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The Marriage Certificate: The issue is a…
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The Marriage Certificate: The issue is a mystery (edition 2020)

by Stephen Molyneux (Author)

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546425,357 (3.83)None
"What prompts amateur family historian Peter Sefton to buy the marriage certificate he sees on display in an antiques arcade? Is it because he thinks it should be private and he wants to remove it from public view? Is it the prospect of researching the individuals named upon it? Or is it something else, happenstance perhaps, which leads him towards a potentially lucrative discovery and a long forgotten family secret? When John and Louisa marry in January 1900, who could foretell how their lives and those of ambitious Rose, the bridesmaid, and confident Frank, the best man, would be changed that day? Follow their story, through Peter's research and find out how, with investigative skill and a certain amount of luck, Peter finds himself pulled along to uncover a series of sad and tragic events -- events, which connect the marriage certificate to a modern day mystery. But, there is a complication. In his quest to complete the family tree he learns that he has competition. It's not just a matter of pride; there is money at stake too" -- Back cover.… (more)
Member:herzogm
Title:The Marriage Certificate: The issue is a mystery
Authors:Stephen Molyneux (Author)
Info:Sites To Suit Limited (2020), Edition: 2, 350 pages
Collections:Your library
Rating:
Tags:Read2022

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The Marriage Certificate by Stephen Molyneux

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
My favorite kind of genealogy themed fiction; a mystery with no crime. The writing is a bit on the pedantic side but if you're really into genealogy it doesn't matter a bit. The thrill of solving the complicated mystery and the clear use of British documents and ephemera to figure out what actually happened is enough.
  herzogm | Nov 24, 2022 |
Not the greatest writing I've ever read but the plot makes up for it. A very clever story woven around a marriage certificate that a intrigues a family historian. And just when you thought all the ends had been satisfactorily woven together there is a revelation which only the reader (knowing the whole story not just the selected parts made available to the amateur or the 'heir hunter' firm also involved) will understand. ( )
  Patsmith139 | Mar 15, 2021 |
An easy read, the book gives an interesting insight into the role of heir hunters
It was easy to guess the ending ( )
  karenshann | Dec 31, 2019 |
If you are a family historian or you enjoy watching Heir Hunters, you will enjoy the investigation and events in this book. ( )
  Somerville66 | May 29, 2017 |
There’s a new genre appearing in mystery, thriller and general fiction sections: #genealogylit. Involving a combination of old-fashioned mystery, family history, detective fiction and combined historical and modern-day settings, #genealogylit has grown from the love of family history research and television programmes such as ‘Who Do You Think You Are?’ and ‘Long Lost Family’.
‘The Marriage Certificate’ is another example of #genealogylit, combining family secrets with turn of the century British history: the Boer War, the Great War, the merchant navy, the changing role of women and attitudes to illegitimacy. Unlike other #genealogylit however, it is not a crime novel, there is no murder. It is the story of two couples - the bride and groom, Louisa and John, best man Frank and bridesmaid Rose - at a wedding on January 15, 1900; their lives, loves, dangers and tragedies. Running alongside is a modern-day strand. In 2011, amateur genealogist Peter Sefton finds the marriage certificate of Louisa and John’s wedding in an antiques shop and his curiosity is piqued. As he researches the names on the certificate, we also see their lives unfolding in a rapidly-changing world as the 19th century turns into the 20th. The men leave home to fight, while the women stay at home. War brings a change of life, but social mores remain Victorian.
Meanwhile, an elderly man dies alone in London. Without relatives, Harry Williams is listed on the Bona Vacantia list of unclaimed estates. In 2011, a professional heir hunting company starts to research Williams’ life in the hope of finding distant relatives and earn a share of the money. How will Highborn Research’s investigation coincide with Peter’s? Is there a connection to Laura and John? And who will inherit Harry Williams’ money?
This is not a thrilling page-turner with rapid action on every page, instead it is a slow-burning story rooted in historical detail which, for me, came alive in the final 100 pages. Perhaps this is due to the writing style, which can be a little formal and repetitive, and the author’s tendency to include tiny details. I did wonder whether the storyline was based on real people, the genealogical detail is fascinating and it is clear the author knows the research procedure, its twists and turns. I read this over one weekend, and found myself sitting up late to read to the end. Incidentally, the last page leaves the story hanging – but don’t be tempted to look!
Read more of my book reviews at http://www.sandradanby.com/book-reviews-a-z/ ( )
  Sandradan1 | Jun 23, 2016 |
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Peter spotted the marriage certificate.
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"What prompts amateur family historian Peter Sefton to buy the marriage certificate he sees on display in an antiques arcade? Is it because he thinks it should be private and he wants to remove it from public view? Is it the prospect of researching the individuals named upon it? Or is it something else, happenstance perhaps, which leads him towards a potentially lucrative discovery and a long forgotten family secret? When John and Louisa marry in January 1900, who could foretell how their lives and those of ambitious Rose, the bridesmaid, and confident Frank, the best man, would be changed that day? Follow their story, through Peter's research and find out how, with investigative skill and a certain amount of luck, Peter finds himself pulled along to uncover a series of sad and tragic events -- events, which connect the marriage certificate to a modern day mystery. But, there is a complication. In his quest to complete the family tree he learns that he has competition. It's not just a matter of pride; there is money at stake too" -- Back cover.

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