[APG Public List] "Mrs." in a colonial New England marriage record--social class or married state?

Craig Kilby persisto at live.com
Wed Jul 21 11:46:52 MDT 2010


Christine, I tend to agree with you. But you certainly seemed to have found quite a few women with the assignation. You have come across quite an interesting social study project. It may have just been the convention the clerk at the time was using. I know the terms "Mistress" and "Master" for young children is no longer used, but I am just barely old enough to remember those terms as a kid.

In Virginia, I've only stumbled over this "Mrs." title two times--for two sisters ca 1670 in Middlesex County, Virginia. It really threw me for a loop at the time. Here is another oddity maybe someone can explain. Why would minor girls--especially very young ones--be named as executors of an estate? To protect their interests? They always have a curator/guardian or "overseer" to do the actual work on the estate. I have come across this situation several times in Virginia. I wonder what others have found in other states.

Craig

On Jul 19, 2010, at 3:04 PM, Christine Crawford-Oppenheimer wrote:

> Hi, Craig,
> 
> I can't cite any sources for this on the spur of the moment, but I'm
> pretty sure the title "Mistress" implied a higher social rank than
> someone who didn't have the title.
> 
> Christine
> 
> On Sun, Jul 18, 2010 at 11:39 AM, Craig Kilby <persisto at live.com> wrote:
>> Yes, exactly the point. Now as to the social status, have you discovered anything further on that?
>> 
>> CMK
>> 
>> On Jul 18, 2010, at 11:25 AM, Christine Crawford-Oppenheimer wrote:
>> 
>>> Actually, "Mrs." is an abbreviation for Mistress,
>> 
>> 
> 
> 
> 
> -- 
> Christine Crawford-Oppenheimer
> Hyde Park, NY
> 
> Author of: Long-Distance Genealogy:
> Researching Your Ancestors from Home
> 



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