Friday, July 18, 2008

Marriage Consent Notes

Through the years, I have transcribed quite a few marriage records, many of which include notes. As a rule, consent notes were written by a parent or guardian of an underage bride or bridegroom and simply stated that consent was given for the marriage license to be issued. Also, brides over the legal marrying age of 21 often wrote their own consent note. Lucky is the researcher who finds that his ancestor included additional information, such as birth dates or places. Below are examples of consent notes found in my research:

On 21 March 1886 in Livingston County, Kentucky, Jeptha Moxley, age 56 and a farmer, obtained a marriage bond to marry Margaret Jane Page, age 31. Both the prospective bride and bridegroom were marrying for the second time. For some reason, Margaret Jane’s father, W.T. Champion, sent along a note that provided wonderful information.

“marget Jane Page wast were marget Jane Champion first madon name wer born July the 6 day 1855 her mothers name was Crowfford george Crowffords daughter Nancy Jane Champion now she was bornd September the 29 day 1822 & now the wife of W.T. Champion. W.T. Champion wer bornd 1819 february all three of the 12 dau[?] as wer bord in Livingston County W.T. Champion This is a full State ment of all the facks in the case that I know of in the case. W.T. Champion” Oh, to have a note like this for some of my elusive ancestors!

Another favorite note is actually a letter written by Willis L. Hobby, to his son, William M. Hobby, who was to marry Miss Lucinda C. Crow in Caldwell County, Kentucky. The letter is dated 3 September 1855 and was sent from Grass Valley, California. The marriage occurred 8 November of that year.

“Dear Sun: I have Jest received your compliments and vary unexpectedley had I thought of being addrest on A Subject of Such magnitude as yours and having but a few moments to reflect I shall bee at great loss for the form of my letter however I bee willing to gratify you as fore as I can consistent with my feelings and interest; William you have complied with your duty as an obedient Sun to me, being your Father and I feel willing as a Father to comply with my duty to the child. William in the first place I feel it my duty to ask you some important questions; the first question I ask have you give your Self time for [illegible] and Sober reflection in regard to this matter; also have you taken into considderation the great responsiblity which involvs upon the head of the family and also the Solam oath that is binding through life. William I never intend to make or brake matches and if you think you had rather ingay a retyard life exersise your one free will and if you do well it will bee well for you and if not dont reflect on me. William let the result bee as it may I hope you will Stay with my children till I return. I will start home the 15 of November next if I live and able to travel. William Study your interest and act in accordance is all that I can say at presant. I will do no more I remain your father. Willis L. Hobby.”

Then there is the note filed with a 1909 Hopkins County, Kentucky marriage license for a couple from Paducah. It says: “Dear Sir I return license issued on the --- as illness over taken Miss --- & we will bee unable to get to Hopkins County in limited time so we wish them to bee cancled & the record distroyed we have kept it a secret ..."

Copyright on text and photographs
by Brenda Joyce Jerome, CG
Western Kentucky Genealogy Blog


Cynthia Becker said...

As a descendat of both the Moxley and Crawford families referenced in your post, the consent note made my day. Thanks for sharing it!

L. Peyton Adams said...

I was told Daniel Pierce Parkest found of all the Parkests in Hopkins County and my great grandfather had to go back to Carthage Tn to get his mother' consent to marry Sarah Gelaina Cox. He is buried at Cox Cemetery near Manitou off the Old Morganfield Cox Cemetery road near Yarbrough hill named for my family too.