Wednesday, April 9, 2014

It pays to get your paperwork filled out properly the first time around

If you have been looking at marriage records for any length of time I am sure that you have run across marriage licenses where the certificate portion hasn’t been filled out.  Of course you wonder, “Did they, or did they not, actually get married?  Here is an example.

Ladner, Oda and Eva Tyner marriage 1910Lamar County, Mississippi, 2nd District Marriage Book D: 287, Ladner-Tyner, 1910; Circuit Court, Purvis.


Oda and Eva found out the hard way what can happen if you don’t get your paperwork filled out correctly.  In 1944, Oda and Eva apparently had to prove that they were in fact legally married.  There is no way to know why they needed to prove this, perhaps for a life insurance policy or a mortgage or something.  They couldn’t use their marriage license as proof because the certificate portion wasn’t completed so this is what they had to do.

Ladner, Oda and Eva Tyner affidavit 1944Lamar County, Mississippi, 2nd District Marriage Book D: 287, Ladner-Tyner, 1944; Circuit Court, Purvis; Affidavit dated 14 July 1944 attached to the original marriage record attesting that the marriage did in fact take place.


Thirty-Four years later, the original witnesses to the marriage had to sign an affidavit swearing that Oda and Eva actually get married.  Lucky for them their witnesses were still alive!


Copyright © 2014 Michele Simmons Lewis


  1. I have not run across this yet Michele. Or....I've missed it. Glad you brought it up so I can keep an eye out.


  2. I ran across an amusing case: A Pittsburgh couple ran off to West Virginia to marry. The WV marriage record is incomplete. Dated a couple of months later, the Pennsylvania marriage record includes a divorce date - after the WV license date - oops!