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Författare Ämne: Question about custom of visiting relatives to introduce the fiancé or fiancée  (läst 622 gånger)

2021-08-09, 21:25
läst 622 gånger

Utloggad Linda Johnson

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I read that it was the custom in Sweden in the 1800s for engaged couples to travel to visit their relatives who lived elsewhere in order to introduce the fiancé or fiancée to their families before the wedding. I would like to read about that custom again, but I don't remember where I found the information. Could someone please suggest a source (in English or Swedish)?
Thanks very much.Linda Johnson

2021-08-10, 02:04
Svar #1

Utloggad Klas Wallén

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Hi!

Are you sure it was before the wedding? There was a tradition where the married couple visited relatives, probably those who couldn't attend the wedding. I also think that the upper classes could visit relatives when they were engaged but I am not sure about common people on the countryside. The traditions connected to engagement are well documented. I do not think the tradition you describe is mentioned in Lizzie Carlssons book "Jag giver dig min dotter" (I give you my daughter) but it is mostly about the Medieval era. I have not read anything about it in the "Sveriges Historia"/ History of Sweden in nine volumes though. Perhaps others here on the forum have heard about it.

Regards

Klas

2021-08-10, 06:25
Svar #2

Utloggad Linda Johnson

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Hi, Klas,
Thank you very much for replying to my question about the custom of visiting relatives to introduce the fiancé or fiancée to relatives. I'm sure you are correct that many newly married couples visited family members who were not able to attend their wedding after they were married. I do think I read somewhere that engaged couples also visited relatives before the wedding, but unfortunately I didn't realize at the time that what I was reading might be relevant to my husband's ancestors. The bride was born in Sweden but married in the United States. She and the groom lived in one city and traveled to another to visit her mother before the wedding, then traveled to another state to marry in the city where her brother lived. It was her second marriage, and she and the groom were both in their 40s, so traveling together before marriage might have been more acceptable than it would have been if she had been younger and not previously married. I hope someone on the forum may have more information about this sort of premarital visiting of relatives. Thanks again.

Best wishes,Linda Johnson

2021-08-10, 12:39
Svar #3

Utloggad Klas Wallén

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Hi Linda!

In the past when a boy and a girl (at least among wealthier farmers) were to be married the boy could send a "böneman" who represented him, to the "giftoman" who was responsible for the girl (often her father). If they could agree the boy himself could visit them, often with the "böneman" and continue the negotiations. If they then agreed, especially about the dowry, the couple could be engaged. Once engaged and rings exchanged they could have sex. The Church law from 1686 did not forbid engaged couples to have sex and children born during engagement counted as lawful. Because of that I can not see any problem with two young engaged travelling around visiting relatives before the marriage but I do not think it was common among most people on the countryside. In Cities, especially second half of the 19th Century, there must have been other traditions/norms. It was actually pretty ok to live together without being married, at least in Stockholm.
So when your husbands ancestor lived in USA it would probably be normal for her to travel to her mother and brother because they lived in other Cities. I also guess that they were engaged.

May I ask you where she came from in Sweden?

Good luck with your research

Klas

2021-08-10, 17:44
Svar #4

Utloggad Linda Johnson

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Hi, Klas,
Thank you for the additional information and ideas about an engaged couple traveling together before marriage. What you say about the difference between customs in the countryside and the cities makes sense to me.
My husband's ancestor was born in Knätte Parish, Älvsborg County. Her second husband was not Swedish.

Thanks again for taking time to share your knowledge, and good luck in your own research.
Linda

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