Is a header needed?

House is a two-story four-square, built in 1903 of 3-course brick and oak joists/studs. On previous renovations I have noted that at least some joists are supported on one end by the brick and the centerline of the house (which is supported by beams in the basement) on the other end. I do not know if this is true for all joists in the house, although I suspect it is.
I want to put an archway through an interior wall from LR to DR. This wall runs parallel to joists in the basement and second floor, so I am pretty sure it is not load-bearing. Inside the wall, I see that it originally held pocket doors, with the original opening being 6 feet wide and framed by double studs on either side. Original studs run to the ceiling (10 ft.) and appear to be under a joist. Pocket door railing is nailed to something above it, but so far I can't see what that is.
I could live with the 6 ft opening, but I would really prefer to make it wider, which would mean cutting the double studs on either side. Would those double studs have been used for reinforcing the opening for the pocket doors only and not necessarily for "supporting" the joist above it?
In other words, given the construction of the house, would a header be necessary for this wider opening?
Thanks, Dee
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one in anyway, just to keep the top of the archway from possibly sagging or shifting. A 1903 house is probably done settling, but things still can move relative to each other depending on weather. The stiffer the archway is, the less likely it will be to have cracks at the corners.
Personally, if you can find some at a salvage yard or HFH ReStore or something, I'd put the pocket doors back. People who are into old houses usually love those things, and it could be a plus at resale. Found lots of them buried in walls, where they just tore off the surface trim, and rocked them in, or put up tacky paneling and a drop ceiling right through the opening to bring them down to 'modern' 8-foot height.
aem sends....
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