Sunday, August 11, 2013

Engagement Customs

     Last night I attended the engagement party of my niece Ellie and her fiancee Sachi.  Sachi’s family is from India so I experienced some new customs. Sachi's family welcomed us into their home for a wonderful evening.  
     The evening caused me to reflect upon marriage records that I have uncovered for my family.  One of those was a marriage bond.  In the eighteenth and early nineteenth century a marriage bond was required in some states.  It was a guarantee by the groomsman or some close relative that the marriage was legal.  This bond was from 1801 for the marriage of my GGG-grandparents Thomas Miles and Christine Gardiner.  The bond was for the amount of fifty pounds.  This bond was accompanied by a note from Christine's father, Clement Gardiner, giving permission for her to marry Thomas.  

A transcription of the bond follows.
Know all men by these presents that Thomas Miles and James Spaulding are held firmly bound unto his Excellency James Garrard Governor of Kentucky in the full and just sum of fifty pounds current money to be paid to his Excellency aforesaid and his successors to which payment will bind ourselves our heirs exects [executors] admins [administrators of an estate] jointly and separatly[sic] firmly by these presents, sealed with our seals and dated this 5th day of February 1801
The condition of the above obligation is such that if there should be no legal cause to obstruct a marriage shortly to be solemnized between the above bound Thomas Miles and Christine Gardiner daughter of Clement Gardiner then the above obligation to be void else to remain in full force 

A partial transcription of the note signed by Clement Gardiner:
Clerk, Nelson County
The ???    hereby authorized to issue marriage license for Mr. Thomas Miles and my daughter Christine Gardiner ??????
Feb 6, 1801                       Clement Gardiner      
Witness  Thomas Miles
             James Spaulding

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