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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 <i>Register</i>
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
<pre wrap="">Message: 3
Date: Sat, 17 Jul 2010 14:33:13 -0400
From: Christine Crawford-Oppenheimer <a class="moz-txt-link-rfc2396E" href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org"><email@example.com></a>
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."