Wedding Wednesday: Stanley and Emogene

Let me give you a small bit of background

There is a bit of a story behind this marriage record. This record has always been a bit of a dirty secret to me. Not because of the contents, or the events surrounding it. It was because it was a record so close to the current generations and I didn’t have it! It was this big blank spot in my documentation. I’ve always known the marriage date of my maternal grandparents. Not only do I have Grandma’s copy of the family tree from the 1980s, but it’s always been a known day since Grandma’s birthday was May 6th and her first wedding anniversary was May 3rd. We’d call up Grandma and say, “Happy Birthday and Anniversary!” Mostly because my Mom said she could never remember which was the day for either event! Oops! haha.

Taylor-Webb Family Tree
p. 7-B, Taylor-Webb Family Tree, Nov 1980; privately held by Kathleen Moore, [ADDRESS FOR PRIVATE USE,] Lexington Park, Maryland. 2001. This tree passed to me from Grandma Emogene Taylor.
Looking at the family tree, you can see that it says Grandma married Grandpa Stanley 3 May 1947 but it doesn’t give a location. For years, I’ve been on the lookout for the record of their marriage. I’d asked all my aunts and my uncle if they knew where their┬áparents were married. By the end of those conversations I had numerous options: Brown County Ohio, Clermont County Ohio, and Kentucky. My Mom (the second youngest) and Aunt Vera (the eldest) said Newport, Kentucky. My Aunt Molly (middle child) who spent the most time with Grandma said Clermont County, Ohio. Those are my three top sources of family memories so I was sunk! Who did I believe? Where do I look?

Where did you look?

The short answer is trust none of them, search all of them. The long answer is that Campbell County, Kentucky marriage records were the first I found browsable at FamilySearch.org: Campbell County Courthouse Records, Alexandria, KY. After going through those records page by page and not finding it, I was starting to think that Ohio was the place.

Luckily for me Brown and Clermont Counties are also on FamilySearch. After finding dozens of my family members in those counties, I was disappointed to not find Grandma and Grandpa Stanley’s marriage record. I wasn’t sure where to look next until I realized that Mom and Aunt Vera had both told me that Grandma was married in Newport, KY and all those marriages I saw in Kentucky were from Alexandria, Kentucky.

That’s right, Campbell County has TWO courthouses, both with different records. This news made me excited because there was still somewhere reasonable to search! I even started wondering how I would bribe my Aunt Molly to find that record for me. Luckily for me and Aunt Molly, FamilySearch put the other courthouse records online too! So, over 15 years after starting my genealogy research, I was finally able to see my Grandma and Grandpa Stanley’s marriage record! Though, that 15 years would have probably been shortened had I gone to Kentucky to search. Someone there surely would have said, “Hey! Have you checked the Newport Courthouse records? These are for the Alexandria Courthouse!”

Stanley Mays - Emogene Taylor marriage
Campbell County, Kentucky, marriage certificate no. p. 244 (1947), Mays-Taylor; digital image, FamilySearch, “Marriage Book 194,” (http://www.familysearch.org : accessed 30 Sep 2016)
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