Tuesday, January 21, 2014

License to Marry

People seeking to marry in New Jersey in the 1900s (through today) needed a marriage license first.  A license from this time period is not usually something that we get to see.  It is the certification of marriage or the marriage return that we find at the Archives or receive in the mail.  But I found a license, partially obscured, next to the certificate of marriage.  Note the bold ink stamps and the perforation on the left of the paper.

License to get married
Peter Kenny and Mary Dugan, issued November 2, 1916 in Bayonne, Hudson County, New Jersey

Certificate of marriage
Peter Kenny to Mary Dugan
November 15, 1916 in Bayonne, Hudson County, New Jersey
Copied at the New Jersey State Archives by J Lutter

Thirteen days later, the parties were married.  Above is the marriage certificate that we are used to finding.  Note the perforation on the right of the paper and the reverse ink stamps from the license on the back.

Maybe the two pages were separated before writing, but for this couple, the pages stuck together?  Lucky me that the back of the marriage certificate was also filmed so I can see the license as well.  This is also why you want to look at the images filmed before and after the object of your search has been located.