Metric books as a source in the study of the marriage of the second half of the XVIII – the first half of the XIX century: possible research risks

Abstract

The aim. The author studies metric books as church sources of the second half of the 18th ‒ the first half of the 19th century, which were compiled by representatives of the parish clergy and therefore some certain errors and inaccuracies are presented. Research methods. Data sources determined the range of general scientific and special-historical methods used in the research, first of all they are deconstruction, historical and comparative, critical methods, etс. Scientific novelty based on the analysis of the directive and administrative, statutory, accounting and statistical documents, and metric books, the author for the first time made an attempt to reveal a number of violations of the executive discipline in some parishes in terms of maintaining some church documents, mostly marriage records. Main results. In order to avoid research traps, possible informative inaccuracies of the mentioned accounting and statistical documents were found out, fragments of the primary sources were cited, examples of individual married couples were given. We focus on the importance of correct records about the age of people who determined the minority/majority, readiness for recruitment, the acquisition of property rights, the person’s legal responsibility for the crimes committed, the choice of guardian, etс. The metric book and the marriage searches of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Rizdvo-Bohorodytska) Church of the village of Mykolaevka, Romny povit, Poltava province were analyzed, the calculated quantitative indicators of marriage are presented in the table, a comparative  analysis of the content is made and the differences in the records of the two church registries are shown, and the quantitative indicators of the matrimonial unions for certain years are compared. At the same time, the probable reasons for the lack of registration of persons for certain years in metric books, as well as factors that could cause dynamic fluctuations in the number of weddings annually and in leap years are emphasized. The author indicates the possible reasons for omitting some entries in the metric books of certain periods, and analyzes the factors that determined the violation of the registration procedure by representatives of clergymen in the church documentation. The following violations were revealed: the discrepancy in the entries in some metric, auditing and marriage-search books; omitting the marital registration between landowners or officials with their serfs; brides’ age fabrication in the church documents; mistakes and corrections in the anthroponomic data, topographical errors in entering brides’ origin etс. The average number of marriages registered in 1763–1858 in the village of Mykolaevka is 11.3. The number of weddings registered in different years including leap years is from 3–4 to 26–28 per year. Originality. The author used the unique metric books, church searches and analyzed church documents previously studied by some Polish and Ukrainian scholars. Practical significance. It is recommended for publishing in scientific journals, historical, demographic, gender and local research, for educational and methodological manuals, and further investigation in social history of Ukraine. Article type: analytical.

Author Biography

Olena Borodenko, Poltava V. H. Korolenko National Pedagogical University

Ph. D. in History, Associate Professor, Doctoral Student of the Department of History of Ukraine, Faculty of History and Geography, Poltava V. H. Korolenko National Pedagogical University, Poltava, Ukraine.

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Published
2020-10-11
How to Cite
BORODENKO, Olena. Metric books as a source in the study of the marriage of the second half of the XVIII – the first half of the XIX century: possible research risks. Universum Historiae et Archeologiae = The Universe of History and Archeology = Універсум історії та археології = Универсум истории и археологии ISSN 2664-9950 (Print) ISSN 2707-6385 (Online), [S.l.], v. 2, n. 2, p. 185–196, oct. 2020. ISSN 2707-6385. Available at: <http://uha.dp.ua/index.php/UHA/article/view/62>. Date accessed: 27 oct. 2020. doi: https://doi.org/10.15421/26190213.
Section
Historiography. Source Study. Special Historical Disciplines