We are deeply indebted to Henry Floyd "Hank" Phelps, Patsy Campbell, Kathy Lowery and
Judy Jackson Scovronski for their help in transcribing these records and to
the Washington County Genealogical Society for contributing their transcription of Volume 1
of the marriage register for use herein. We have teamed up in an ongoing project to transcribe the
marriage licenses of Washington County through 1919. Since this is a "work in progress,"
you will have to check periodically for additions. The date at the bottom of the page
will tell you when the last addition was made and the years listed in the table below
will tell you how far we have gotten.
No marriage licenses exist for Washington County until the year 1880. The source of all
marriage records prior to that year is marriage registers. There are two marriage
registers, one of several volumes that contains marriages from 1851 to the present. There is also a
marriage register that records acknowledgements of Freedmen's marriages from 1866 to
1868 and "a record of colored marriages" from 8 March, 1867 to 6 June 1872.
The Freedmen's Register records slave marriages legalized after the Civil War between 1866
and 1868. Some of these marriages occurred 40 years before the Civil War. The record
tells how long each couple has cohabited.
In order to provide the
best information available from both of these registers and existing licenses, we are transcribing
all marriage licenses and ONLY those marriage register entries for which no license exists.
The project to transcribe these licenses and marriage register entries will terminate at
the year 1920 to avoid living persons.
The sequence of events in this project is to transcribe both marriage registers to the year
1881 first. We will then transcribe all licenses, compare them to the marriage register
and then transcribe marriage register entries for which no license was found.
We are also indexing all brides, grooms, mothers and fathers listed in the marriage
register and the marriage licenses. Parents were generally not recorded in the marriage
register in the earlier years. Information found in parental consent data concerning
relationships will also be included and indexed. Witnesses, applicants, the county
Register of Deeds, Justices of the Peace and Ministers will not be indexed. The index also
shows the type of the surname for females and the source of the surname. Entries for type
surname will indicate whether a female's surname appears to be a MAIDEN surname or a
MARRIED surname based on age and other information in the marriage license or marriage
register. Entries for source will be either LICENSE, REGISTER or IMPLIED. LICENSE means
the surname is as written on the license. REGISTER means the surname is as written on the
marriage register. IMPLIED means the surname is implied from other data on the license.
Examples of this are:
(1) - The new surname the bride acquires by virtue of the marriage. The entry in type
surname in this case is MARRIED and the source is IMPLIED. Every bride has an entry of
this type, even if she is marrying someone with the same surname.
(2) - Where the bride's surname is different from her father's surname the license is
probably for a second or third marriage so the bride's maiden surname can be implied from
the father's surname.
(3) - Where a mother's surname is different from the father's surname it may be her
maiden surname, so a married surname can be implied. If the father is dead and the
mother living, it can also indicate a subsequent marriage.
There are, of course, other circumstances such as bastardy, etc. which can make these
assumptions not valid. But since the purpose of the index is solely as a finding aid
the resulting errors do no harm. By indexing the way we have, you can find those second
and third marriages you didn't know about and locate females whose maiden name is unknown.
You may read through the marriage licenses and register entries by using the table below.
Licenses and register entries are arranged in chronological sequence by license date.
All pages are linked to the next page and previous page. If you are searching
for a specific person or surname use the index. Pick the approriate index in males or females
below. This will take you to an alphabetical index of names. Once you find a name of
interest, click on it and you will be taken to the license or marriage register entry in which
that person appears. To return to the index where you left it use the "back" button
on your browser.
The licenses you will view are virtual copies of the actual licenses. The only thing
missing is the numbered superscripts to each blank, underlined area on the license
where information was to be entered and the legend to the superscripts explaining what
information to enter in the blanks. These were omitted to save space. A facsimile of
a complete blank license with superscripts and legend may be viewed by clicking
here. A few licenses were hand written. These have been
transcribed as if a form was used and annotated below the license. Marriage register
entries contain all information in the actual register.