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Announcement of Marriage Intention of Wells & Hoyt
(c) Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association, Deerfield MA. All rights reserved.
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Massachusetts law dictated that couples must publicly declare their intentions to marry on three successive Sundays before the day of the wedding. These intentions were called "banns" and could either be published or "cried," that is, announced during Sunday meeting. The banns for Elihu Hoyt (1771-1833) and Hannah Taylor (1772-1864) who were married December 10, 1794, and Samuel Wells (1772-1816) and Esther Arms (1772-1853) who were married October 30, 1794, were registered on July 12, 1794. Once the banns were read or published, it was assumed the wedding would, indeed, take place.
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