I believe that arranged marriages were very common; there is one that I know
about in a distant branch of my family. The groom arrived around 1922 and
his bride a couple of years later. This is just a guess, but I suspect that
arranged marriages were more typical among immigrants of the "telkesgazda"
class. These were the villagers who owned their own farms and stood at the
head of the village hierarchy. People of this class were careful to marry
at the same social level, barring unforseen developments, and so probably
most of their marriages were "arranged" in that respect. The pool of
potential spouses would have been fairly restricted.
On the other hand, people who rented their allotments or who worked as farm
laborers, shepherds (with some exceptions) and miners, who had no family
property, probably married where they pleased among their class. We should
also remember that many immigrants planned ultimately to return to Slovakia
after they made some money. It mattered to them that there was a dowry or
share of farm property in the bargain.
----- Original Message -----
From: "mavrik375" <mavrik375@...>
Sent: Saturday, February 16, 2002 5:49 PM
Subject: [S-R] Arranged marriages
> Does anyone know how common arranged marriages were in the Slovak
> communities in the U.S? My family has recently begun to seriously
> gather genealogy information from my mother's side of the family.
> For example, my great-grandfather came to the U.S at the age of 18 to
> the port of New York from the Austria-Hungarian empire via
> Bremerhaven in 1878, according to his last living child (90 yrs. old
> now). My great-grandmother arrived in Baltimore, also from Austria-
> Hungary, in 1891. Yet, they were supposedly married on 02/15/1891,
> leading the family to conclude that somehow it was perhaps an
> arranged marriage. My great-grandfather was 13 yrs older than his
> bride. However, that marriage date needs to be confirmed as exact,
> but we think it is almost certainly correct. We don't have the
> marriage certificate nor the exact dates of their arrivals into the
> U.S., nor the names of their ships of passage.
> If the names of the villages of their birthplaces are correct, they
> were about about 15 miles apart back in the Old Country. Andrew
> Yuhas (Giraltovce (Slovak)/Radoma (Hungarian), per baptismal
> certificate recieved in 1935. Maria Kolesar (Tulcik
> (Slovak)/Toltszek (Hungarian). Tulcik may not be the actual
> birthplace of my great-grandmother. She had a brother, John, that
> returned to the Old Country. We have several letters of
> correspondence a number of years later between her and her brother's
> daughter (Anna Kolesar Mackova), who was in Tulcik.
> Surnames researched: YUHAS (JUHAS/JUHASZ), KOLESAR
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