Thursday Tidbit – Marriage Records

MarriageLicense.22Nov1921From online records, I knew that Frederick William George, first son of Adriano and Custode George, married each of his wives in West Virginia. Wellsburg, West Virginia to be precise. I suppose there was something that made it easier, faster or cheaper to get married in West Virginia than in Pennsylvania.

Knowing something because you see it neatly indexed on-line vs. seeing a copy of the document (or big heavy record book) evokes a completely different feeling in me. Seeing the original document in the courthouse where the event occurred, sometimes with the actual signatures of the persons involved, puts me “over the moon.”  It is such a thrill to see a document created at the time an historic event occurred. (I fully accept the fact that to most people this classifies me as a complete genealogical geek, but I’m fine with that!)

It isn’t always possible to visit the local courthouse, library or historical society so I am thankful for digitized versions of records. Especially because I’m still early enough in my genealogical journey to find significant documents when I spend a random evening relaxing at home. Like the Marriage Record shown above from Wellsburg, West Virginia, documenting the marriage of Frederick William George and Evelyn Clark, which took place on November 22, 1921. Proof of their marriage appears at the bottom of the right-hand page.

Or the one below (bottom left page) when Fred married Betty Collins on November 2, 1932:

Marriage License.2Nov1932

One of the main reasons my husband grew up without knowing his Giorgio relatives (other than the fact that his father was happy to abandon snowy Pennsylvania for sunny California) was that his father was only 7 when Fred and Evelyn divorced. In fact he was younger than that when the two separated because the 1930 Census shows Evelyn living in California with her sister with her sons, Fred and Richard, while Fred was living in Midland with his brothers Hubert and Victor.

The fact that Fred’s children with Betty did not know about their half siblings while growing up, suggests there was very little, if any, contact between Fred and the sons he had with Evelyn. The fact that my father-in-law changed his name from Frederick William George, Jr. to Frederick William George, III, suggests an effort on his part to distance himself from his father.

So when Rick finally meets his half-aunt, Lynnette George Burnett the youngest child of Fred and Betty later this summer, it will be quite a cause for celebration. Yes – it really is true that time heals all wounds.


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