Breamlea, Victoria

Breamlea, Victoria

Thursday, 17 September 2015

I'm telling the truth from a certain point of view

Why do people lie on marriage certificates?

Patrick and Louisa were my great great grandparents.  When they got married in the Geelong Registry Office in 1886, the details supplied to the Registrar were almost a complete work of fiction on the Bride's part.

First, Louisa's surname SALTER is not the name she was born with, but a name she used instead of her birth surname.  None of the family ever used their father's surname. Why this happened at all is my reason for doing genealogy...I just don't know.

Next, her age.  She declares she is 21 but by my calculations she is only 18. Louisa's whole family always puts their age up by a couple of years- why? This happens consistently with this family, it is a consistent thing that they all play fast and loose with their birth years. Do they all know they are out by two years?

 Her husband Patrick was only 20 years old (which is true) and needed written consent of "the Guardian of the Bridegroom." Unfortunately it doesn't say who that was. It may have been his elder sister Ellen and her husband who witnessed the union.

(Louisa is three months' pregnant with their daughter, whom they will call Ellen.  Both Patrick and Louisa each have a sister named Ellen and a brother named John.)

Then Louisa states her parents' names.  Her mother is put as Elizabeth Salter which is kind of true. But Louisa's father's name is a complete fabrication.  She submits the name Robert Salter.  Robert was her eldest brother's name, and he didn't use the name Salter.

What are they trying to avoid?
What was so shameful about their father that they reject him wholesale?
I will find out if it kills me.

Historically yours,
Valerius Copernicus

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