In my family September brings the promise of fall, of the harvest and preparation for colder months. Fall is my favorite time of the year and September acts as a warm reminder of family get togethers. Throughout the generations on my family tree no month seems more popular for nuptials than September. In six generations I have counted at least forty-eight marriages in September, seven of which are in my direct family line, including my own. My cousin Carol and her husband Wayne shared their date with my parents Dorothy Siegel & Jim Spencer and this occurred two days after my niece Courtney married Garret Williams, a date shared with Uncle Peter V. Siegel and Aunt Mary Elizabeth Cunningham, who married in 1940. There was no more beautiful bride than great Aunt Emma Amalia Siegel when she married William Earl Steele on Sep 15, 1920 (photo above).
Do you have a similar time in your family? Have you looked at when your ancestors married? Was there a specific reason for the time and place? Do you have the documentation? In researching my family tree, I have found no specific reason my family members married. But it was still fun to consider, after all genealogy is supposed to be fun! I know for myself it was more of a matter of waiting until the heat of summer was over but not yet cold out. September in Missouri seventeen years ago was perfect.
Here are a few details of some of the marriages I discovered in my tree:
The earliest date of the month occurred in 1869 when Anna Belle Casey married John Wesley Adams on September 5th, 1869. The couple, my 2x great grandparents, were Grace Valentine (Kembel) Spencer’s grandparents. While I do not have photos for John and Anna Belle, I do have a record of their marriage that occurred in Laclede County.
Transcription: I certify that I solemnized the rite of matrimony between John Wesley Adams and Ann B. Casey on the 5th day of Sept 1869. [signed] John Wilson, J.P. Filed and recorded Nov. 8th, 1869. [signed] J.T. Taliaferro, Recorder.
John Swinney Kembel married Alice Emeline Barnes on September 19, 1875, in Laclede, Missouri. They had eight children in 20 years. More on the Kembel line next month!
3rd Great Grandfather Josephus Hough (1817-1901) and his first wife Lucinda Gibler (1817-1840) married in Highland County, OH, on September 26, 1839, when Josephus was 21. Lucinda died after having one child with him.
“I do certify that Josephus Hough and Lucinda Gibler were legally bound in marriage by me on the 26th day of Sept. 1839.” Signed by Lawrence Rose*, JP. [Recorded on Dec 20, 1839]
The official a Justice of the Peace’s name is difficult to read but in a later transcription is as above.
My 3x great grandparents Samuel Wilson Barnes and Martha Jane Still were married 190 years ago today on September 30th, 1833. They had eight children, the last of whom is Alice Emeline Barnes, mentioned above. The couple were each 36 years old when she was born. Samuel and Martha’s wedding documentation is interesting because it contains some traditional aspects not found in later marriages.
There is a marriage bond, which was a legal method for announcing that two people were planning to be married. Often, they were backed by a sum of money in pounds (using the British form of currency). Samuel and Martha’s bond was backed by a sum of 50£. 2 The sum is not a registration fee, rather a monetary assurance that nothing legally prevented the wedding from taking place (one was already married or the pair was too closely related). It was signed by the groom and a “James Stephenson.” The “James Stephenson” throws me a bit because that is the name of Samuel’s maternal grandfather, but he died in 1822, so there must be another relative by that name I’ve missed – perhaps a cousin. The bond alone, does not prove a couple married, but luckily, I have the marriage register which lists the bride & groom along with the date and who married them (D.L. Mansfield).
Also included are a note from the bride’s father (Claiborn Still) and the preacher’s original marriage list. It is pretty amazing to see two “unofficial” documents (preacher and father’s notes) survived as well as the bond and marriage register.
Both Josephus Hough and Samuel Barnes were some of the earliest settlers in Laclede County, MO, and were elemental in the establishment of the county and its courts. More on my family’s role in the founding of Laclede County coming soon, but today I wanted to end September on a happy note remembering the couples who endured hardships with love and the influence they have had on my family.
 Marriage Record of John Wesley Adams and Anna B. Casey, Missouri, Marriage Records, 1805-2002. Missouri State Archives; Jefferson City, MO, USA; [Laclede County] 173. Accessed on Ancestry.com, online database, Provo, UT: Ancestry.com Operations Inc. 2007.
 “Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797-1954,” database with images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:QKJS-CYXF : 9 March 2021), Samuel W Barnes and Martha J Still, Sep 1833; citing Marriage, Warren, Kentucky, United States, various county clerks and county courts, Kentucky; FHL microfilm 164,003.