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Normally a male had to present a statement of his free state in order to marry. It indicated, for one thing, that he was free from military obligation. In the case of Sabbatino del Cane of the town of Cermignano, however, he was a soldier who had gone missing from his troop from last March 24th, the reason being that he had been wounded and was unable to return to his regiment. He wanted to contract marriage with the young Maria Rachele Zeti of the same town and appeared with five witnesses to attest to the reason why he had abandoned his regiment and his whereabouts during the period of time he was missing. The witnesses were asked their names, places, father, age, occupation, and place of residence. There is a decision of the court in this record. It looks to me that they are saying that he has to make a novena to Saint Joseph on the 19th of March every year in his native town and that the witnesses in the document go there and witness him doing so. The document is dated Dec 1, 1821 and was prepared specifically for use for his marriage.
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