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Old 11-05-2013, 03:06 PM
 
Location: 2016 Clown Car...fka: Wisconsin
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Hi all. I need some new ideas on where to obtain marriage information.

My mom passed away last year and when I was going through her papers, I ran across the case number for her divorce from my birth father. I obtained a copy of the divorce record from 1958 and it listed the date of their marriage as 1951 in Cook Co., IL. Because there was no marriage document in my mom's papers, I decided that I would send off for a copy...except I received a phone call today telling me that after searching the 1950, 1951 and 1952 records, the document was not located...

The issue is that if they weren't married in Cook Co., IL, then I have NO idea where they would have been married.

He was in the military. Would his military file include his date and place of marriage?

I have no relatives to ask, there is no "family" church and I'm just frustrated. Does anyone have any ideas? ...help...

RVcook
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Old 11-05-2013, 05:34 PM
 
Location: Canada
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Where were your mother's parents living at the time of marriage and did your mother grow up in the same location? If so, that would seem the most likely location for a traditional wedding if there was one.

I think newspapers in that time period often had marriage notices. Some newspapers are online and can be searched by keyword and date range.
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Old 11-05-2013, 05:53 PM
 
Location: 2016 Clown Car...fka: Wisconsin
738 posts, read 928,831 times
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Thanks for your response.

Both parents lived in Cook Co., IL their entire lives. And yes, if it were a traditional wedding, that would make sense, but I don't think that was the case in this situation. My mom never really discussed my birth father much so I'm really grasping at straws here. I do know that they were only together 5 years so something was clearly "off".

I will continue to research newspapers for marriage licenses issued, but so far, nothing. I'm beginning to wonder if they just ran off to another state! Oh great...

This is one of those situations that I suppose every researcher faces at sometime or another: "Why didn't I ask questions before the person died????"

RVcook
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:07 PM
bjh
 
Location: Memphis - home of the king
48,169 posts, read 27,671,770 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVcook View Post
...
I will continue to research newspapers for marriage licenses issued, but so far, nothing. I'm beginning to wonder if they just ran off to another state!
...

Or Canada?
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Old 11-05-2013, 08:40 PM
 
Location: 2016 Clown Car...fka: Wisconsin
738 posts, read 928,831 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bjh View Post
Or Canada?
Well...I guess anything is possible...but they were pretty young and they probably didn't travel too far. Maybe Indiana or Iowa. I understand that it wasn't too unusual for couples who needed to marry quickly to go there. Although they weren't in any hurry...from what I understand...OMG!!! What if I'm wrong about the 'quick' part too!!!

RVcook
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Old 11-06-2013, 12:40 AM
 
3,011 posts, read 5,375,080 times
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You can search the Cook County marriage index on-line:
Cook County Clerk's Office - Genealogy Online

Perhaps the names were transcribed incorrectly into the index? Are the surnames ones that are easily mispelled?
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Old 11-06-2013, 01:03 AM
 
2,322 posts, read 2,452,384 times
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If you don't have access to newspapers via Genealogy Search & Family History Records - GenealogyBank, I can look up names, dates, places, for you -- a marriage announcement MIGHT be there, unless they eloped, but even then, chances are either one of them could have been mentioned somewhere. Send a PM if you like; I'd be glad to help.
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Old 11-06-2013, 05:11 AM
 
Location: Colorado (PA at heart)
9,941 posts, read 16,292,759 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RVcook View Post
Thanks for your response.

Both parents lived in Cook Co., IL their entire lives. And yes, if it were a traditional wedding, that would make sense, but I don't think that was the case in this situation. My mom never really discussed my birth father much so I'm really grasping at straws here. I do know that they were only together 5 years so something was clearly "off".

I will continue to research newspapers for marriage licenses issued, but so far, nothing. I'm beginning to wonder if they just ran off to another state! Oh great...

This is one of those situations that I suppose every researcher faces at sometime or another: "Why didn't I ask questions before the person died????"

RVcook
By "both parents" do you mean both the bride's parents or both the bride and groom's parents? Because you may also want to check with the location where the groom/his parents were living around the time of the marriage, if it was different.

If they were in the same county, I would look in surrounding counties, they may not have gone that far when they ran off to get married. If they were in different locations, look at all counties in between.

Apart from that, all I can suggest is you keep looking at places like familysearch.org or ancestry.com for indices of marriages across the nation. Doing just a name and year search while keeping the location open may eventually turn something up, as new records get added.

I found a marriage record for two of my ancestors in a county/state that neither of them had ANY ties with. My only guess was that it was a location right about half way from each of their locations (groom was in Pittsburgh, bride was in eastern Ohio, they married in the sliver of WV that juts up in between those two states). Anyway, point being that I only found it because luckily, ACOM just happened to have the record indexed so the system found a match through the names.

Tobiashen's suggestion of newspaper marriage announcements is also a good one. Don't forget that there are free newspaper archives at Chronicling America « Library of Congress and Google News Archive Search - if you don't find anything there, Genealogybank.com is an good pay-site. Also check out the list of online newspaper archives: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipe...paper_archives
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Old 11-06-2013, 07:34 AM
 
Location: 2016 Clown Car...fka: Wisconsin
738 posts, read 928,831 times
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Thank you all for your suggestions.

I am sorry to say that I have checked into just about every idea here:

Daliowa: Although both sides of my family 'hail' from the Chicago area, (one line goes back to 1850 in that location) the online Cook County indexes have been of little use to me for some reason. Most of my successes have come from writing to them directly except in this case. And you're correct about incorrectly transcribing the names. I have run into that on more than one occasion with Cook County!

Tobiashen: Having access to online historical newspapers I believe, has limited my ability to search adequately from time to time. My subscriptions to Ancestry.com and Newspaper Archive has helped me immensely in pulling together the pieces of my family research, but not every newspaper has been digitalized so most times, it's a craps shoot. I do appreciate your offer though, so I will shoot you a PM.

PA2UK: I think your idea of surrounding counties is probably my best bet. Both families lived in close proximity and they went to the same high school so they must have deliberately left the county to get married. And yes, luck does factor into looking for ancestors. I couldn't find a marriage record for my g-grandfather and g-grandmother even though they were living in Chicago for the 1920 census and had two children. By sheer luck, using the FamilySearch databases, and a less-constrictive search, I found the record in Ohio of all places!

Thank you all for your suggestions. I didn't think finding this record would be so difficult so I'm happy to know that I didn't miss the obvious. I appreciate everyone's willingness to help me .

RVcook
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Old 11-06-2013, 04:32 PM
 
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Have you tired tracing the family on the census? If they were married in 1951 than they'd certainly each be on the 1940 census living with their own parents. Maybe even old enough to appear on the 1930 census? www.familysearch.org you can search and view the 1940 census for free. You can search the 1930 index there also, but can't view the census page itself there. Easiest way to see the 1930 census is to use www.ancestry.com at your local libary (many libraries offer it for free on their computers.)
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