Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Confirming Those Wedding Bells

There are some times in the search for ancestors when nothing else will do but to travel to retrieve documents on site. That was certainly the case for the wedding of Barnard Doyle and Ann Kelly in Lafayette, Indiana.

The date was the fifth of January, 1872, when Daniel Royse, clerk of the Tippecanoe County Civil Circuit Court issued the marriage license for Barnard and Ann. At that date, of course there would be no additional information added to the record for this couple—the very thing I knew better than to hope for. However, I couldn't help wishing the outcome would be a bit different.

Volunteers at the Frank Arganbright Genealogy Center helped me retrieve the actual record of the Doyle-Kelly marriage from their archives when my husband and I visited there last Thursday. We all knew better than to expect much more than that, but the one woman who has been such a help to me in my Lafayette research over the last decade still urged us to see what else could be found. Sometimes, there are other documents filed along with the marriage license. One could never tell when something might be stuck in with the one being sought.

Just checking, we confirmed that the return was completed and filed back at the courthouse—which happened on January 15 of that same year. The addendum was completed by a John R. Dinnen, which the Genealogy Center's records confirmed was a priest at the local Catholic Church of that time period. The Reverend Dinnen provided the actual date of the ceremony: January 7, 1872.

But along with the usual form for that purpose, there was indeed an additional page. On that same original date—January 5—in which the couple had applied for their marriage license, they had brought along another person to complete an additional form. This I was thankful for, as I hoped it would provide some way for me to identify that the Ann Kelly of this marriage record was indeed the youngest sibling of my husband's second great grandmother, the daughter of James and Mary Kelly.

Below the appropriate court headings, the text of this record read:
On this 5 day of Jany A. D. 1872 before me, Daniel Royse, Clerk of the Tippecanoe Civil Circuit Court, in the State of Indiana, personally came John Kelly who being by me duly sworn, upon his solemn oath, saith that he is well acquainted with Barnard Doyle [and] Ann Kelly and that they are of lawful age to marry without the consent of their parent...or guardian...and that he knows of no lawful objection to their being joined together in matrimony, and that she has been a resident of Tippecanoe County for more than one month last past; all of which he verily believes. And further saith not.

All well and good. By 1872, Ann's father, James, would have been long gone—as would, possibly, Ann's mother, Mary. Though Ann may have been thirty three years of age by that point, herself—and likewise Barnard—I'm glad that someone thought that completed document necessary. Otherwise, I would have had no other name to go along with Ann's. And we all know how common a name Ann Kelly can be.

But that signature added to the bottom of the page—the one for John Kelly—brings up another question: who was John Kelly? I know Ann's brothers Mathew and Thomas. But who was John? And was he part of this same Kelly family? Or are we getting sidetracked onto another Kelly family's history?


  1. 4th paragraph. Is this one of your Doyle's?


    1. You are always so amazing when it comes to finding resources online, Iggy! I did receive a "hint" at Ancestry that a Barnard Doyle served in Company C of the Indiana 38th Infantry Regiment, which matches the record you found.

      However, the wife in that record shows as Mary, while I have records that it is Ann Kelly. Perhaps the congressional record got her name wrong. Or this is an entirely different Barnard Doyle. We always have to leave ourselves open to that possibility, as well. After all, there are plenty of John Kellys to go around ;)

  2. Replies
    1. I sure hope so, too, Far Side, but the more I look, the less I find...


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