Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Wedding Wednesday - January Weddings in My Family Tree

January 1 is a popular wedding day in my family tree.  There are a total of 56 January marriages in my database and six of them are on January 1, the most of the whole month. "New year, new beginnings".  I don't know if you could get anyone to marry you on New Year's Day nowadays.  Maybe those chapels in Las Vegas are open for business.  

Several of my direct ancestors were married in the month of January.  The majority of these are on my paternal side.  I  am working on getting the documentation for all of them yet.  

My second Great Grandparents, Henry Menke and Eliza Knapp were married on January 13th in 1867. Both of Henry's daughters and one son from his first marriage were also married in the month of January.

A few ancestors of my Great Grandma Lottie Roscoe married in January.  My eighth Great Grandparents, John Ruscoe and Rebecca Beebe on January 2, 1650.  My ninth Great Grandparents, Jonathan Barnes and Elizabeth Hedge on January 4, 1665.  My ninth Great Grandfather William Harlow married his second wife, Mary Shelley, on January 20, 1665.  Mary Shelley is a step-Grandmother.  My tenth Great Grandparents Stephen Hosmer and Dorothy Selden were married on January 25, 1602.

Five different generations of my Bliss family line were married in January.  My third Great Grandparents, John Potter Smith and Mary Abigail Bliss were married on January 17, 1847.  Mary Bliss' parents, Austin Bliss and Abigail Bumstead were married on January 28, 1817.  Abigail Bumstead's grandparents, Joseph Bumstead and Jemimiah Bliss were married on January 23, 1774.  On that same day in 1744, Jemimiah Bliss' parents, my seventh Great Grandparents, Peletiah Bliss and Jemima Hitchcock were wed.  Finally, my ninth Great Grandparents, John Damon and Martha Howland, were married on January 15, 1659.

Only two couples on my maternal side chose January wedding dates.  My Fifth Great Grandparents in the McGrath line, Lebbeus Simmons and Mary Douglas, were married on January 27th, 1774.  Ancestors of my Great Grandmother Sadie Negley, my eighth Great Grandparents, William and Elizabeth Seaborn were married on January 28, 1702.  

Mattingly ancestors that I have January wedding dates for in my tree are all on my husband's maternal side.  His grandparents, Mark Thomas Spalding and Cora Lulu Spalding were married on January 10, 1910.  

Three sets of Mark Thomas Spalding's Great Grandparents were married in January.  Richard Spalding and Henrietta Thompson on January 20, 1817.  Aloysius Abell and Mary Fenwick on January 11, 1829.  Robert S Thomas and Matilda Spalding on January 24, 1832.  Parents of Matilda Spalding, Edward Spalding and Elizabeth Spalding were married on January 27, 1806.

The weather is very often a determining factor when choosing a wedding date for people today.  Most of these weddings mentioned here took place in northern states like Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maryland where it was surely cold in January.  Apparently that wasn't a factor. 


  1. You're making me think. I have noticed how many of my ancestors married on Christmas Eve. I can't think of a worse time to marry, so I wonder if that was a real marriage date or a minister's report.

    1. That may be. You've made me take another look at one certificate that I do have! It is written "on this day, 1st day of the parsonage of the Rev." I don't know if ministers would like couples dropping in like that today. Thanks Wendy!

  2. The only marriage date I can remember, without looking at my files, is for my 2nd great-grandparents. They married on 1 January 1880 in Floyd County, Virginia. ~ Cathy

    1. Marrying on a holiday probably helped those men remember their wedding anniversary! ;) Thanks Cathy!