Merchet

In medieval England, a fine paid by a villein to the lord of the manor for the right to give his daughter in marriage. This term derives from the plural form of daughter, merched, in Old Welsh. See OED Online. For genealogical purposes, this statement identifies a marriage in the family; however, in many instances only the bride-to-be, and not her intended husband, is identified by name. This creates difficulties in locating the married woman in subsequent sources.

See also Childwite, Lairwite, Lord of the Manor, Manor, and Villein.