Thursday, 12 November 2015

Charles Frank de Friez - some answers and even more questions

In my last post, I discussed some of the questions I have about the life and times of Charles Frank de Friez, my great-uncle.

On 28 July 1928, Charles married Elsie Marie PRYOR in St.Bonaventure's Roman Catholic church in Bristol.
St.Bonaventure's Roman Catholic Church, Bristol; from GoogleEarth

According to the Gloucester Citizen published that day, the weather was "rather cool" ranging from 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit, with moderate north-westerly winds and occasional rain showers interspersed with "bright intervals" - probably, in Bristol, a lovely summer's day just right for a wedding!

The Marriage Certificate shows that witnesses included the groom's father, Charles de Friez, and the bride's brother-in-law, Everard R. Davies.  I haven't found any kind of newspaper notice about the wedding, so don't know what the bride wore, how many people attended the wedding, etc.  I have written to the archivist of the Clifton Diocese to request any records, and am awaiting a response.

This Roman Catholic marriage is unusual for my Anglican family.  Charles' parents were married in an Anglican church, and I've found a christening record for Charles' younger brother, Alexander, that took place in St.Andrew's (Anglican) church on 31 October 1907.  His sisters were also christened in Anglican churches.

However, I haven't found any record of a christening for Charles.  I can't believe that his parents simply forgot!  Or that they made a deliberate choice to NOT have Charles christened.  Perhaps it's a recording omission, or indexing omission?

Despite the lack of a christening record, it's fairly clear that Charles was raised in an Anglican household.  Did he have to go through the process of "converting" to Catholicism to marry Elsie? Would there be records of such a process?  In a recent post on, Fr Thomas Ryan says:
When a baptized member of another church wishes to enter into full communion with the Catholic Church, the person will be personally interviewed to see what kind of process would be appropriate. The process generally averages 6-9 months, but it may be less or more depending on the individual’s needs and desires.
6-9 months?!!  That's a lot of commitment!  And, Charles was only 23 years old when he finally got married!  So it's likely he started this process of conversion at just 22 years of age.  He must have really wanted to marry Elsie!

More to come but, for now, enjoy your own gene-adventures :-)


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