23O'Donovan, John, and Michael O'Flanagan. Letters Containing Information Relative to the Antiquities of the County of Meath, Collected during the Progress of the Ordnance Survey in 1836. Vol. 19. Bray, 1927. 12+.
O'Donovan wrote, "The narratives of Telton think that there was a great deal of fair play in this marriage, for which opinion Paley would condemn them as savages, and Milton would applaud them as men of sound ethical principles!"
Maire MacNeil makes it clear that O'Donovan, in explaining the folk memory of Teltown Marriages, considered them an element of the pagan Lughnasa celebrations and not a modern activity. (MacNeill, Maire. The Festival of Lughnasa. London: Oxford University Press, 1962. 317-18.)
Wood-Martin described the "Teltown Divorce" thusly: "...If a couple who had been married for a twelvemonth disagree, they returned to Teltown, to the centre of a fort styled Rathdoo, placed themselves back to back, one facing the north, the other south, and walked out of the fort a divided couple free to marry again. (What numbers would now take advantage of this simple ceremony were it but legally efficacious!)" (Wood-Martin, W. G. Traces of the Elder Faiths of Ireland. Vol. 2. London: Longmans, Green, & Co. 1902. 39.)
According to the report made in 2009 by Moore Archaeological and Environmental Services ,"... according to Cormac's Glossary... a hillock there had the name of Tulach-na-Coibche, "the hill of the buying," where the bride-price was paid. All this is remembered in tradition to the present day: and the people of the place point out the spot where the marriages were performed, which they call "Marriage Hollow." (Quinn, Billy, and Nigel Malcolm. "Teltown Impact Assessment." Eirgrid Northeast Projects. Moore Archaeological and Environmental Services Ltd., Oct. 2009. Web. 9 July 2012. <http://www.eirgridnortheastprojects.com/media/14.8%20Telltown%20Impact%20Assessment%20Report.pdf>.)
In his report, O'Donovan identified the site by its Irish names, Cnocan a Chrainn or Tulach na Coibche. "Knockauns" is from the former term, meaning "the little hill of the tree" while the latter term suggests a word which in early Irish "varies in meaning from 'a temporary bride' to 'a lady of easy virtue'." (Swan, Leo, and Matthew Stout. Teltown: An Ancient Assembly Site in County Meath. Bray: Archaeology Ireland, 1998.)
Trial marriages such as the Teltown Marriages, an imitation of a sanctioned wedding ceremony, may generically be termed "handfasting."