I think I have observed a C19th phenomenon of couples claiming an address in Chatham or Rochester, and maybe in other Medway towns, and marrying there rather than in the parish where one or both was living.

I need to examine the data more but this is what appears to be the case from a few individual events I have found, from others being registered in Medway Registration District and from a drop in the number of marriages taking place in Bredgar.

Whilst young people finding work in the Medway towns could explain this, I would have expected I might then find the odd census entry supporting their residence in the town, but I haven’t.

Of the children of John and Elizabeth Goatham, 4 married in St. Mary’s Church, Chatham (1821, 1827, 1835 and 1844) and one in Maidstone (1837).  (George did marry in Bredgar in 1822 and William probably in Milton Reg District in 1841). Also, Elizabeth’s sister Frances also married in Rochester in 1812.

e.g. Michael was clearly living in Faversham 3 years before his marriage where he was working as a coal porter. Mercy, who he married in 1844 was born in Ospringe, just outside Faversham. Yet at the time of their marriage both were shown as resident at Hardcourt Street, Chatham, with Michael still shown as coal porter, only for them to be back in Faversham for the baptism of their first born 10 months after their marriage.




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