A very young marriage

I came across a marriage for the sibling of one of my ancestor that gave me pause to think.  The marriage is for Joze Correa and Roza de Rezendes.  He is the son of Mateus Correa and Maria de Mello.  She is the daughter of Domingos Pimentel and Barbara de Rezendes.  They were married in 1777.

What caught my eye was the baptismal years.  If I was reading it correctly, Joze was baptized in 1764 and Roza in 1766.  It was the practice of the Azoreans to baptize children very soon after birth.  If that held up here, the groom was 13 and bride 11 when they were married.

I know that at different times and places a young bride and groom was not uncommon.  My own great aunt was married at 14.  However, I haven’t seen this in the Azorean records.  They are usually at the minimum 16 and the groom is usually 20 or so.  Roza’s brother, Antonio, didn’t get married until 1797.  These two were already married 20 years by then.

Maybe the priest recording the information messed up.  We all mistakes.  Maybe this was a rare case where the bride and groom were baptized in their teens.  I haven’t found that in my research in the Azores but it’s a possibility.

The only way to find out was to find the baptismal records.  Luckily, the dates were given in the marriage record.  I headed over to the arquivo website to see what I could find.  First page I looked at gave me Roza’s sibling (lucky for me!)  Next, I found Joze’s record, and then I found Roza’s.  In both cases, they were born and baptized same month and year exactly as written on the marriage record.

Woah.  I have to wonder how that came about since it wasn’t the norm.  He was just hitting adolescence and she was really still a child.  Could it be that he got her pregnant?  The only way to find that out will be to search the baptismal records in 1777 or 1778.  Otherwise, I will never know what might cause parents to agree to a marriage between what really is two children.

Looks like I’ve got another genealogy mystery to solve.

 

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