[APG Public List] "Mrs." in a colonial New England marriage

Helen S. Ullmann hsullmann at comcast.net
Tue Jul 20 17:25:22 MDT 2010

Hi Christine,

That's a tricky problem. It could be either. Maybe if you did a bit of 
research on the other marriages on the page you could get a better 
picture. Maybe some definitely were married before. Or if you can 
convince yourself that some, or most of the others weren't, that would 
help. We were looking at the same problem in other records for a 
Register article. Turned out there were two versions of the original 
vital records, a copy by the original recorder. But that would be 
unusual. I don't suppose there's a county court copy there in N.H. at 
the time, is there?

Helen Ullmann

>Message: 3
>Date: Sat, 17 Jul 2010 14:33:13 -0400
>From: Christine Crawford-Oppenheimer <christine3cats at gmail.com>
>Subject: [APG Public List] "Mrs." in a colonial New England marriage
>	record--social class or married state?
>History of the Town of Hampton Falls, New Hampshire...(1900) by Warren
>Brown, p. 135 includes a marriage in 1741:
>"April 3, John Duty and Mrs. Jane Boynton, both of Newbury [Massachusetts]."
>In this context, does the title "Mrs." mean that she was previously
>married, or does it simply imply a higher social class than the women
>who didn't have this designation? On this one page, 16 of the 34
>brides are designated "Mrs.'; one of them is identified as a widow;
>the others aren't.
>Jane (Boynton) Duty later married my husband's ancestor, Richard
>Goodridge (1719-1797), and I am having very little luck in making a
>definite identification of her parents. I've looked at a number of
>Boynton genealogies, databases on the NEHGS web site, etc., etc.
>There's a Jane Boynton, daughter of Jonathan, baptized in 1723 in
>Newbury, who would be perfect, but I'm not finding much about her
>(yes, I need to see if he left a probate record that names her).
>If Boynton was a first married name for Jane, it would explain why I
>can't find her in Boynton genealogies. She had her last child in 1767
>(perfect for a 1723 birth date!), so if she was married first to a
>Boynton, she would have been quite young, and quite possibly had no
>children by him.
>Thanks for input about use of the title "Mrs."
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