Rootsweb Message Board, request to look up a marriage.

I find the Rootsweb Message Boards so easy to use. You only have to register once then you have the capability of being able to post a message on any board. I also find that they tend to have a moderator and normally a few researchers who regularly provide useful replies.

From I had established that the parents of the two daughters were William Brown and Margaret Manson. Searching the Vancouver Island 1881 census I had also established the names of four children, three of whom were born in Ontario. The oldest was born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1866.

For this query I posted on the Hamilton, Ontario message boards, and provided as much detail as I had about the family. A good result in that I received a positive reply later the same day.

"Bride: Margaret Manson
Birth Place: Scotland Village
Residence: Hamilton
Age: 24
Estimated birth year: abt 1841
Father Name: James Manson
Mother Name: Jane Lawrence

Groom: William Brawn
Spouse's Age: 20
Spouse Birth Place: Scotland Village
Spouse residence: Hamilton
> Spouse Father Name: Thomas Brawn
Spouse Mother Name: Barbara Nicholson

Marriage Date: 7 Dec 1865
Marriage County: Wentworth
Archives of Ontario Microfilm: MS248_17 "

The poster was knowledgeable enough to consider possible error in the transcription of Brown as Brawn. I also think it could be due to the Shetland accent which can be rather strong and difficult to understand. I even see a lot of this with name spelling/errors in the Shetland Newpaper announcements of that period.

Can I link the bride and groom to Shetland?

Now that I had the names of both parents I was able focus on the correct couple. What we find in the Shetland Database are many individual who just 'disappear' without trace, e.g. against Death is the word UNKNOWN. It is satisfying when you can link them back to their roots.

For the bride I find that her parents were James Manson b.1810 and Jane Laurenson b.1810. She was the second oldest of six children. She was born on 19th February 1839 and appeared in the Shetland census in 1861. A link to her page is given in the references below.

For the groom, his parents were Thomas Brown b.bef. 1823 and Barbara Nicolson b.1819. He was the oldest with a younger sister - both with this dreaded UNKNOWN. (I wonder if his sister followed him to Canada). Her was born in 1845 and appeared in the Shetland census in 1861. A link to his page is given in the references below.

The marriage document also has transcription/interpretation errors for the parents surnames. i.e. Lawrence instead of the typical Shetland Laurenson. And Nicholson instead of Nicolson. Although for both surname variants, the difference is of little consequence.

Link to the search resources used in this blog: