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marriage witnesses

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  • J Michutka
    I m going through Slovak village marriage records in the late 1800s, and finding that some names occur many times in the marriage witness column. For example,
    Message 1 of 21 , Jul 31, 2007
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      I'm going through Slovak village marriage records in the late 1800s,
      and finding that some names occur many times in the marriage witness
      column. For example, one relative I'm tracking shows up 8 times
      between 1887 and 1894, and I dare say I'll see him some more before
      his death in 1905. Some of the weddings at which he was a witness
      were of people with whom he had a family connection (cousins, in-
      law's siblings), but for other weddings there is no apparent
      connection by blood or marriage (and I have the family pretty well
      mapped).

      The question has arisen as to whether we can make any assumptions
      about these people whose names appear with much greater frequency as
      marriage witnesses. Were they simply more popular? considered more
      religious? In the case of the relative, there is no indication of
      higher social status or money, although family stories say that he
      loved to dance, so he may have been a friendly sociable fellow. In
      contrast, siblings of his seldom appear as marriage witnesses in the
      records, and when they do, it's almost always for another sibling's
      wedding.

      One related question--these people named in the marriage records as
      witnesses--always 2 men--would they have been the same as the best
      man (druzba) and the zvac (inviter)? Sorry if it seems like the
      answer should be obvious, but with the difference in time and place,
      I try not to make assumptions, even for seemingly obvious questions.
      So my question stands.

      Thanks for any insights,

      Julie Michutka
      jmm@...
    • Lil Junas
      Good observation, Julie. My dad was one of those persons who seemed to be in most weddings in his little town of Lansford, Pa. He was a barber in the
      Message 2 of 21 , Jul 31, 2007
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        Good observation, Julie.
        My dad was one of those persons who seemed to be in most weddings in
        his little town of Lansford, Pa. He was a barber in the community and
        a very well-liked, friendly person. I've had people from Lansford tell
        me in recent years that he could have been mayor of the town if he
        wanted.
        So I think it's a bit of being known in the town, being a likable
        person, having a lot of friends and perhaps also being active in the
        church -- which my dad and his family were.
        Lil




        On 7/31/07, J Michutka <jmm@...> wrote:
        > I'm going through Slovak village marriage records in the late 1800s,
        > and finding that some names occur many times in the marriage witness
        > column. For example, one relative I'm tracking shows up 8 times
        > between 1887 and 1894, and I dare say I'll see him some more before
        > his death in 1905. Some of the weddings at which he was a witness
        > were of people with whom he had a family connection (cousins, in-
        > law's siblings), but for other weddings there is no apparent
        > connection by blood or marriage (and I have the family pretty well
        > mapped).
        >
        > The question has arisen as to whether we can make any assumptions
        > about these people whose names appear with much greater frequency as
        > marriage witnesses. Were they simply more popular? considered more
        > religious? In the case of the relative, there is no indication of
        > higher social status or money, although family stories say that he
        > loved to dance, so he may have been a friendly sociable fellow. In
        > contrast, siblings of his seldom appear as marriage witnesses in the
        > records, and when they do, it's almost always for another sibling's
        > wedding.
        >
        > One related question--these people named in the marriage records as
        > witnesses--always 2 men--would they have been the same as the best
        > man (druzba) and the zvac (inviter)? Sorry if it seems like the
        > answer should be obvious, but with the difference in time and place,
        > I try not to make assumptions, even for seemingly obvious questions.
        > So my question stands.
        >
        > Thanks for any insights,
        >
        > Julie Michutka
        > jmm@...
        >
        >
        >
        > Yahoo! Groups Links
        >
        >
        >
        >


        --
        "To be nobody but myself."
      • Andrea Vangor
        That s an outstanding question. I have a popular relative who turns up a few times around 1800. Thinking it over, didn t we learn at one time that the wedding
        Message 3 of 21 , Jul 31, 2007
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          That's an outstanding question.
          I have a popular relative who turns up a few times around 1800. Thinking it over, didn't we learn at one time that the wedding witnesses were supposed to be the original godfathers of the bride and groom? Of course they may also have played starring roles at the wedding.
          ----- Original Message -----
          From: J Michutka
          To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
          Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2007 4:43 PM
          Subject: [Slovak-World] marriage witnesses


          I'm going through Slovak village marriage records in the late 1800s,
          and finding that some names occur many times in the marriage witness
          column. For example, one relative I'm tracking shows up 8 times
          between 1887 and 1894, and I dare say I'll see him some more before
          his death in 1905. Some of the weddings at which he was a witness
          were of people with whom he had a family connection (cousins, in-
          law's siblings), but for other weddings there is no apparent
          connection by blood or marriage (and I have the family pretty well
          mapped).

          The question has arisen as to whether we can make any assumptions
          about these people whose names appear with much greater frequency as
          marriage witnesses. Were they simply more popular? considered more
          religious? In the case of the relative, there is no indication of
          higher social status or money, although family stories say that he
          loved to dance, so he may have been a friendly sociable fellow. In
          contrast, siblings of his seldom appear as marriage witnesses in the
          records, and when they do, it's almost always for another sibling's
          wedding.

          One related question--these people named in the marriage records as
          witnesses--always 2 men--would they have been the same as the best
          man (druzba) and the zvac (inviter)? Sorry if it seems like the
          answer should be obvious, but with the difference in time and place,
          I try not to make assumptions, even for seemingly obvious questions.
          So my question stands.

          Thanks for any insights,

          Julie Michutka
          jmm@...




          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        • J Michutka
          ... It s not the case in the records I m seeing; the witnesses are sometimes (but not always) contemporary in age with the bride and groom. I couldn t give
          Message 4 of 21 , Jul 31, 2007
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            On Jul 31, 2007, at 8:54 PM, Andrea Vangor wrote:

            > That's an outstanding question.
            > I have a popular relative who turns up a few times around 1800.
            > Thinking it over, didn't we learn at one time that the wedding
            > witnesses were supposed to be the original godfathers of the bride
            > and groom?

            It's not the case in the records I'm seeing; the witnesses are
            sometimes (but not always) contemporary in age with the bride and
            groom. I couldn't give you a percentage of the time that occurs,
            since I don't know every individual who is named!

            My genealogy program, Legacy Family Tree, has "events" for
            individuals (I'm sure other programs are similar, although they might
            call it something different). I've created events called "marriage
            witness" and "witness at marriage" (yeah, the terms I chose are too
            similar), so that in the record of a couple's wedding I list the
            "marriage witness(es)", with a note about any known relationship; and
            when one of "my people" shows up as a witness at a marriage, even if
            the marriage is of people outside the family, I create a "witness at
            marriage" event for my individual, with notes as to date, who was
            married and any known relationship, etc. And I do likewise for
            baptisms. It's been very helpful. Sometimes seeing someone's name
            as a witness for a wedding or as a godparent led me to track down the
            parents of the bride and groom (in the records) and found that they
            were related to the witness (not always, of course). Sometimes it
            gives me a "latest date known", for an individual for whom I have no
            date of death, and an idea of when to search for a death record--if
            he was at a wedding in 1902, then he must have died after that date,
            right? I definitely see patterns, when I keep track of the names of
            godparents and marriage witnesses, and it's a practice that has
            really paid off for me.

            One big caveat--godparents and marriage witnesses are seldom
            identified by more than name, and that can lead to assumptions--e.g.,
            you assume this Peter Slovak who is the witness at a wedding is the
            same Peter Slovak who married your grandfather's sister and was a man
            in his 20s at that time. Safer to make that assumption if the name
            is really really unique--otherwise, beware, there might be another
            Peter Slovak in town (maybe the father of the guy who married your
            grandfather's sister) and make a note as to your assumption when you
            record it under "witness at marriage".

            Julie Michutka
            jmm@...
          • bhewlett@verizon.net
            I ran into the same situation with a 2nd great grandfather who was witness to 21 marriages in 9 years. I believe I copied the following from the book Proper
            Message 5 of 21 , Jul 31, 2007
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              I ran into the same situation with a 2nd great grandfather who was witness to 21 marriages in 9 years. I believe I copied the following from the book Proper Peasants by Edit Fel. "Men were witnesses to the marriage vows because the marriage was a contract, and they were witnesses to the marriage proclamations prior to an actual ceremony since even the intention to marry was a contract. Marriages were serious business, since sooner or later, or perhaps due to the marriage itself, real property rights were involved and inheritance rights, that were not governed by the same legal, state, bureaucracy like we have today, but by the standing within family relationships. The witnessing signifies that the marriage contract being entered into is in fact "witnessed". The same as any contract is today notarized or witnessed. The witnesses also were there to "witness" as to the standing in the community of the bridal pair, who they were, where they were from, who their parents were, etc., since this also could have legal implications regarding property and money. Men of high regard and standing in the community ere asked to witness more often than those who weren't."
              Joyce

              >From: J Michutka <jmm@...>
              >Date: 2007/07/31 Tue PM 06:43:14 CDT
              >To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
              >Subject: [Slovak-World] marriage witnesses

              >
              >I'm going through Slovak village marriage records in the late 1800s,
              >and finding that some names occur many times in the marriage witness
              >column. For example, one relative I'm tracking shows up 8 times
              >between 1887 and 1894, and I dare say I'll see him some more before
              >his death in 1905. Some of the weddings at which he was a witness
              >were of people with whom he had a family connection (cousins, in-
              >law's siblings), but for other weddings there is no apparent
              >connection by blood or marriage (and I have the family pretty well
              >mapped).
              >
              >The question has arisen as to whether we can make any assumptions
              >about these people whose names appear with much greater frequency as
              >marriage witnesses. Were they simply more popular? considered more
              >religious? In the case of the relative, there is no indication of
              >higher social status or money, although family stories say that he
              >loved to dance, so he may have been a friendly sociable fellow. In
              >contrast, siblings of his seldom appear as marriage witnesses in the
              >records, and when they do, it's almost always for another sibling's
              >wedding.
              >
              >One related question--these people named in the marriage records as
              >witnesses--always 2 men--would they have been the same as the best
              >man (druzba) and the zvac (inviter)? Sorry if it seems like the
              >answer should be obvious, but with the difference in time and place,
              >I try not to make assumptions, even for seemingly obvious questions.
              >So my question stands.
              >
              >Thanks for any insights,
              >
              >Julie Michutka
              >jmm@...
              >
            • Helen Fedor
              I remember my mother telling me, years ago, that godfathers had a role in weddings (eastern Slovakia), in addition to sitting at a place of honor at the
              Message 6 of 21 , Aug 1, 2007
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                I remember my mother telling me, years ago, that godfathers had a role in weddings (eastern Slovakia), in addition to sitting at a place of honor at the celebration, the main table or somewhere nearby. The godfather of the groom was the groom's "pitac~", the "asker". It was he who would formally ask the bride's parents for permission for the young man to marry their daughter.

                I also seem to remember that the bride's godfather (why not the godmother? or the maid of honor?) would "assist" the bride as she asked forgiveness of her family before marrying. She'd first kneel down in front of her parents and ask them to forgive her for any wrongs she might have done them, then do the same for her siblings. Whether this extended to others in her family (spouses-of-siblings living in the same house or elsewhere, aunts and uncles, cousins) I'm not sure. I can see how this may have come about, as the bride often left her family and went to live with her new family, sometimes a distance away.

                H



                >>> "Andrea Vangor" <drav@...> 07/31/07 8:54 PM >>>
                That's an outstanding question.
                I have a popular relative who turns up a few times around 1800. Thinking it over, didn't we learn at one time that the wedding witnesses were supposed to be the original godfathers of the bride and groom? Of course they may also have played starring roles at the wedding.
                ----- Original Message -----
                From: J Michutka
                To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
                Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2007 4:43 PM
                Subject: [Slovak-World] marriage witnesses


                I'm going through Slovak village marriage records in the late 1800s,
                and finding that some names occur many times in the marriage witness
                column. For example, one relative I'm tracking shows up 8 times
                between 1887 and 1894, and I dare say I'll see him some more before
                his death in 1905. Some of the weddings at which he was a witness
                were of people with whom he had a family connection (cousins, in-
                law's siblings), but for other weddings there is no apparent
                connection by blood or marriage (and I have the family pretty well
                mapped).

                The question has arisen as to whether we can make any assumptions
                about these people whose names appear with much greater frequency as
                marriage witnesses. Were they simply more popular? considered more
                religious? In the case of the relative, there is no indication of
                higher social status or money, although family stories say that he
                loved to dance, so he may have been a friendly sociable fellow. In
                contrast, siblings of his seldom appear as marriage witnesses in the
                records, and when they do, it's almost always for another sibling's
                wedding.

                One related question--these people named in the marriage records as
                witnesses--always 2 men--would they have been the same as the best
                man (druzba) and the zvac (inviter)? Sorry if it seems like the
                answer should be obvious, but with the difference in time and place,
                I try not to make assumptions, even for seemingly obvious questions.
                So my question stands.

                Thanks for any insights,

                Julie Michutka
                jmm@...




                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              • Gregory J Kopchak
                Helen, Andrea, Julie and All We have lots of Slovak Wedding Traditions at www.iarelative.com/wedding For what ever reason, the subject of Witnesses at Slovak
                Message 7 of 21 , Aug 1, 2007
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                  Helen, Andrea, Julie and All

                  We have lots of Slovak Wedding Traditions at www.iarelative.com/wedding

                  For what ever reason, the subject of Witnesses at Slovak weddings
                  never turned up at the site.

                  There are a couple interesting theories here.

                  The Godfather theory.

                  The Respected member theory.

                  After digging through a couple hundred Slovak Church records here this
                  morning, I have a theory and only a theory.

                  The witness at a Slovak wedding was a respected member of the
                  community. It seems that the same person was witness to multiple
                  marriages over years and based on age, was a respected member of the
                  community.

                  Does anyone have facts to support either theory?

                  Greg Kopchak
                  It's All Relative



                  --- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com, "Helen Fedor" <hfed@...> wrote:
                  >
                  > I remember my mother telling me, years ago, that godfathers had a
                  role in weddings (eastern Slovakia), in addition to sitting at a place
                  of honor at the celebration, the main table or somewhere nearby. The
                  godfather of the groom was the groom's "pitac~", the "asker". It was
                  he who would formally ask the bride's parents for permission for the
                  young man to marry their daughter.
                  >
                  > I also seem to remember that the bride's godfather (why not the
                  godmother? or the maid of honor?) would "assist" the bride as she
                  asked forgiveness of her family before marrying. She'd first kneel
                  down in front of her parents and ask them to forgive her for any
                  wrongs she might have done them, then do the same for her siblings.
                  Whether this extended to others in her family (spouses-of-siblings
                  living in the same house or elsewhere, aunts and uncles, cousins) I'm
                  not sure. I can see how this may have come about, as the bride often
                  left her family and went to live with her new family, sometimes a
                  distance away.
                  >
                  > H
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > >>> "Andrea Vangor" <drav@...> 07/31/07 8:54 PM >>>
                  > That's an outstanding question.
                  > I have a popular relative who turns up a few times around 1800.
                  Thinking it over, didn't we learn at one time that the wedding
                  witnesses were supposed to be the original godfathers of the bride and
                  groom? Of course they may also have played starring roles at the wedding.
                  > ----- Original Message -----
                  > From: J Michutka
                  > To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
                  > Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2007 4:43 PM
                  > Subject: [Slovak-World] marriage witnesses
                  >
                  >
                  > I'm going through Slovak village marriage records in the late 1800s,
                  > and finding that some names occur many times in the marriage witness
                  > column. For example, one relative I'm tracking shows up 8 times
                  > between 1887 and 1894, and I dare say I'll see him some more before
                  > his death in 1905. Some of the weddings at which he was a witness
                  > were of people with whom he had a family connection (cousins, in-
                  > law's siblings), but for other weddings there is no apparent
                  > connection by blood or marriage (and I have the family pretty well
                  > mapped).
                  >
                  > The question has arisen as to whether we can make any assumptions
                  > about these people whose names appear with much greater frequency as
                  > marriage witnesses. Were they simply more popular? considered more
                  > religious? In the case of the relative, there is no indication of
                  > higher social status or money, although family stories say that he
                  > loved to dance, so he may have been a friendly sociable fellow. In
                  > contrast, siblings of his seldom appear as marriage witnesses in the
                  > records, and when they do, it's almost always for another sibling's
                  > wedding.
                  >
                  > One related question--these people named in the marriage records as
                  > witnesses--always 2 men--would they have been the same as the best
                  > man (druzba) and the zvac (inviter)? Sorry if it seems like the
                  > answer should be obvious, but with the difference in time and place,
                  > I try not to make assumptions, even for seemingly obvious questions.
                  > So my question stands.
                  >
                  > Thanks for any insights,
                  >
                  > Julie Michutka
                  > jmm@...
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  >
                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  >
                • Gregory J Kopchak
                  Lil: Your message supports my Respected Member theory. Greg Kopchak
                  Message 8 of 21 , Aug 1, 2007
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                    Lil:

                    Your message supports my "Respected Member" theory.

                    Greg Kopchak


                    --- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com, "Lil Junas" <povetzlil@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > Good observation, Julie.
                    > My dad was one of those persons who seemed to be in most weddings in
                    > his little town of Lansford, Pa. He was a barber in the community and
                    > a very well-liked, friendly person. I've had people from Lansford tell
                    > me in recent years that he could have been mayor of the town if he
                    > wanted.
                    > So I think it's a bit of being known in the town, being a likable
                    > person, having a lot of friends and perhaps also being active in the
                    > church -- which my dad and his family were.
                    > Lil
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    >
                    > On 7/31/07, J Michutka <jmm@...> wrote:
                    > > I'm going through Slovak village marriage records in the late 1800s,
                    > > and finding that some names occur many times in the marriage witness
                    > > column. For example, one relative I'm tracking shows up 8 times
                    > > between 1887 and 1894, and I dare say I'll see him some more before
                    > > his death in 1905. Some of the weddings at which he was a witness
                    > > were of people with whom he had a family connection (cousins, in-
                    > > law's siblings), but for other weddings there is no apparent
                    > > connection by blood or marriage (and I have the family pretty well
                    > > mapped).
                    > >
                    > > The question has arisen as to whether we can make any assumptions
                    > > about these people whose names appear with much greater frequency as
                    > > marriage witnesses. Were they simply more popular? considered more
                    > > religious? In the case of the relative, there is no indication of
                    > > higher social status or money, although family stories say that he
                    > > loved to dance, so he may have been a friendly sociable fellow. In
                    > > contrast, siblings of his seldom appear as marriage witnesses in the
                    > > records, and when they do, it's almost always for another sibling's
                    > > wedding.
                    > >
                    > > One related question--these people named in the marriage records as
                    > > witnesses--always 2 men--would they have been the same as the best
                    > > man (druzba) and the zvac (inviter)? Sorry if it seems like the
                    > > answer should be obvious, but with the difference in time and place,
                    > > I try not to make assumptions, even for seemingly obvious questions.
                    > > So my question stands.
                    > >
                    > > Thanks for any insights,
                    > >
                    > > Julie Michutka
                    > > jmm@...
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    > >
                    >
                    >
                    > --
                    > "To be nobody but myself."
                    >
                  • Caye Caswick
                    The same elders keep coming up as witnesses at my gram s Orthodox church in Cleveland as well -- and they were also godparents to a lot of the children as
                    Message 9 of 21 , Aug 1, 2007
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                      The same "elders" keep coming up as witnesses at my
                      gram's Orthodox church in Cleveland as well -- and
                      they were also godparents to a lot of the children as
                      well -- so yes, I'd say your theory is pretty sound,
                      at least in my research. I'll bet they also assisted
                      or sponsored a lot of the immigrants, but don't have
                      proof of that, that's just MY theory.



                      Caye


                      --- Gregory J Kopchak <greg@...> wrote:

                      > Helen, Andrea, Julie and All
                      >
                      > We have lots of Slovak Wedding Traditions at
                      > www.iarelative.com/wedding
                      >
                      > For what ever reason, the subject of Witnesses at
                      > Slovak weddings
                      > never turned up at the site.
                      >
                      > There are a couple interesting theories here.
                      >
                      > The Godfather theory.
                      >
                      > The Respected member theory.
                      >
                      > After digging through a couple hundred Slovak Church
                      > records here this
                      > morning, I have a theory and only a theory.
                      >
                      > The witness at a Slovak wedding was a respected
                      > member of the
                      > community. It seems that the same person was witness
                      > to multiple
                      > marriages over years and based on age, was a
                      > respected member of the
                      > community.
                      >
                      > Does anyone have facts to support either theory?
                      >
                      > Greg Kopchak
                      > It's All Relative
                      >
                      >
                      >
                      > --- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com, "Helen Fedor"
                      > <hfed@...> wrote:
                      > >
                      > > I remember my mother telling me, years ago, that
                      > godfathers had a
                      > role in weddings (eastern Slovakia), in addition to
                      > sitting at a place
                      > of honor at the celebration, the main table or
                      > somewhere nearby. The
                      > godfather of the groom was the groom's "pitac~", the
                      > "asker". It was
                      > he who would formally ask the bride's parents for
                      > permission for the
                      > young man to marry their daughter.
                      > >
                      > > I also seem to remember that the bride's godfather
                      > (why not the
                      > godmother? or the maid of honor?) would "assist" the
                      > bride as she
                      > asked forgiveness of her family before marrying.
                      > She'd first kneel
                      > down in front of her parents and ask them to forgive
                      > her for any
                      > wrongs she might have done them, then do the same
                      > for her siblings.
                      > Whether this extended to others in her family
                      > (spouses-of-siblings
                      > living in the same house or elsewhere, aunts and
                      > uncles, cousins) I'm
                      > not sure. I can see how this may have come about,
                      > as the bride often
                      > left her family and went to live with her new
                      > family, sometimes a
                      > distance away.
                      > >
                      > > H
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > >>> "Andrea Vangor" <drav@...> 07/31/07 8:54 PM
                      > >>>
                      > > That's an outstanding question.
                      > > I have a popular relative who turns up a few times
                      > around 1800.
                      > Thinking it over, didn't we learn at one time that
                      > the wedding
                      > witnesses were supposed to be the original
                      > godfathers of the bride and
                      > groom? Of course they may also have played starring
                      > roles at the wedding.
                      > > ----- Original Message -----
                      > > From: J Michutka
                      > > To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
                      > > Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2007 4:43 PM
                      > > Subject: [Slovak-World] marriage witnesses
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > I'm going through Slovak village marriage
                      > records in the late 1800s,
                      > > and finding that some names occur many times in
                      > the marriage witness
                      > > column. For example, one relative I'm tracking
                      > shows up 8 times
                      > > between 1887 and 1894, and I dare say I'll see
                      > him some more before
                      > > his death in 1905. Some of the weddings at which
                      > he was a witness
                      > > were of people with whom he had a family
                      > connection (cousins, in-
                      > > law's siblings), but for other weddings there is
                      > no apparent
                      > > connection by blood or marriage (and I have the
                      > family pretty well
                      > > mapped).
                      > >
                      > > The question has arisen as to whether we can
                      > make any assumptions
                      > > about these people whose names appear with much
                      > greater frequency as
                      > > marriage witnesses. Were they simply more
                      > popular? considered more
                      > > religious? In the case of the relative, there is
                      > no indication of
                      > > higher social status or money, although family
                      > stories say that he
                      > > loved to dance, so he may have been a friendly
                      > sociable fellow. In
                      > > contrast, siblings of his seldom appear as
                      > marriage witnesses in the
                      > > records, and when they do, it's almost always
                      > for another sibling's
                      > > wedding.
                      > >
                      > > One related question--these people named in the
                      > marriage records as
                      > > witnesses--always 2 men--would they have been
                      > the same as the best
                      > > man (druzba) and the zvac (inviter)? Sorry if it
                      > seems like the
                      > > answer should be obvious, but with the
                      > difference in time and place,
                      > > I try not to make assumptions, even for
                      > seemingly obvious questions.
                      > > So my question stands.
                      > >
                      > > Thanks for any insights,
                      > >
                      > > Julie Michutka
                      > > jmm@...
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > >
                      > > [Non-text portions of this message have been
                      > removed]
                      > >
                      >
                      >
                      >




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                    • Helen Fedor
                      This discussion has reminded me that traditionally, a Slovak child s godfather and godmother have played a larger role in the child s life. For example, their
                      Message 10 of 21 , Aug 1, 2007
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                        This discussion has reminded me that traditionally, a Slovak child's godfather and godmother have played a larger role in the child's life. For example, their place of honor at the wedding.

                        Was it a Slovak-wide tradition that, although the godmother and godfather could be married persons, they weren't supposed to be married to each other (mine weren't)? I guess it was to increase the number of families with which the child could live if something happened to his/her own parents and blood relatives, not such a far-fetched occurrence in those times.

                        H



                        >>> "Gregory J Kopchak" <greg@...> 08/01/07 10:05 AM >>>
                        Helen, Andrea, Julie and All

                        We have lots of Slovak Wedding Traditions at www.iarelative.com/wedding

                        For what ever reason, the subject of Witnesses at Slovak weddings
                        never turned up at the site.

                        There are a couple interesting theories here.

                        The Godfather theory.

                        The Respected member theory.

                        After digging through a couple hundred Slovak Church records here this
                        morning, I have a theory and only a theory.

                        The witness at a Slovak wedding was a respected member of the
                        community. It seems that the same person was witness to multiple
                        marriages over years and based on age, was a respected member of the
                        community.

                        Does anyone have facts to support either theory?

                        Greg Kopchak
                        It's All Relative



                        --- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com, "Helen Fedor" <hfed@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > I remember my mother telling me, years ago, that godfathers had a
                        role in weddings (eastern Slovakia), in addition to sitting at a place
                        of honor at the celebration, the main table or somewhere nearby. The
                        godfather of the groom was the groom's "pitac~", the "asker". It was
                        he who would formally ask the bride's parents for permission for the
                        young man to marry their daughter.
                        >
                        > I also seem to remember that the bride's godfather (why not the
                        godmother? or the maid of honor?) would "assist" the bride as she
                        asked forgiveness of her family before marrying. She'd first kneel
                        down in front of her parents and ask them to forgive her for any
                        wrongs she might have done them, then do the same for her siblings.
                        Whether this extended to others in her family (spouses-of-siblings
                        living in the same house or elsewhere, aunts and uncles, cousins) I'm
                        not sure. I can see how this may have come about, as the bride often
                        left her family and went to live with her new family, sometimes a
                        distance away.
                        >
                        > H
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > >>> "Andrea Vangor" <drav@...> 07/31/07 8:54 PM >>>
                        > That's an outstanding question.
                        > I have a popular relative who turns up a few times around 1800.
                        Thinking it over, didn't we learn at one time that the wedding
                        witnesses were supposed to be the original godfathers of the bride and
                        groom? Of course they may also have played starring roles at the wedding.
                        > ----- Original Message -----
                        > From: J Michutka
                        > To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
                        > Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2007 4:43 PM
                        > Subject: [Slovak-World] marriage witnesses
                        >
                        >
                        > I'm going through Slovak village marriage records in the late 1800s,
                        > and finding that some names occur many times in the marriage witness
                        > column. For example, one relative I'm tracking shows up 8 times
                        > between 1887 and 1894, and I dare say I'll see him some more before
                        > his death in 1905. Some of the weddings at which he was a witness
                        > were of people with whom he had a family connection (cousins, in-
                        > law's siblings), but for other weddings there is no apparent
                        > connection by blood or marriage (and I have the family pretty well
                        > mapped).
                        >
                        > The question has arisen as to whether we can make any assumptions
                        > about these people whose names appear with much greater frequency as
                        > marriage witnesses. Were they simply more popular? considered more
                        > religious? In the case of the relative, there is no indication of
                        > higher social status or money, although family stories say that he
                        > loved to dance, so he may have been a friendly sociable fellow. In
                        > contrast, siblings of his seldom appear as marriage witnesses in the
                        > records, and when they do, it's almost always for another sibling's
                        > wedding.
                        >
                        > One related question--these people named in the marriage records as
                        > witnesses--always 2 men--would they have been the same as the best
                        > man (druzba) and the zvac (inviter)? Sorry if it seems like the
                        > answer should be obvious, but with the difference in time and place,
                        > I try not to make assumptions, even for seemingly obvious questions.
                        > So my question stands.
                        >
                        > Thanks for any insights,
                        >
                        > Julie Michutka
                        > jmm@...
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        >
                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                        >
                      • Armata, Joseph R
                        For Roman Catholics, only one godparent is required for Baptism, but two are allowed so long as they are one of each sex. More than two are not allowed, nor
                        Message 11 of 21 , Aug 1, 2007
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                          For Roman Catholics, only one godparent is required for Baptism, but two are allowed so long as they are one of each sex. More than two are not allowed, nor are two of the same sex. There's no provision that the godparents can't be married to each other, but I think you're right about one reason why they usually (always?) aren't. Another reason might be to spread the privilege of being a godparent among the many friends and relatives.

                          Joe


                          -----Original Message-----
                          From: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of Helen Fedor
                          Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2007 10:39 AM
                          To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
                          Subject: [Slovak-World] Re: marriage witnesses--slight tangent

                          This discussion has reminded me that traditionally, a Slovak child's godfather and godmother have played a larger role in the child's life. For example, their place of honor at the wedding.

                          Was it a Slovak-wide tradition that, although the godmother and godfather could be married persons, they weren't supposed to be married to each other (mine weren't)? I guess it was to increase the number of families with which the child could live if something happened to his/her own parents and blood relatives, not such a far-fetched occurrence in those times.

                          H
                        • Marianne Petruska
                          All these are very interesting observations re: Wedding Witnesses. Most of the records for my paternal grandparents village (and those adjacent to it) cover
                          Message 12 of 21 , Aug 1, 2007
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                            All these are very interesting observations re: Wedding Witnesses. Most of
                            the records for my paternal grandparents' village (and those adjacent to it)
                            cover only marriages that took place between 1855-1895 and the marriage
                            witnesses listed were *all men*. The comment was made about the witnesses
                            being the "original godfathers". Wouldn't the "original godfathers" be
                            those recorded by the church? To test that theory, I looked for a marriage
                            record for a couple born after 1855 & looked at the names of the witnesses
                            to their marriage & the names of the godfathers. In the bride's case, her
                            godparents weren't listed in the church record of her birth/baptism (or for
                            several others born in the same month) but it's doubtful either of the
                            witnesses (both of them my relatives) was her godfather as both were only a
                            few years her senior; neither of the witnesses was the godfather of the
                            groom. BUT this is a theory/assumption that bears further investigation.

                            In those same marriage records I found a couple weddings that occured on the
                            same day in which one man was witness to both weddings, the groom of one
                            couple was the 2nd witness to the other wedding being held & the 3rd man was
                            probably a relative (same surname as the bride).

                            We also need to think about the era in which these weddings took place. In
                            Slovakia as in most of the world *women* (other than Royalty) were basically
                            "2nd-class citizens" to their husbands even if though they did the same
                            amount of manual labor (farming mainly) as their husbands AND took care of
                            the other "womanly" duties -- i.e.: bearing children, doing household
                            chores (cleaning, laundry, cooking). The same "status" was probably given
                            to the women's involvement in their community & church activities.

                            But just who these wedding witnesses were gives us something to research
                            further.

                            MARIANNE



                            On 7/31/07, J Michutka <jmm@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > I'm going through Slovak village marriage records in the late 1800s,
                            > and finding that some names occur many times in the marriage witness
                            > column. For example, one relative I'm tracking shows up 8 times
                            > between 1887 and 1894, and I dare say I'll see him some more before
                            > his death in 1905. Some of the weddings at which he was a witness
                            > were of people with whom he had a family connection (cousins, in-
                            > law's siblings), but for other weddings there is no apparent
                            > connection by blood or marriage (and I have the family pretty well
                            > mapped).
                            >
                            > The question has arisen as to whether we can make any assumptions
                            > about these people whose names appear with much greater frequency as
                            > marriage witnesses. Were they simply more popular? considered more
                            > religious? In the case of the relative, there is no indication of
                            > higher social status or money, although family stories say that he
                            > loved to dance, so he may have been a friendly sociable fellow. In
                            > contrast, siblings of his seldom appear as marriage witnesses in the
                            > records, and when they do, it's almost always for another sibling's
                            > wedding.
                            >
                            > One related question--these people named in the marriage records as
                            > witnesses--always 2 men--would they have been the same as the best
                            > man (druzba) and the zvac (inviter)? Sorry if it seems like the
                            > answer should be obvious, but with the difference in time and place,
                            > I try not to make assumptions, even for seemingly obvious questions.
                            > So my question stands.
                            >
                            > Thanks for any insights,
                            >
                            > Julie Michutka
                            > jmm@... <jmm%40pathbridge.net>
                            >
                            >


                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                          • Armata, Joseph R
                            I ve seen many hundreds of Jewish marriage records from the 1800s, and very often the sextons of the synagogue show up over and over again as marriage
                            Message 13 of 21 , Aug 1, 2007
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                              I've seen many hundreds of Jewish marriage records from the 1800s, and very often the sextons of the synagogue show up over and over again as marriage witnesses. I got the impression this must have been part of their expected duties, to witness marriages when asked and to make the trip to the registrar's office that day or the next to record the marriage.

                              Joe
                            • J Michutka
                              ... In the case of my relative (and others I ve noticed), their career as marriage witness began early--my relative was witness to 2 weddings when he was 18.
                              Message 14 of 21 , Aug 1, 2007
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                                On Aug 1, 2007, at 10:05 AM, Gregory J Kopchak wrote:

                                > It seems that the same person was witness to multiple
                                > marriages over years and based on age, was a respected member of the
                                > community.


                                In the case of my relative (and others I've noticed), their career as
                                marriage witness began early--my relative was witness to 2 weddings
                                when he was 18.

                                Joyce wrote:
                                Marriages were serious business, since sooner or later, or perhaps
                                due to the marriage itself, real property rights were involved and
                                inheritance rights,

                                This is a great example of how easy it is to make assumptions,
                                because we are removed in time as well as place/culture. I hadn't
                                thought of Joyce's point--our witnesses are a social choice, theirs
                                must have had legal (or quasi-legal) ramifications. Thanks for
                                mentioning this, Joyce.

                                Helen wrote:
                                Was it a Slovak-wide tradition that, although the godmother and
                                godfather could be married persons, they weren't supposed to be
                                married to each other (mine weren't)?

                                In my village baptismal records, it will sometimes note the
                                godparents as "Petrus Slovak cum ux. Anna"--Peter Slovak with his
                                wife Anna; other times, esp. with women, I'll see "Anna Slovak, uxor
                                Petri"--Anna Slovak, wife of Peter (the -ova ending doesn't occur for
                                women's names in these records until the 20th century). That one
                                throws me, because I don't know for sure if the "wife of Peter" bit
                                is just to identify her, or if it means that he is the other
                                godparent (no other godparent noted in the record).

                                Julie Michutka
                                jmm@...

                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • Andrea Vangor
                                I remember wondering about this several years ago looking at records from Rank and Opina. I guess that the results were not conclusive, except there was more
                                Message 15 of 21 , Aug 1, 2007
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                                  I remember wondering about this several years ago looking at records from Rank and Opina. I guess that the results were not conclusive, except there was more evidence for the popularity theory. You would have to go through a whole generation or two of births and marriages -- a great idea if anyone has time.

                                  ----- Original Message -----
                                  From: Gregory J Kopchak
                                  To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
                                  Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2007 7:05 AM
                                  Subject: [Slovak-World] Re: marriage witnesses


                                  Helen, Andrea, Julie and All

                                  We have lots of Slovak Wedding Traditions at www.iarelative.com/wedding

                                  For what ever reason, the subject of Witnesses at Slovak weddings
                                  never turned up at the site.

                                  There are a couple interesting theories here.

                                  The Godfather theory.

                                  The Respected member theory.

                                  After digging through a couple hundred Slovak Church records here this
                                  morning, I have a theory and only a theory.

                                  The witness at a Slovak wedding was a respected member of the
                                  community. It seems that the same person was witness to multiple
                                  marriages over years and based on age, was a respected member of the
                                  community.

                                  Does anyone have facts to support either theory?

                                  Greg Kopchak
                                  It's All Relative

                                  --- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com, "Helen Fedor" <hfed@...> wrote:
                                  >
                                  > I remember my mother telling me, years ago, that godfathers had a
                                  role in weddings (eastern Slovakia), in addition to sitting at a place
                                  of honor at the celebration, the main table or somewhere nearby. The
                                  godfather of the groom was the groom's "pitac~", the "asker". It was
                                  he who would formally ask the bride's parents for permission for the
                                  young man to marry their daughter.
                                  >
                                  > I also seem to remember that the bride's godfather (why not the
                                  godmother? or the maid of honor?) would "assist" the bride as she
                                  asked forgiveness of her family before marrying. She'd first kneel
                                  down in front of her parents and ask them to forgive her for any
                                  wrongs she might have done them, then do the same for her siblings.
                                  Whether this extended to others in her family (spouses-of-siblings
                                  living in the same house or elsewhere, aunts and uncles, cousins) I'm
                                  not sure. I can see how this may have come about, as the bride often
                                  left her family and went to live with her new family, sometimes a
                                  distance away.
                                  >
                                  > H
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > >>> "Andrea Vangor" <drav@...> 07/31/07 8:54 PM >>>
                                  > That's an outstanding question.
                                  > I have a popular relative who turns up a few times around 1800.
                                  Thinking it over, didn't we learn at one time that the wedding
                                  witnesses were supposed to be the original godfathers of the bride and
                                  groom? Of course they may also have played starring roles at the wedding.
                                  > ----- Original Message -----
                                  > From: J Michutka
                                  > To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
                                  > Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2007 4:43 PM
                                  > Subject: [Slovak-World] marriage witnesses
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > I'm going through Slovak village marriage records in the late 1800s,
                                  > and finding that some names occur many times in the marriage witness
                                  > column. For example, one relative I'm tracking shows up 8 times
                                  > between 1887 and 1894, and I dare say I'll see him some more before
                                  > his death in 1905. Some of the weddings at which he was a witness
                                  > were of people with whom he had a family connection (cousins, in-
                                  > law's siblings), but for other weddings there is no apparent
                                  > connection by blood or marriage (and I have the family pretty well
                                  > mapped).
                                  >
                                  > The question has arisen as to whether we can make any assumptions
                                  > about these people whose names appear with much greater frequency as
                                  > marriage witnesses. Were they simply more popular? considered more
                                  > religious? In the case of the relative, there is no indication of
                                  > higher social status or money, although family stories say that he
                                  > loved to dance, so he may have been a friendly sociable fellow. In
                                  > contrast, siblings of his seldom appear as marriage witnesses in the
                                  > records, and when they do, it's almost always for another sibling's
                                  > wedding.
                                  >
                                  > One related question--these people named in the marriage records as
                                  > witnesses--always 2 men--would they have been the same as the best
                                  > man (druzba) and the zvac (inviter)? Sorry if it seems like the
                                  > answer should be obvious, but with the difference in time and place,
                                  > I try not to make assumptions, even for seemingly obvious questions.
                                  > So my question stands.
                                  >
                                  > Thanks for any insights,
                                  >
                                  > Julie Michutka
                                  > jmm@...
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  >
                                  > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  >





                                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                • Marianne Petruska
                                  And I plan to re-visit both the birth/baptismal & marriage records for those of my father s ancestors born & married between 1855-1895 to see how accurate the
                                  Message 16 of 21 , Aug 1, 2007
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                                    And I plan to re-visit both the birth/baptismal & marriage records for those
                                    of my father's ancestors born & married between 1855-1895 to see how
                                    accurate the info about "godfathers" of the bride & groom is. In the first
                                    record I checked it wasn't but that may not be true of all of that same
                                    generation.

                                    Others who have records for this same period might want to check them as
                                    well. It may lead to some interesting future research!

                                    MARIANNE

                                    On 8/1/07, Andrea Vangor <drav@...> wrote:
                                    >
                                    > I remember wondering about this several years ago looking at records
                                    > from Rank and Opina. I guess that the results were not conclusive, except
                                    > there was more evidence for the popularity theory. You would have to go
                                    > through a whole generation or two of births and marriages -- a great idea if
                                    > anyone has time.
                                    >
                                    > ----- Original Message -----
                                    > From: Gregory J Kopchak
                                    > To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com <Slovak-World%40yahoogroups.com>
                                    > Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2007 7:05 AM
                                    > Subject: [Slovak-World] Re: marriage witnesses
                                    >
                                    > Helen, Andrea, Julie and All
                                    >
                                    > We have lots of Slovak Wedding Traditions at www.iarelative.com/wedding
                                    >
                                    > For what ever reason, the subject of Witnesses at Slovak weddings
                                    > never turned up at the site.
                                    >
                                    > There are a couple interesting theories here.
                                    >
                                    > The Godfather theory.
                                    >
                                    > The Respected member theory.
                                    >
                                    > After digging through a couple hundred Slovak Church records here this
                                    > morning, I have a theory and only a theory.
                                    >
                                    > The witness at a Slovak wedding was a respected member of the
                                    > community. It seems that the same person was witness to multiple
                                    > marriages over years and based on age, was a respected member of the
                                    > community.
                                    >
                                    > Does anyone have facts to support either theory?
                                    >
                                    > Greg Kopchak
                                    > It's All Relative
                                    >
                                    > --- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com <Slovak-World%40yahoogroups.com>,
                                    > "Helen Fedor" <hfed@...> wrote:
                                    > >
                                    > > I remember my mother telling me, years ago, that godfathers had a
                                    > role in weddings (eastern Slovakia), in addition to sitting at a place
                                    > of honor at the celebration, the main table or somewhere nearby. The
                                    > godfather of the groom was the groom's "pitac~", the "asker". It was
                                    > he who would formally ask the bride's parents for permission for the
                                    > young man to marry their daughter.
                                    > >
                                    > > I also seem to remember that the bride's godfather (why not the
                                    > godmother? or the maid of honor?) would "assist" the bride as she
                                    > asked forgiveness of her family before marrying. She'd first kneel
                                    > down in front of her parents and ask them to forgive her for any
                                    > wrongs she might have done them, then do the same for her siblings.
                                    > Whether this extended to others in her family (spouses-of-siblings
                                    > living in the same house or elsewhere, aunts and uncles, cousins) I'm
                                    > not sure. I can see how this may have come about, as the bride often
                                    > left her family and went to live with her new family, sometimes a
                                    > distance away.
                                    > >
                                    > > H
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > > >>> "Andrea Vangor" <drav@...> 07/31/07 8:54 PM >>>
                                    > > That's an outstanding question.
                                    > > I have a popular relative who turns up a few times around 1800.
                                    > Thinking it over, didn't we learn at one time that the wedding
                                    > witnesses were supposed to be the original godfathers of the bride and
                                    > groom? Of course they may also have played starring roles at the wedding.
                                    > > ----- Original Message -----
                                    > > From: J Michutka
                                    > > To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com <Slovak-World%40yahoogroups.com>
                                    > > Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2007 4:43 PM
                                    > > Subject: [Slovak-World] marriage witnesses
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > > I'm going through Slovak village marriage records in the late 1800s,
                                    > > and finding that some names occur many times in the marriage witness
                                    > > column. For example, one relative I'm tracking shows up 8 times
                                    > > between 1887 and 1894, and I dare say I'll see him some more before
                                    > > his death in 1905. Some of the weddings at which he was a witness
                                    > > were of people with whom he had a family connection (cousins, in-
                                    > > law's siblings), but for other weddings there is no apparent
                                    > > connection by blood or marriage (and I have the family pretty well
                                    > > mapped).
                                    > >
                                    > > The question has arisen as to whether we can make any assumptions
                                    > > about these people whose names appear with much greater frequency as
                                    > > marriage witnesses. Were they simply more popular? considered more
                                    > > religious? In the case of the relative, there is no indication of
                                    > > higher social status or money, although family stories say that he
                                    > > loved to dance, so he may have been a friendly sociable fellow. In
                                    > > contrast, siblings of his seldom appear as marriage witnesses in the
                                    > > records, and when they do, it's almost always for another sibling's
                                    > > wedding.
                                    > >
                                    > > One related question--these people named in the marriage records as
                                    > > witnesses--always 2 men--would they have been the same as the best
                                    > > man (druzba) and the zvac (inviter)? Sorry if it seems like the
                                    > > answer should be obvious, but with the difference in time and place,
                                    > > I try not to make assumptions, even for seemingly obvious questions.
                                    > > So my question stands.
                                    > >
                                    > > Thanks for any insights,
                                    > >
                                    > > Julie Michutka
                                    > > jmm@...
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > >
                                    > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    > >
                                    >
                                    > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                    >
                                    >
                                    >


                                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                  • Andy Verostko
                                    julie regarding the two men whose names appear often in the mariage records.... The below info is excerpted from: Slovakia and the Slovaks, a Concise
                                    Message 17 of 21 , Aug 2, 2007
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                                      julie

                                      regarding the two men whose names appear often in the mariage records....


                                      The below info is excerpted from:
                                      "Slovakia and the Slovaks, a Concise Encyclopedia".
                                      Encyclopedical Institute of the Slovak Academy of Sciences
                                      Gold Press Publishers, Bratislava, 1994



                                      Wedding - Customs accompanying marriage. It was early in the
                                      developement of the patriarchial
                                      family that a wedding acquired complex ceremonies which stressed
                                      significant economic, social
                                      and family relations. The symbolism of the ceremonies stressed the
                                      importance of family making
                                      relationsand included a remeniscence of the purchase and/or abduction of
                                      the bride, economic
                                      hope, acts of reproduction, ritual purification, superstitious commands
                                      and prohibitions. In the
                                      Slovak Territory weddings varied throughout history and distinct social
                                      and regional differences
                                      are obvious. However the basic elements and functions remained
                                      identical. The course of a
                                      wedding was managed by "functionaries" which developed with tradition
                                      (Wedding parents which
                                      were a senior or mayor from the bridegroom's suite and a master of
                                      ceremopnies from the bride's
                                      suite) as well as the groomsmen and bridesmaids. The participants of
                                      the wedding originally acted
                                      as witnesses. The wedding lasted three days. The groom aand his
                                      guests, accompanied by musicians,
                                      went to the home of the bride. On his way, the groom had to overcome
                                      various obstacles, a gate
                                      was shut to him, some tried to send him away. He was told to ask,
                                      through the senior, the parents
                                      of the bride for her. The parents handed the bride over to the groom
                                      through the master of
                                      ceremonies.

                                      The above is in reference to 19th century traditions and there is more
                                      detail on the wedding customs
                                      and ceremony and it seems that the two men were the intermediaries who
                                      were very much involved
                                      in arranging for approvals, dowery's and social compliance...

                                      regards Andy V......





                                      J Michutka wrote:

                                      >
                                      >
                                      > One related question--these people named in the marriage records as
                                      > witnesses--always 2 men--would they have been the same as the best
                                      > man (druzba) and the zvac (inviter)? Sorry if it seems like the
                                      > answer should be obvious, but with the difference in time and place,
                                      > I try not to make assumptions, even for seemingly obvious questions.
                                      > So my question stands.
                                      >
                                      > Thanks for any insights,
                                      >
                                      > Julie Michutka
                                      >










                                      >
                                      > <mailto:jmm%40pathbridge.net>
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                      >
                                    • Margo Smith
                                      One of the topics that has piqued my interest from the beginning has been the selection of baptismal godparents and marriage witnesses. I have systematically
                                      Message 18 of 21 , Aug 6, 2007
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                                        One of the topics that has piqued my interest from the beginning has been the selection of baptismal godparents and marriage witnesses. I have systematically gathered this information.

                                        Andrea, I did not find any examples in which the marriage witnesses were the original baptismal godfathers of the bride and groom.

                                        There were few in which the marriage witnesses were likely or certainly relatives of either the bride or groom.

                                        I have come to conclude that several of the families were "prestigious" because they were selected as baptismal godparent or marriage witness so frequently -- some families were selected > 30 times!

                                        Margo

                                        Marianne Petruska <marianne50614@...> wrote:
                                        And I plan to re-visit both the birth/baptismal & marriage records for those
                                        of my father's ancestors born & married between 1855-1895 to see how
                                        accurate the info about "godfathers" of the bride & groom is. In the first
                                        record I checked it wasn't but that may not be true of all of that same
                                        generation.

                                        Others who have records for this same period might want to check them as
                                        well. It may lead to some interesting future research!

                                        MARIANNE

                                        On 8/1/07, Andrea Vangor <drav@...> wrote:
                                        >
                                        > I remember wondering about this several years ago looking at records
                                        > from Rank and Opina. I guess that the results were not conclusive, except
                                        > there was more evidence for the popularity theory. You would have to go
                                        > through a whole generation or two of births and marriages -- a great idea if
                                        > anyone has time.
                                        >
                                        > ----- Original Message -----
                                        > From: Gregory J Kopchak
                                        > To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com <Slovak-World%40yahoogroups.com>
                                        > Sent: Wednesday, August 01, 2007 7:05 AM
                                        > Subject: [Slovak-World] Re: marriage witnesses
                                        >
                                        > Helen, Andrea, Julie and All
                                        >
                                        > We have lots of Slovak Wedding Traditions at www.iarelative.com/wedding
                                        >
                                        > For what ever reason, the subject of Witnesses at Slovak weddings
                                        > never turned up at the site.
                                        >
                                        > There are a couple interesting theories here.
                                        >
                                        > The Godfather theory.
                                        >
                                        > The Respected member theory.
                                        >
                                        > After digging through a couple hundred Slovak Church records here this
                                        > morning, I have a theory and only a theory.
                                        >
                                        > The witness at a Slovak wedding was a respected member of the
                                        > community. It seems that the same person was witness to multiple
                                        > marriages over years and based on age, was a respected member of the
                                        > community.
                                        >
                                        > Does anyone have facts to support either theory?
                                        >
                                        > Greg Kopchak
                                        > It's All Relative
                                        >
                                        > --- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com <Slovak-World%40yahoogroups.com>,
                                        > "Helen Fedor" <hfed@...> wrote:
                                        > >
                                        > > I remember my mother telling me, years ago, that godfathers had a
                                        > role in weddings (eastern Slovakia), in addition to sitting at a place
                                        > of honor at the celebration, the main table or somewhere nearby. The
                                        > godfather of the groom was the groom's "pitac~", the "asker". It was
                                        > he who would formally ask the bride's parents for permission for the
                                        > young man to marry their daughter.
                                        > >
                                        > > I also seem to remember that the bride's godfather (why not the
                                        > godmother? or the maid of honor?) would "assist" the bride as she
                                        > asked forgiveness of her family before marrying. She'd first kneel
                                        > down in front of her parents and ask them to forgive her for any
                                        > wrongs she might have done them, then do the same for her siblings.
                                        > Whether this extended to others in her family (spouses-of-siblings
                                        > living in the same house or elsewhere, aunts and uncles, cousins) I'm
                                        > not sure. I can see how this may have come about, as the bride often
                                        > left her family and went to live with her new family, sometimes a
                                        > distance away.
                                        > >
                                        > > H
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > >>> "Andrea Vangor" <drav@...> 07/31/07 8:54 PM >>>
                                        > > That's an outstanding question.
                                        > > I have a popular relative who turns up a few times around 1800.
                                        > Thinking it over, didn't we learn at one time that the wedding
                                        > witnesses were supposed to be the original godfathers of the bride and
                                        > groom? Of course they may also have played starring roles at the wedding.
                                        > > ----- Original Message -----
                                        > > From: J Michutka
                                        > > To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com <Slovak-World%40yahoogroups.com>
                                        > > Sent: Tuesday, July 31, 2007 4:43 PM
                                        > > Subject: [Slovak-World] marriage witnesses
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > I'm going through Slovak village marriage records in the late 1800s,
                                        > > and finding that some names occur many times in the marriage witness
                                        > > column. For example, one relative I'm tracking shows up 8 times
                                        > > between 1887 and 1894, and I dare say I'll see him some more before
                                        > > his death in 1905. Some of the weddings at which he was a witness
                                        > > were of people with whom he had a family connection (cousins, in-
                                        > > law's siblings), but for other weddings there is no apparent
                                        > > connection by blood or marriage (and I have the family pretty well
                                        > > mapped).
                                        > >
                                        > > The question has arisen as to whether we can make any assumptions
                                        > > about these people whose names appear with much greater frequency as
                                        > > marriage witnesses. Were they simply more popular? considered more
                                        > > religious? In the case of the relative, there is no indication of
                                        > > higher social status or money, although family stories say that he
                                        > > loved to dance, so he may have been a friendly sociable fellow. In
                                        > > contrast, siblings of his seldom appear as marriage witnesses in the
                                        > > records, and when they do, it's almost always for another sibling's
                                        > > wedding.
                                        > >
                                        > > One related question--these people named in the marriage records as
                                        > > witnesses--always 2 men--would they have been the same as the best
                                        > > man (druzba) and the zvac (inviter)? Sorry if it seems like the
                                        > > answer should be obvious, but with the difference in time and place,
                                        > > I try not to make assumptions, even for seemingly obvious questions.
                                        > > So my question stands.
                                        > >
                                        > > Thanks for any insights,
                                        > >
                                        > > Julie Michutka
                                        > > jmm@...
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > >
                                        > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        > >
                                        >
                                        > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                        >
                                        >
                                        >

                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]






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                                        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                      • Sinbad Schwartz
                                        ... has been the selection of baptismal godparents and marriage witnesses. I have systematically gathered this information.
                                        Message 19 of 21 , Aug 6, 2007
                                        • 0 Attachment
                                          --- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com, Margo Smith <margolane61@...>
                                          wrote:
                                          >
                                          > One of the topics that has piqued my interest from the beginning
                                          has been the selection of baptismal godparents and marriage
                                          witnesses. I have systematically gathered this information.<

                                          Recently I was reading "Tradicie Slovenskej Rodiny" (Slovak Family
                                          Traditions), or rather the short English summary in the back of the
                                          book. On the subject of christenings I found: "Christening was a
                                          family celebration of the birth of a child, in which up to the
                                          nineteenth century only women participated. The christening held by
                                          women was characterized by free entertainment followed by he singing
                                          of songs with erotic texts."

                                          I could only trace my family back to the beginning of the nineteenth
                                          century. In all cases, godparents were a male and a female, which by
                                          definition is correct (up until recently). I wonder if the godparents
                                          were a man and a woman and the celebration was only for the women? My
                                          Slovak is too limited for me to go into the body of the Slovak text
                                          and pick up the details. Has anyone ever heard of this tradition?

                                          RU
                                        • konekta@nm.psg.sk
                                          Krstiny was the name of the celebration, not the baptism istelf. The book says, that only women had their own celebration, got drunk and were praising the
                                          Message 20 of 21 , Aug 7, 2007
                                          • 0 Attachment
                                            Krstiny was the name of the celebration, not the baptism istelf.
                                            The book says, that only women had their own celebration, got drunk and were
                                            praising the Jano's rod.:-)
                                            Vladimir

                                            _____

                                            From: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com [mailto:Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com] On
                                            Behalf Of Sinbad Schwartz
                                            Sent: Tuesday, August 07, 2007 7:39 AM
                                            To: Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com
                                            Subject: [Slovak-World] Re: marriage witnesses



                                            --- In Slovak-World@ <mailto:Slovak-World%40yahoogroups.com>
                                            yahoogroups.com, Margo Smith <margolane61@...>
                                            wrote:
                                            >
                                            > One of the topics that has piqued my interest from the beginning
                                            has been the selection of baptismal godparents and marriage
                                            witnesses. I have systematically gathered this information.<

                                            Recently I was reading "Tradicie Slovenskej Rodiny" (Slovak Family
                                            Traditions), or rather the short English summary in the back of the
                                            book. On the subject of christenings I found: "Christening was a
                                            family celebration of the birth of a child, in which up to the
                                            nineteenth century only women participated. The christening held by
                                            women was characterized by free entertainment followed by he singing
                                            of songs with erotic texts."

                                            I could only trace my family back to the beginning of the nineteenth
                                            century. In all cases, godparents were a male and a female, which by
                                            definition is correct (up until recently). I wonder if the godparents
                                            were a man and a woman and the celebration was only for the women? My
                                            Slovak is too limited for me to go into the body of the Slovak text
                                            and pick up the details. Has anyone ever heard of this tradition?

                                            RU






                                            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                                          • Sinbad Schwartz
                                            ... and were ... Thanks Vladimir. Jano must have been a talented fisherman. RU
                                            Message 21 of 21 , Aug 7, 2007
                                            • 0 Attachment
                                              --- In Slovak-World@yahoogroups.com, <konekta@...> wrote:
                                              >
                                              > Krstiny was the name of the celebration, not the baptism istelf.
                                              > The book says, that only women had their own celebration, got drunk
                                              and were
                                              > praising the Jano's rod.:-)
                                              > Vladimir

                                              Thanks Vladimir. Jano must have been a talented fisherman.

                                              RU
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