Saturday, 28 June 2008

I Do: Love and Marriage in 19th Century Canada

Library and Archives Canada have added a web exhibition about the challenges that people faced in finding a marriage partner in days gone by. The point is made that marriage was largely a practical matter, rather than romantic.

The exhibit includes links to a database of 2960 marriage bonds for Lower Canada (Quebec) issued between 1779 and 1858, and 7899 marriage bonds for Upper Canada (Ontario) issued between 1803 and 1865.

These marriage bonds were prepared only for Protestant marriages by licence. The groom was required to enter into a bond with one or two people (sureties) who knew him and who were prepared to guarantee to the Crown that no legal impediment to the marriage existed. After obtaining the bond, a licence was issued and the marriage took place a few days later.

Read the full explanation here.

Thanks to Alison Hare for pointing out that these bonds are not new to the LAC site.

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