A few weeks ago I did an article called Going Beyond the Index about ordering the documents necessary to verify that the individuals in an index are actually one’s ancestors. I used the death certificates for my Edward and Gertrude Jones as examples. In honor of Wedding Wednesday, I am posting pictures of the marriage license of the same Edward and Gertrude. I ordered these 4 years ago (you can see the date) after finding their marriage date in the online search of the Mobile, Alabama probate court index.
[Mobile, Alabama Marriage License Book 21, Page 245]
I love reading the signatures on these documents!
Edward C. Jones and William W. Mordecai posted the bond of $200 on 31 January 1866. I haven’t yet determined how – or even if – W. W. Mordecai was a relative of E. C. Jones. Edward’s father had been dead for almost 10 years by the time of this application and Mr. Mordecai, who was 16 years older than Mr. Jones, may have been a friendly father-figure.
The above page tells us that Gertrude Williamson was a maiden over the age of 18 but the next page concerning the age of the groom was never completed! Edward was over the age of 23 by a few months.
I was also interested in the information concerning the actual marriage itself. The wedding took place at the home of John C. Williamson, which I knew to be the bride’s older half-brother, but the minister’s name and the church were unfamiliar to me. Edward’s family, at least his father’s side of it, was Jewish. His mother’s maiden name has not been discovered and it is not known if she was Jewish or Gentile. What I do know is that Edward C. Jones married a girl from strong Methodist stock! And I know that they were married by an Episcopalian minister.
The officiant was J. A. Massey who signed as “Rector Trinity of Mobile.” This church, which is still in existence, has a wonderful website, including a HISTORY section. Scrolling through the first few paragraphs I found that there were two men whose name could fit that of the rector, the first being James A. Massey and the second being Dr. Joshua Albert Massey. I would assume that the officiant was the latter Reverend Mr. Massey.
Perhaps someday these little clues will help us unravel a few more of the family mysteries, but even if they don’t, using the information contained on marriage licenses has helped us understand their way of life just a little bit more.