You've heard about dowries.........well,
a friend was telling me the other night all about how the Dowry came
back home..........it was more than just 'money' or valuables being
handed on in a marriage.
The daughter of a man with 50 acres of
land would be married to a man who had fifty acres of land - and we'll
say that £50 was given to his family as her dowry. That £50 could be
used to send two children to America/Australia - those two children
would send money home - either for the family left behind, or as the
fare for other children - or, as the dowry for other children. One of
those other children could in turn marry a brother of the woman who had
married in to their family - the daughter of the family with 50 acres
marrying the son of a man with 50 acres.
There was a bit of shnnanigans that could
go on as regards how much land you owned as well. Say you were a farmer
with 30 acres and you wanted to marry the daughter of a man with 50 -
you had to have fifty as well......
So, you could go to your neighbour and
ask him if you could put a gap between his land and yours - and then
when the potential father in law came to look at your land, sure you'd
walk him through that gap and show him the neighbours land as if it was
Same thing with livestock - it was
borrowed from neighbours on the day that the potential in laws would
come to walk about. I think, I must have been half listening to the
stories!! There seemed to be so much more.
The dowry coming home though, being an
investment - that was interesting. Something I'd never heard in the past.
Source: Dr. Jane Lyons