Finding official records is a EUREKA! moment for me and every other genealogist. Today I found an image of the Orange County, Virginia Marriage Records 1757-1938 on Family Search.org. It’s hugely exciting because:
1. It verifies Dealen’s first name, something that has been somewhat difficult to do. It’s such an unusual name that for a long time I’d wondered if it hadn’t suffered some damage as a result of multiple gedcom uploads and merges in the decades before I became interested in genealogy. I’ve also seen her recorded as Helen Smith, which I can see as an easy transcription error. Now I have solid proof that even if it is a nickname, it is the right name!
2. I now have another ancestor’s name to search with. Her mother (my 4th great grandmother!) is Hannah Hensley. A notation next to Hannah’s name is “signed permission”, does this mean Dealen was underage or maybe that Hannah was illiterate and someone signed for her? Dealen is also listed as “Spinster”. I’ll have to see what I can find out about the use of spinster at that time.
3.The bondsman listed is Cypress Hensley. Another clue to work with’ Is he Hannah’s son, brother or husband? Is Dealen’s last name Smith because of a previous marriage of her mothers or perhaps her own?
4. The record also shows that Jacob Watts performed the marriage in St. Thomas Parish, Orange County, Virginia on December 24, 1809 and their marriage license was issued on December 21, 1809. This isn’t really a clue per se, just an interesting bit of info. I did find when I looked up Jacob Watts that performed many marriages at St. Thomas Parish and it lead me to a photo of the church. The church, as it turns out, is a key location in the rich history of Orange County Virginia.
Seeing how important this area is to Colonial and Civil War history, it’s started me on a new search… to find Garland Quinn’s military history. I’ve never seen anything, but I do know that my Darnold great grandfather of the same era was in Orange County as well and he served in the War of 1812. I’m betting I’ll find that Garland did too.
So I guess the location of their marriage turned out to be a clue after all.You just can’t dismiss any single bit of information in this ancestor hunting game.