Ancestry.com recently launched North Carolina County Marriage Records, a date collection that includes images of marriage bonds, licenses, certificates and registers from 87 counties. (Including all of mine!) I’ve already stumbled across two previously unseen records for distant cousins, aunts or uncles, and I anticipate filling in gaps with many more that I managed to overlook over the years.
As a sample of the value of these records, here’s a single page from one Wayne County marriage register:
1. James Aldridge, 70, married Eliza Thompson. Just about every “colored” Aldridge in 19th century Wayne County is a member of my extended family, but this one doesn’t seem to be one of mine. I can’t place a James born circa 1832. Perhaps this man came into the county from Lenoir or Duplin, which had slave-holding Aldridge families.
2. Adam T. Artis, 68, to Katie Pettiway, 20. This was my great-great-great-grandfather’s last marriage. He was actually 71, rather than 68, so Katie was more than 50 years his junior. (And her maiden name was actually Pettiford.) I’ve written about their family here. (By the way, more about their officiant, Rev. Clarence Dillard (5) here.
3. Robert Artis, 20, to Christiana Simmons, 18. Robert Artis was a son of Adam and Amanda Aldridge Artis. His witnesses may have been his cousin Jesse Anthony Artis, son of Jesse Artis, and uncle William Artis.
4. Robert Aldridge, 37, to Rancy Pearsall, 31. My great-great-grandfather John W. Aldridge‘s second youngest brother Robert finally married in 1903. He and Rancy (or Rannie) adopted a son, Bennie, born in 1908, and she died before 1916, when Robert remarried.