No Imbeciles, Please

1032

A few weeks ago, the Minnesota Association of County Officers unveiled its database of Minnesota marriages.  For genealogists, this sort of thing is a lot like Christmas morning.

I’m supposed to be cleaning up my old research, but I couldn’t resist the urge to plug in a few names.  A half hour later, I’d ordered 15 marriage certificates.  They’re $9 each.  Some women binge on shoes or purses…I binge on vital records.  Yep, I’m a weirdo.

A bunch of the marriage certificates came yesterday, including one for Mabel Ruden and Mark Seliger, who were married in Albert Lea, Minnesota in April 1918.  Mabel was one of the witnesses at the wedding of my great-grandparents, Severina Nelson and Arthur Scheiber (that’s them above; Mabel is the one on the right).  I’m researching her because I suspect she may be related to Severina.

Mark and Mabel’s marriage certificate was the only one that also came with a copy of the marriage license, as well as the application Mark filled out to get the license.  Check out the things he had to swear to, under oath, when completing the application

  • That I have no living wife.
  • That I have not been divorced within the six months last past.
  • That I am not epileptic, imbecile, feeble minded, nor inflicted with insanity.
  • That we are not nearer kin than second cousins.

The bride had to meet the same criteria, although there’s a footnote at the bottom.  It states that it’s okay for her to be “epileptic, imbecile, feeble minded or afflicted with insanity” as long as she’s over 45 years old.  I’m guessing the idea was that she wouldn’t get pregnant and pass her “afflictions” on if she were that old…whereas the groom could do so at any age.

Of course, it’s important for researchers to keep in mind the context of the time in which records are created…but it’s a little jarring to see some of this stuff.

Photo:  Wedding of Severina Elizabeth Nelson and Arthur Walter Scheiber, Minneapolis, Minnesota, 18 June 1913.

Get more stuff like this

Don't miss a thing. Subscribe to new posts via email.

6 Responses

  1. ndslotnick 5 years ago
  2. Kerry 5 years ago
  3. Sabrina 5 years ago
  4. abdpbt 5 years ago
  5. Amy Boland 5 years ago
  6. mouse 5 years ago

Add Comment

Web Statistics
2604811407_0a9328103f_o
BREAKING: Clue Wagon is Now a Dating Website
4482942978_c4347b15fe_z
Ancestor Hate Mail
Ancestry DDoS attack
8 Theories on the REAL Reason for the Ancestry.com Outage
8409353231_68d3062177_z
Confession: I’m a GeneaFreak in My Sleep
4400388995_af65ba1fae_z
Can We Stop Calling Grandma a Whore?
Ancestry DDoS attack
8 Theories on the REAL Reason for the Ancestry.com Outage
5027161428_f762af4ce5_z
Why Don’t People Post Public Family Trees?
3366720659_b746789dfd_z
Confession: I Hate Free Genealogy Stuff
Family History Library Visitor Tips
9 Things You Need To Know Before You Go to RootsTech/FGS
1594411528_1512b1aad5_z
How to Stop Spammers From Stealing Your Facebook Identity
nelson-scheiber-wedding-minneapolis
Guerrilla Genealogy: Hunting Down Wedding Guests
4212380812_a008fbbf06_z
Dead People, Dead People, Dead People, SQUIRREL!
Mad-Men-DNA-Genealogy
How Mad Men Will Really End—With a Shaky Leaf
7464252264_a12645770a_k
Why Your DNA Test Results Are Wrong
Horrified Senior Woman
Clue: Your Ancestry Username and Your Pee-Oh-R-N Username Should Not Be The Same
4400388995_af65ba1fae_z
Can We Stop Calling Grandma a Whore?
7512877940_2720e3be12_z
Want a Full Refund on Your NewspaperArchive.com Subscription? Just Ask About Their Charity.
3366720659_b746789dfd_z
Confession: I Hate Free Genealogy Stuff
250436252_11e6b00028_z
O Come, All Ye Drama Llamas
6587951925_169aa0d54f_z
Is Making Money From Your Blog Still a Thing?
4482942978_c4347b15fe_z
Ancestor Hate Mail
1594411528_1512b1aad5_z
How to Stop Spammers From Stealing Your Facebook Identity
Ancestry DDoS attack
8 Theories on the REAL Reason for the Ancestry.com Outage
7512877940_2720e3be12_z
Want a Full Refund on Your NewspaperArchive.com Subscription? Just Ask About Their Charity.