Manx - Kinship, Marriage, and Family

Kinship. The Manx reckon descent bilaterally with patrilineal surnames. The most important domestic unit is the Nuclear, monogamous family, which is the main unit for socializing offspring and of production and consumption of family resources. Strong ties are maintained with kin groups outside the nuclear family, and frequent visiting and sharing of resources reaffirms recognition and support of consanguineal and affinal kin. Formerly, the Manx were organized in geographically localized patrilineages, although lacking the corporate features of true unilineal descent systems. Today, many Manx can trace descent bilineally to their patrilineage, despite complicated changes in surname spellings and pronunciations. Some can point to ruined ancestral farm houses ( tholtan ). Tynwald has sponsored genealogical programs to assist people in tracing connections to their original lineages. Manx formal kinship terminology is identical to English Kinship terminology. Informally, the Manx use nicknames to distinguish living and dead relatives. Formerly, nicknames were added through patrilineal descent, so a son would earn his own nickname and also be ascribed his father's nickname. This process could be repeated over many generations, so that a man might have eight or more nicknames representing a public display of descent.

Marriage. Marriage marks an important change of status to adulthood, so the age of marriage is low. Both men and women marry in their early twenties and immediately start a family. Postmarital residence is ideally neolocal, except among agricultural families where the eldest son is expected to reside patrilocally. However, many young couples working in agriculture attempt to relocate to an abode close to the family farm. The choice of marriage partner is at the discretion of young adults. Divorce is becoming increasingly Common, and remarriage after a divorce or the death of a spouse is accepted.

Inheritance . Land as a heritable resource ideally has been kept intact in intergenerational transfers, and typically it is given to the oldest son. Other resources, such as houses, money, and belongings, are divided equally between the other male and the female heirs.

Socialization. Children are well disciplined at home and are expected to participate in household chores. However, corporal punishment is not common and is reserved for the gravest disobedience. Young adults are expected to contribute to the household, either through labor or earnings, but in other respects they are allowed considerable latitude in their free-time behavior.

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