Chickasaw County Marriage Index by
A researcher contacted me and
asked for an explanation of a bondsman on a marriage application.
Patsy Bostick graciously sent the following explanation. I sincerely hope
that this explanation will help other researchers understand the significance of
a bondsman on marriage applications.
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From THE SOURCE, by Eakles & Cerny . Marriage bond requirement was not uniform
in all the colonial
states, but are found extensively in the Southern & New England states.
Bonds were posted before the issuing of the marriage license in some states and
are the only required document in others. Bonds were
posted, by the groom, to defray the cost of litigation in the event the
marriage was nullified.
They are of value to genealogist because the person on bond with the
groom was often the father or brother of the bride or related to
the groom. The bonds were posted in the jurisdiction where
the wedding was to take place; this was often the home county of the bride. The
only legal record in some
counties are these bonds. Most marriages took place within a few days of the
bond. The date of the marriage was usually added to
the bond record, but not always. If the marriage date is not on the bond it could indicate the marriage did
not take place, but most often is missing due to poor record keeping or failure
of the minister or authorized person to report the marriage.
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