Journal of Family History: Studies in Family, Kinship and Demography vol:31 issue:2 pages:115-143
Based on research in three Flemish communities, the author concluded that during the course of the second part of the nineteenth century, there was an increasing trend toward choosing family members as witnesses to the marriage ceremony (of first marriages). This was interpreted as an aspect of the "familiarization" of marriage. It might also, however refer to changing family contexts and social networks, to switching roles of parents and youth, to shifting intergenerational power and to new family situations of solidarity and conflict. In this follow-up study, the author demonstrates that the former conclusions also hold true for other Flemish regions, for all social groups, and for remarriages. It also appears that marrying people increasingly selected brothers and brothers-in-law as witnesses, rather than descending or ascending kin. These observations support the thesis of the increasing familiarization of family relations during the course of the nineteenth century.