Monday, April 7, 2014

I’m back in the saddle again (Thank you Gene Autry!)

I had thought about taking another week off from the blog because here in Augusta, Georgia it is Master’s Week.  The famous Master’s golf tournament is in town which means that everyone is out for Spring Break.  Spring Break coincides with The Masters so that everyone that wants to go, can.  This is of course assuming you have enough money.  I can’t even afford to go to a practice round.  My husband, son, and one of my sons-in-law will be fishing in Florida which means the girls and I will be partying all week.  We have a lot of cool things planned (all girly stuff).  We also have a lot of food planned, all of the things that the males in the family won’t eat.    I have to say though, I miss the blog and so I am back.

I ran across something yesterday that threw me for a bit of a loop so I posted a message on the Transitional Genealogist’s Forum email list to get some other opinions.  Here is the marriage record I was looking at.

Porter, William and Emily Seegar marriage 1843

Madison County, Georgia, Marriage Book A: 16, Porter-Segar, 1843; Probate Court, Danielsville.


Emily’s sister Elizabeth’s marriage record is found on this same page and the word intermarriage is not used on her record so if there was some sort of “intermarriage” it had to have been on William Porter’s side of the equation. 

I looked up the legal definition of “intermarriage” using Black’s Law Dictionary (2nd Edition) just to see what exactly I might be dealing with.

In the popular sense, this term denotes the contracting of a marriage relation between two persons considered as members of different nations, tribes, families, etc., as, between the sovereigns of two different countries, between an American and an alien, between Indians of different tribes, between the scions of different clans or families. But, in law, it is sometimes used (and with propriety) to emphasize the mutuality of the marriage contract and as importing a reciprocal en- gagement by which each of the parties “marries”‘ the other. Thus, in a pleading, instead of averring that “the plaintiff was married to the defendant,” it would be proper to allege that “the parties intermarried” at such a time and place.

Basically, it could mean nothing at all.  The only thing that makes me wonder is that the same court clerk was making all of these entries.  Sometimes Jonas used the word intermarriage and sometimes he didn’t.  There was another intermarriage entry on the next page.

At this point I am still not 100% sure if this was just a legal term that had no real bearing or if there was something about William Porter that made Jonas the clerk write intermarriage.  For now I am just going to keep it in mind.


Copyright © 2014 Michele Simmons Lewis


  1. Welcome back. I miss my daily dose of your blog when you are gone.

  2. I have seen the "intermarried" term used in wills and probate records. They will name a female heir and then say something like "who has since intermarried William Porter."

  3. Michele, WB :)

    In your shoes I would bear in mind that the recording clerk was ~supposed~ to be recording the officiator's return of marriage performed. Could it be useful to do a quick survey of language used for ceremonies performed by Elba Collins, J. P.?

    Personally I prefer the rather scarce surviving books filled with entries written by the officiators themselves.

  4. Not a bad thought. I went back and looked at this one page again. Elba is on there 5 times and the term intermarriage is only used once. As you have already pointed out, the books with the original entries and signatures are scare for this time period. It is much more common to see this in more recent marriage books where fill-in-the blank forms were used and the parties all signed.