Monday, November 21, 2011

Your Help Is Needed

I've stared and stared at this marriage license and I finally decided I need help. There are a couple parts that I would like you, my reader to take a look at and tell me what you see. The first part is what it says on the second line down in the upper right hand corner before the words '18 years of age'. I'm also at a loss for what the first word on the third line in the same area says. The final area is the name of the 'Minister of Gospel' on the fourth line up from the bottom and again on the bottom line.

My translation of this document is as follows:

John Kuck                                                               Issued June 1            A.D. 1860
    and                                                                      (???????????) is 18 year of aged
Mary Mayer                                                             (?????) he is 23 years of age

                                                                Jo Daviess County, Illinois, June first      1860
I, Christian Nery, Minister of the Gospel hearby certify that on
this day I joined in Marriage Mr. John Kuck
with Wife Mary Mayer agreeably to the authority given in the above License.
                                                                             Rev. Christian Neary

The reason I ask is that in my hunt for whom my 3rd great grandmother Mary Meyer was and where she came from, I gave her marriage license a second look. When she was married to John Kuck in 1860, he was 23 years old and she was also 23 years old, if the date on her gravestone is to be believed. John was one month and two days older than Mary. If Mary was actually five years younger, that might explain why I am having a hard time tracking her early life down.

Another clue I found recently was her obituary that listed her as being a member of the German M.E. church for 25 years which means that she was most likely in the country by 1954. But that got me thinking about the Reverend listed on her marriage license whom I've only glanced at previously. I'm pretty certain the first name is Christian but the last name is obscure to me. I did a search of all Christian's living in Jo Daviess county in 1860 and that was no help in tracking down this mysterious person.

All of this is my attempt to go back to some of the hard evidence that I have of my ancestors and to look at it with a fresh set of eyes. I'm trying to pay attention to details and track down clues that may not even be pertinent to my ancestor in hopes that it might get me through a couple of the brick walls, the biggest of which are the 2 nameless sets of 4th great grandparents out of my total 32 sets. Finding Mary Meyer's parents would increase my knowledge up to 31 out of 32 sets.


R. Sherman said...

That's one of the problems with old documents. Handwriting and spelling were so varied, unless you are really familiar with the author, there difficult to decipher. It takes a long time, methinks.


Anonymous said...

You need to resend it with a higher resolution. Upload it from your camera, then I can do whatever fiddling on this end. As it stands it is pixelating when I try to blow it up.
It's '64 . And she is the older not he, it would seem.

Ed said...

R. Sherman - You are right on the money there. I have almost made myself crosseyed looking at this thing.

Vince - Send me an email, link provided in the upper left side of my blog, and I will send you a higher resolution copy. I don't know how to post one any higher resolution than what blogger apparently allows me.

warren said...

I have no idea about the writing but I have civil war discharge papers from an ancestor and it is amazing the flourish and wording they have a great document there for sure!

Anonymous said...

That county is a tri-corner, it could indicate an aspect of Gretna Green about the whole thing. There are certain things missing from that license. I can only find the record for Kuck and Catherine Schick on the 19-11-1857.

Looks like 'LADY is 18' on the 2nd line.
Have you a copy of a better written record. For then you'll see what is supposed to be there. BTW that Min of the Gospel is quite a frivolous cove if that hand is owt to go by.

sage said...

Looks like Vince has been able to help you some. As for the minister, if I remember correctly (I should check this at my office), the Methodist Historical Records are at Drew University in NJ--they can probably give you the name of those who served where-if you know the church or the name of the minister.

Ed said...

Vince - I have a certified copy of the record but it isn't any more readable that the scanned portion I posted on the blog. I too have noticed that they aren't listed online though records go back prior to their marriage. I'm not sure why that is. I requested their record via mail and it was sent to me. I think you are right about 'Lady'.

Sage - I hadn't thought about searching for historical Methodist records.

Anonymous said...

No, you are missing what I'm saying. The vault copy will more that likely have the same blots errors flourishes whatever. But the next one down or up won't.
But what it will show is the information required on the form. This is no longer an exercise in legibility but one of decryption and deciphering.

Ed said...

Vince - I follow you now. I'll have to see if there is a way I can obtain a more legible copy of someone else's marriage license during the same time frame.

A rootdigger said...

Why is the name Kuelke up at the left?

A rootdigger said...

hi, here is a little license to get married, but not the real thing like you have which I should try to get.
I cannot even prove one way or another my Meyer people were even there. because even what I have in Blog post above is speculation. by the way if she was 18 at 1860 she would be born 1842? I have a lady named Kath Marg Elisabeth Meyer Feb.2.1842. from Eichdorf and Oldendorf, Germany. The Meyer of the Familiennbericht ortsfamily buch were also living in New York.