Casefile Clues

07 October 2013

It Can't Be a Marriage Debt-Transcribing an 1780 Marriage Entry from New Jersey.

My work on these marriages from the Zion Lutheran Church in Oldwick, New Jersey, brought home the importance of copying more than just the item of interest.

The temptation sometimes is to copy or scan "only what I need" instead of a larger portion of the record. That's a mistake.

This image comes from two facing pages in the marriage register of the Zion Lutheran Church in the 1780s and was made from the Family History Library's microfilm copy of these records. My goal was not to transfer the enter set of records, but rather to focus on just one. Copying multiple entries lets me see how the entry of interest is the same as other entries and how it is different. That's useful information in performing any analysis of the information.

But there's one abbreviation that I do not understand. It looks like "debt," but I don't think that's it.
My thoughts on the notations after the names of the couple:
  • most of these marriage references use an abbreviation for "published," which I'm taking to mean that the banns were published or announced in church.
  • A few entries (with blue rectangles) reference an indemnification bond--which I'm taking to be a marriage bond like those used in more Southern locales.
  • A few (underlined in red) reference a marriage license.
  • The green boxes--I'm not so certain.
Of course, the marriage of interest is one with the word I cannot quite determine and is shown in the green box in the larger image above.




It is the marriage on 12 April 1784 between Elam Blain and Catharine Reid. Apparently the banns were published for this marriage and there is that word after it--the one that looks like "debt."

Catharine Blain could not remember when or where she was married when she applied for Revolutionary War widow's pension in Ohio in the 1840s. But that's another story.

I'm hoping that the "debt" is not some obvious word that I'm going to kick myself for not immediately knowing.


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