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Re: [Slovak-World] Re: marriage witnesses

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  • 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 1 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 2 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 3 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 4 of 21 , Aug 6, 2007
          • 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]






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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 5 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 6 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 7 of 21 , Aug 7, 2007
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                  --- 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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