ROOTS-L Archives

Archiver > ROOTS > 2003-03 > 1047438512

Subject: [ROOTS-L] Re: Marriage in bride's county
Date: Tue, 11 Mar 2003 22:08:32 EST

> Deduction:
> in Ohio, in 1841, the bride must have had to be a resident of the county.

False deduction.

Forms were printed to save time and labor on the part of the clerks, who
earlier had to copy out everything by hand. Everything that could be
printed, was printed, leaving only those details that would be different in
every document to be filled in by hand. Since most marriages did take place
near the bride's home (through convenience and custom, NOT by law), the bit
about her residence was also printed.

If you skim through the entire book, you will see many instances where the
clerk crossed out incorrect printed phrases and wrote in the correct
information between the lines. Brides could be married younger than 18 and
grooms could be married younger than 21; the age of a 16-year-old bride and
the fact that her father/mother/guardian gave permission would be interlined.
The residence of a bride visiting in the county, or perhaps a groom picking
up the license at home before going into the next county to meet his bride
there, would be corrected by interlineation in the same way.

States simply did/do not legislate the place of marriage. The state has a
legitimate interest in the place where marriages are *dissolved* because of
the necessity to protect innocent parties (children, indigent spouses) and
asserts jurisdiction in those cases. There is no such state interest in the
place where a marriage begins -- the parties have the same rights and
responsibilities whether they marry at home, on a mountaintop, in church, in
the courthouse, in the next county, or three states west of home. There is
no state interest to protect, so the state takes no official notice and makes
no requirements when it comes to the place of marriage. (And by "state" I
mean any government, not limited to the State of Ohio or any other single

This thread: