What is a "Cautioner" in marriage banns?

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What is a "Cautioner" in marriage banns?

Postby speleobat2 » Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:12 pm

Hi all,

I was looking at OPR's for possible Chalmers relatives in Old Machar in 1806 and came across this wording:

"John Bonnar and Barbara Chalmers both in this parish signify their purpose of marriage. George Jaffray Elder being Cautioner."

There was no objection, so they were married the same day. I thought the minister would have performed the marriage, but there is no mention of one. Did elders also marry people? :? All of the entries on that page have a Cautioner in them.

Carol :D
Looking for: Clerihew, Longmuir/Longmore, Chalmers, Milne, Barclay in Newhills,
Munro, Cadenhead, Raitt, Ririe/Reary
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Re: What is a "Cautioner" in marriage banns?

Postby AndrewP » Tue Dec 08, 2009 8:42 pm

Hi Carol,

See viewtopic.php?f=8&t=9302 for an answer to this one.

All the best,

AndrewP
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Re: What is a "Cautioner" in marriage banns?

Postby speleobat2 » Tue Dec 08, 2009 11:56 pm

So a bit more than a witness, but not quite a co-signer? !

I wonder if this was more likely in a parish on the level of Old Machar, though the OPR doesn't say what church they were married in or by what minister. I haven't come across this in any of the other OPR's that I've looked at and that must be several hundred by now.

George Jaffray, the Elder who was cautioner in this case appears in about half of the entries on the page and James Christie, Elder appears in the other half.

Something else to ponder!

Thanks, Andrew for the information.

Carol :D
Looking for: Clerihew, Longmuir/Longmore, Chalmers, Milne, Barclay in Newhills,
Munro, Cadenhead, Raitt, Ririe/Reary
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Re: What is a "Cautioner" in marriage banns?

Postby LesleyB » Wed Dec 09, 2009 12:52 am

Hi Carol
I wonder if this was more likely in a parish on the level of Old Machar,

Not having any Aberdeen folk I'm not sure what you mean by this - can you explain?

I don't think Elders married people - I don't think I can come up with a reference for this though.

Incidently, as far as I remember the word is pronounced Kay-tioner, not pronounced like the word "caution" as you might expect. As far as I remember there was potentially money involved too - would need to go check, but I think if either one of the couple went back on the agreement to marry the cautioner may have had to stump up a payment to the church (no doubt for its inconvenience....) and the money was likely to have ended up in the general funds which usually went to keep the poor and needy of the parish one way or another.

Best wishes
Lesley
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Re: What is a "Cautioner" in marriage banns?

Postby speleobat2 » Wed Dec 09, 2009 2:22 am

Hi Lesley,

I was thinking in terms of size, longevity, wealth. Old Machar with the cathedral in the city as opposed to a rural parish. Most of my relatives came from farming areas and as I said, I've never seen a cautioner in any of their OPR's that I can think of. I actually had thought that this might be a form of fundraising in a larger wealthier parish.

I can't imagine my relatives paying someone to gaurantee that the marriage took place. More likely, Dad would stand by with a cudgel instead!

Carol :D
Looking for: Clerihew, Longmuir/Longmore, Chalmers, Milne, Barclay in Newhills,
Munro, Cadenhead, Raitt, Ririe/Reary
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Re: What is a "Cautioner" in marriage banns?

Postby LesleyB » Wed Dec 09, 2009 11:22 am

Hi Carol

I undertand your thoughts now. The Cautioners I've come across have been in Kettle, a small parish in a rural area of Fife between 1750 - 1775, so a differnt time and place. Not sure why we see mention of them in some records and not others...

Best wishes
Lesley
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Re: What is a "Cautioner" in marriage banns?

Postby SarahND » Wed Dec 09, 2009 7:08 pm

Hi Lesley & Carol,
I have an ancestor who was married in Old Machar in 1800. There are two records, one from St Andrews Episcopal which simply gives the date, the names of the two parties, "both in Old Machar, were married after the usual Forms"

The other, from the OPR for Old Machar, is more detailed and gives the date, the names, "both at Printfield in this parish signified their purpose of marriage, Alexander Sangster being cautioner for both parties. Where upon being orderly proclaimed without objection, they were married." I don't see Alexander Sangster again on the page, there are different cautioners for each of the 6 marriages, half of them Elders. I have been going on the assumption that this Alexander Sangster might have a connection to the couple, but maybe not after all?

Regards,
Sarah
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Re: What is a "Cautioner" in marriage banns?

Postby LesleyB » Wed Dec 09, 2009 7:37 pm

Hi Sarah

In the two cases I can think of in Kettle, in both mentions the cautioner appears to be the father of the bride - surname is not common in the area.

"Sources for Scottish Genealogy and Scottish History" by DJ Steel says:
"The bridegroom's father is very rarely mentioned except that in the case of minors there is sometimes a reference to a "cautioner" , usually the bridegroom's father "
- so that doesn't fit with my lot, as the grooms father is not mentioned...and both of my brides were 18 or over.

Best wishes
Lesley
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Re: What is a "Cautioner" in marriage banns?

Postby speleobat2 » Wed Dec 09, 2009 10:41 pm

My bride was was 27. I don't have an age for John Bonnar, the groom, but George Jaffray wouldn't have been his father anyway.

I guess this just shows that you can't generalize in genealogy!

Carol :D
Looking for: Clerihew, Longmuir/Longmore, Chalmers, Milne, Barclay in Newhills,
Munro, Cadenhead, Raitt, Ririe/Reary
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Re: What is a "Cautioner" in marriage banns?

Postby trose » Mon Aug 16, 2010 12:34 am

speleobat2 wrote:I guess this just shows that you can't generalize in genealogy!

Carol :D


Nope... definitely can't.

-Tay
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