Marriage, migration, and settling down: Parral (Nueva Vizcaya), 1770- 1788

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Colonial migrations are difficult to assess not so much for a lack of data, but rather because of their low reliability, the residue of a proto-statistical era which yields its secrets slowly, or not at all. The lack of consistency in the type and quality of variables between sources discourages one from using aggregate data to study marital migration over time. Some sort of linking is required instead to attempt to maintain statistical control over the population under examination. This paper focuses on the migration patterns for a group of 287 brides and grooms who registered to marry, that is filed informaciones matrimoniales in the parish church of San Jose de Parral in 1770-1776, and which I have attempted to link into manuscript censuses taken in 1777, 1778 and 1788. Marriage data define migration as movement from place of birth to place of marriage, a partial yet important reflection of the total migratory process for a community. The padrones of Parral, of which there are at least six during the period 1768-1821, probably offer a more complete picture of who the migrants were and what niches they occupied. Nevertheless, here I am focusing on the links between marriage declarations and the padrones because this would seem to offer a more reliable picture of family beginnings, the connection between migration and marriage and the process of settling down or moving on. -from Author

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)212-237
Number of pages26
JournalUnknown Journal
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990


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