23 May 2018

Maternal family of HRH The Duchess of Sussex

The day before HRH The Duke of Sussex (Prince Harry) married Meghan Markle, the American genealogist Christopher C. Child published the article «Meghan Markle's maternal family» in Vita Brevis, the blog of the New England Historic Genealogical Society.

In the blog article Child shows Meghan's matrilineal ancestry back to a Millie Jones, who was born in Georgia around 1815 and appeared last time in the national census of 1880, then living at Smiths in Hart County, Georgia.

Concerning Meghan's first marriage to Trevor Engelson, Child writes that they married at Ocho Rios, Jamaica on 10 September 2011.

His source is the Wikipedia article about the duchess. While there is no doubt that the wedding was celebrated in Jamaica, genealogists would normally focus on the legal marriage, which seems to have taken place in Los Angeles, USA. In his book Meghan: A Hollywood Princess, 2018 (Kindle Edition, Loc 1329), Andrew Morton writes:
With the ocean as backdrop, the couple recited vows they had written themselves [...] Though the couple had officially married in Los Angeles in a brief civil ceremony, this was the real celebration for family and friends, [...]
In other words, the legal marriage took place earlier than 10 September 2011. I suspect, however, that Child already knows this. In the third paragraph of his article, he stresses that «The lineage should be considered preliminary, as I have ordered several additional twentieth-century records that might lead to corrections or additions to the facts below.» He might have ordered twentyfirst-century records as well?

Postscript 26 May 2018 at 19:25: My article above was cut short because I had to prepare for a meeting. I had intended to comment on Andrew Morton's sources before signing off. Sources for the claim that the couple married in a civil ceremony in Los Angeles are not explicitly given. In the Acknoweledgement section the author refers to among others certain family members and friends, some by name, some unidentified. The way the ceremony at Ocho Rios was described, however, it seems quite plausible that the couple was already legally married before entering the island. I wonder, though, if documentation of the civil wedding in LA, is available, or do we have to wait some time before such details are released?

Updated on Saturday 26 May 2018 at 19:25 (postscript added).

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