Monday, October 28, 2013

Tika & The Many Marriage Documentations

We genealogists all too often go in search of a "marriage certificate" not realizing that there are several "marriage documentations" and that most often while there is no "certificate" some other piece of evidence can be found to document a marriage.

Remember when you got married. You two went to the courthouse and paid a fee and filled out an application. You were given paperwork to take to the official who was to perform the marriage to sign and for you to return, a marriage return. Sometimes this was the certificate and sometimes with the receipt of the return, the county clerk issues a certificate.

The county clerk would send this community information to the local newspaper and ultimately to the state (after about 1910ish in most states) and not retaining a copy in the courthouse. There are exceptions.

The local newspaper (especially in smaller towns) would print the story of the wedding which could be quite detailed and often included a photo. Often these stories would be clipped and tucked or glued into a family Bible, or cookbook, or scrapbook.

The minister of the church may have kept a record in the church of this marriage.

Lucky is the researcher who finds several of these pieces of documenting evidence; "seek and ye shall find" is good advice.

You just never know where a great tidbit of history will show up. When Chuck married Esther in 1940 in Spokane, his part of the application asked if he was or was not free from venereal disease. Her portion did not include this question.

Tika reminds us that she never married. Never had the inclination after her young trip to the vet.

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