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Re: [Slovak-World] marriage witnesses

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  • 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 1 of 21 , Aug 1 5:24 AM
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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 2 of 21 , Aug 1 7:05 AM
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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 3 of 21 , Aug 1 7:09 AM
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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 4 of 21 , Aug 1 7:19 AM
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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 5 of 21 , Aug 1 7:39 AM
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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 6 of 21 , Aug 1 9:04 AM
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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 7 of 21 , Aug 1 9:06 AM
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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 8 of 21 , Aug 1 9:10 AM
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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 9 of 21 , Aug 1 9:25 AM
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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 10 of 21 , Aug 1 9:39 AM
                      • 0 Attachment
                        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 11 of 21 , Aug 1 12:09 PM
                        • 0 Attachment
                          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 12 of 21 , Aug 2 12:37 PM
                          • 0 Attachment
                            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 13 of 21 , Aug 6 11:39 AM
                            • 0 Attachment
                              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]






                              ---------------------------------
                              Got a little couch potato?
                              Check out fun summer activities for kids.

                              [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 14 of 21 , Aug 6 10:39 PM
                              • 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 15 of 21 , Aug 7 1:01 AM
                                • 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 16 of 21 , Aug 7 10:33 PM
                                  • 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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