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What might the 'courting' and engagement period have been for a young couple in mid-nineteenth century Merthyr Tydfil. Their ages were both recorded as 21 at their marriage in the Register Office (when her step-father was present) but she was closer to 18. There's no evidence either way as to whether she was pregnant at the time. The couple were solidly working-class (coal miner and the daughter of a coal-miner).

Obviously, there can't be a definitive answer, only a range of possibilities, but I'm interested in whether a couple that married in early May 1862 in Merthyr Tydfil could have known each other (and so both been living in or around Merthyr Tydfil) in April 1861; or whether I should also be looking further afield for the husband in 1861. (The wife was living in the Merthyr Tydfil area in the 1861 census).

Note: Rebecca Probert Marriage Law for Genealogists is silent on the subject, and I can't find anything relevant in Wrigley and Schofield The Population History of England 1541-1871

  • Good question, but it makes me think of a related question about how far afield one should look (courting distance rather than length of courtship). – Jan Murphy Jul 17 '18 at 1:26
  • @JanMurphy True, although given the nature of MT at this time (a population magnet), I suspect they both lived in the MT area during their courtship. – ColeValleyGirl Jul 17 '18 at 5:26

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