Sacred Heart Marriage Register
The marriage register of Sacred Heart Roman Catholic church at Hindsford, Atherton for the years 1869-1900 is freely available on microfilm at Wigan History Shop. The data presented here were extracted from that film.
As in the example shown, the printed register is in Latin and christian names are latinised. Surnames and places are not latinised.
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The information given here is exactly as it appears in the register. The christian names have not been translated into English, and come complete with Latin case endings. The following summary and tables are provided to help you translate to English.
The printed Roman Catholic Marriage Register in Latin reads as follows, with * for handwritten entries: Anno * die * mensis * . Ego * in matrimonium conjunxi * de * filium * et * de * filiam *. Praesentibus testibus * de * , * de *.
The English translation from the Catholic Family Historian’s Handbook is as follows: In the year * on the * day of the month of *. I [name of priest] joined in matrimony [name of groom] of [groom’s address] the son of [name of groom’s father] and [name of bride] of [bride’s address] the daughter of [name of bride’s father] In the presence of witnesses [name of best man] of [address of best man] [name of bridesmaid] of [address of bridesmaid]
Latin is an inflected language, which means that the endings of the latinised christian names change according to how they relate to the grammar of the sentence. For instance, if the priest, groom, groom’s father and best man were all called Richard, the latinised versions would be Ricardus [priest], Ricardum [groom], Ricardi [groom’s father] and Ricardo [best man]. The tables below give the forms of the male and female christian names which appear in this register.
Translation of christian names from Latin to English is obvious in most cases, but be aware that one latinised christian name may represent a range of English variations of the same name. For instance, the English names Jane, Joan, Jean, Joannah are all represented by Joanna, and Ann, Anne, Annie and Hannah by Anna. Likewise the latinised Jacobus is both James and Jacob, and Fransiscus could be Francis or Frank.
Sacred Heart church is in Hindsford, a part of Atherton. However, in the years of this register the houses and factories of Hindsford were separated from Atherton town centre by fields, but ran seamlessly into the adjacent Tyldesley town. I suspect the regular priest Richard O’Neill, and many of his flock who lived in Hindsford, were not aware of the distinction and their abodes were recorded simply as Tyldesley. Be aware when checking names against census records that a Tyldesley abode in the register may actually be an Atherton abode in the census.
As can be seen in the example, the surnames of the groom and bride are written in a space at the left, and within the printed register. In a number of cases, the spelling of the surname in the left space differs from that in the register, as recorded in the notes. Every four years or so, the Bishop of Liverpool visited the church and signed off the register (as in the example); this signature relates to all previous entries, not just the one where his signature was placed. Note also that neither groom and bride, nor witnesses, signed the register (unlike non-RC church weddings of this period).