A Marriage Record

I was recently examining my great-grandparent’s marriage licence. South Carolina started requiring marriage licences in 1911. It’s been fun noticing the little things in this document.

First, you can see that both Henry and Martha signed the certificate on the first page. We have letters and other notes that Martha wrote, so I recognize her distinctive left slanting script. Although not as familiar to me, Henry’s signature matches his writings.

Second, on the second page, Henry has signed the affidavits for both himself and for Martha. This seemed strange to me, but in looking at the other marriage licences, this seems to have been the practice.

Third, it appears from the dates on both pages that they got the marriage license the same day they got married.

Lastly, Martha’s age is important here. Since we have no birth record for Martha, we have relied on other records to establish and confirm her birthday. In the 1900 census, her birth is listed as July 1888 and in 1910 it’s listed as about 1889, but her headstone says 1885. Going on the census records and this marriage record stating she was 25 and her death record says she was 26, I’m confident that the 1900 census is correct and that the headstone is inaccurate.

henry and martha marriage licensehenry and martha marriage license 2

2 thoughts on “A Marriage Record

    • julie says:

      I think the headstone was put up when Henry died some 50 years later and her birth year somehow got muddled. The one on her headstone is actually the birth year of Henry’s second wife, so that could have contributed to the confusion.

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