Original Marriage Documents
from the Whitley County Historical Museum
Columbia City, Indiana

a sample Whitley County Marriage Return

Whitley County Researchers are fortunate ...

Original Marriage Returns completed by the Minister or Justice of the Peace were submitted to the County Clerk for recording in the "Official" Marriage Books. The Whitley County Historical Museum has some of those documents as well as a few licenses, affidavits and parental consents. These small "slips of paper" could easily have been discarded but, fortunately for us, they were not and some of them have survived.

The marriages that took place from September 2, 1838 through July 3, 1847 were recorded in the "First Book" of marriages. An original document (either an affidavit, a consent, a return, or a license) is available for the marriages through December 31, 1846. Sorry to say, documents have not been found for the ten marriages that took place in 1847 that are recorded in the first book.

You will definitely want to check for spelling variations as names sometimes were written several ways, even within the same document! The number in the listing refers to the record number in the First Book of Marriages. "Return" indicates the original marriage document returned by the minister or Justice of the Peace to the County Clerk. "Consent" is the parental approval signed by one or both parents, if the bride or groom was underage. "Affidavit" indicates a document signed by another party stating that they know one or both of the individuals and believe them to be of age. The "License" was issued by the County Clerk and gave the minister or Justice of the Peace the authority to a perform the marriage ceremony.

The Adobe Acrobat PDF format was used since it is "cross-platform" compatible and available to everyone for free. If you do not have the Acrobat Reader there is a link at the bottom of the page where you can download it.

The sizes of the Acrobat files range from 40kb to 200kb, depending upon the size of the original document. Load times for a dial-up connection could be a bit slow. The first document will always take longer to load, once Acrobat has been opened during a session, other documents will load much faster.

Adobe Acrobat Reader is needed to view the files on the following pages.

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Original Marriage Documents