Sunday, February 22, 2009

A Provisional Marriage

One of the "barbers' stories" collected by John M. Todd of Portland, Maine:

The town of Houlton, in Aroostook county, received its name from Uncle Jimmy Houlton, one of the early pioneers into that new country. He was a man of strong sense with a sly bit of humor in his composition. He was appointed a Justice of the Peace and, for a time, was the only one in that section. Residing in one of the incorporated places in that vicinity was a young couple who desired to be married and make a wedding journey to Bangor. The route to Bangor was through a forest with sparse settlements. They came to Houlton and called upon Uncle Jimmy to tie the nuptial knot before undertaking their journey. He informed them that his commission had expired and had not been renewed and that he could not marry them legally. They insisted that he should perform the ceremony, and, unwilling that he should disappoint the young lovers, he told them that he guessed he could marry them well enough to last to Bangor. This he did and gave them the following certificate: "This certifies that I have this day united in the bonds of matrimony Mr. A. B. and Miss C. D. of township No. 10; but it is no good, as my commission has run out, and this is to last only to Bangor, and is intended to 'kiver accidents' in going through the woods." [Link]


I really enjoy reading the pieces you post, and I think your blog uses an interest in genealogy in an interesting way! I hope you enjoy the KreativBlogger Award


Thanks, Cherie!

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