What You Need to Know:
• One of the first things Charles II did was establish the General Post Office. This new form of communication allowed families separated by vast distances to correspond with each other by post. Only the learned classes at the time could read and write, but it did promote a considerable increase in letter writing between family members. Many of the oldest family letters from this period have ended up in regional archives.
• Studies of the mobility of English society in the 1600s suggest that even at such an early date (i.e. before the industrial revolution) half the population died somewhere different from where they were born. Fortunately, most people moved within a 30 kilometer radius of their place of birth. The most mobile people tended to be unmarried individuals over the age of fifteen. This is a good fact to remember when you are tracing ancestors through parish records.
What You Need to Know:
• Newborns were expected to be baptized within 14 days of birth.
• The list of prohibited degrees of marriage was published with the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. The list was originally drawn up by Archbishop Parker in 1563, adopted as Canon Law in 1603 and written into the 1662 Book of Common Prayer. Remarkably, this list remained in effect unchanged and it was legally binding for almost 350 years. The first revision did not occur until 1907. Therefore, the list below can be used to eliminate possible family marriage combinations when researching ancestors even up until the start of the twentieth century (although, of course, there was always someone who managed to circumvent the list).
A man was not permitted to marry his:
A woman was not permitted to marry her:
|grandfather's wife||grandmother's husband|
|wife's grandmother||husband's grandfather|
|father's sister||father's brother|
|mother's sister||mother's brother|
|father's brother's wife||father's sister's husband|
|mother's brother's wife||mother's sister's husband|
|wife's father's sister||husband's father's brother|
|wife's mother's sister||husband's mother's brother|
|step mother||step father|
|wife's mother||husband's father|
|wife's daughter||husband's son|
|son's wife||daughter's husband|
|wife's sister||husband's brother|
|brother's wife||sister's husband|
|son's daughter||son's son|
|daughter's daughter||daughter's son|
|son's son's wife||son's daughter's husband|