are still married under the other registration.
Ha ha wild idea Gaile!  Sure could be!  I am thinking it is the same if they had the same witnesses and date - anyone else see this before - I know i have , but not there
It's certainly what I see in New England -- if the two people getting married are from different towns, there's a record in each town.   It makes sense -- if there's an inheritance or property dispute later on, there's a record in both towns where it might be needed.   So very probably a common practice.

My great-grandparents' marriage, for instance, was recorded in Becket, where my great-grandmother lived and where the marriage occurred, and in Springfield, where my great-grandfather lived, and where they both lived after the marriage.  Both record books used the same standard form, and the first column is titled "Date and Place of Marriage."

(Just a sudden thought also relevant to brick walls -- Come to think of it, the oldest records often had a section of a page for each family, and there are usually annotations about the later lives and deaths of the children.  So -- given that the old handwritten Massachusetts town books are digitized online now, it's worth checking the family page of the putative family of each spouse, if one can't find the marriage record.)
There was only one marriage. I think it was partly connected with parish poor relief. A bride relocating to her husband's parish was taken off the books of her original parish who were now no longer responsible for her.
Thanks Matthew,

         That sounds like a likely explanation.  If so, I wonder if Matthew Phelan (one of the two witnesses) was her brother or her father.
Thzat would be a pot of gold for sure Patricia!  Wow

1 Answer

0 votes

This happens in the US all the time. If the event takes place in a town other than where someone lives, it is sometimes registered in both places. "Registered in the City of Boston" (for example) literally means just that. The birth or marriage was registered in the City of Boston. It may have taken place anywhere.

I have also seen it with marriage records including across state lines. Some births and deaths have been registered in two different countries, once at the place of the event and once with the birth country or country of citizenship/parents' citizenship. 

The information would be the same no matter where the record came from though, same witnesses, same date and even location UNLESS the couple actually got married twice. My grandmother's marriage to my grandfather was not legal because he was not yet divorced. She had two marriage certificates, one before my mother was born, and one from after my mother was born. That must have been an awkward moment for my grandmother when my mother found the 2 marriage certificates with different dates. laugh

by Linda Massey G2G6 (6.3k points)

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