Saturday, January 06, 2007

The marriage of Christopher Smith and Hannah Farmery

In this previous post I had mentioned that I had had some trouble with finding the marriage record of my ancestors Christopher Smith and Hannah Farmery. Christopher was from Alne and Hannah was from Huby, both of which are parishes in the North Riding of Yorkshire. I had been unable to find the marriage record in the Alne parish records and had not had time to look at the Huby records. However, a kind person on the Yorksgen genealogy mailing list saw my problem and drew my attention to an IGI entry which I had foolishly overlooked. This appears to be the right marriage record:

Christopher Smith & Hannah Farmery - 19 MAY 1836 - at Saint Michael-Le-Belfrey, York.

This marriage took place one year before the birth of their eldest child, William, and therefore I'm pretty sure that it is the right record. What is intriguing is that they married at St. Michael-le-Belfrey, a church (pictured) which stands adjacent to York Minster.

The question remains, why did they marry here? I have seen in some articles that describe the ancient parish of St. Michael-le-Belfrey that
this parish included some extra (or 'peculiar') areas of the North Riding of Yorkshire - I'm still uncertain whether Huby was amongst those. If so, this church may have been their usual (or at least Hannah's family's) place of worship. Another reason why they may have married there is that they may have frequented York often to sell produce - I know that several other of my ancestors who were agricultural labourers in parishes up to 30 miles North of York sold produce regularly in York. Finally, I have heard that in the early 1800s many people were drawn to worshiping at St. Michael-le-Belfrey as there was a particularly inspiring preacher there by the name of William Richardson. It is unlikely, however, that he brough Christopher and Hannah to this church as the rest of their church 'footprints' are in the Alne registers. I would like to find out more about why Christopher and Hannah got married at this church - perhaps one of the best ways forward will be to find out whether they married by license or banns, and also I must obviously find the original entry.

Nevertheless, it is fascinating to know that one's ancestors got married at such a prominent church in the history of York. Indeed, 166 years before their marriage in the very same church on April 16, 1570 there was the baptism of a certain Guy Fawkes.


Kerry said...

I have marriage information that has Christopher and Hannah marrying in St Michael de Belfry next to York Minster! How wonderful it must have been!
Distant cousin!

James said...

Hi Kerry

I'm sorry - I'm definitely not very active on this blog! Thanks for your comment and lovely to hear from you. I'd love to hear more - the best email to get in touch with me is:

jc3181 AT columbia DOT edu