Family Stories

1793 Marriage Bond – William C. Rodgers & Elizabeth Rutter


This marriage bond is from Washington County, Kentucky – isn’t the handwriting beautiful?  Very easily read.  Kentucky became a state in 1792, and Washington County was formed in that year.  William C. Rodgers is the groom, and his bondsman is John Rodgers, a kinsman, I’m sure.  There is also a written note from the bride’s father, James Rutter, giving his permission.  It is also signed by his wife, Elizabeth Rutter, with witnesses Edmund Rutter and Benjamin Phillips.  It was a thrill to hold this original records in my hand – think of how long ago these people lived!  This is what genealogy is all about!

Know all men by these presents, that we, William Rodgers and John Rodgers, are held and firmly bound unto his Excellency, the Governor of Kentucky, in the sum of fifty pounds current money.  To the payment of which well and truly to be made to the said Governor and his successors.  We bind ourselves and heirs, jointly and severally, firmly, by these presents, sealed with our seals and dated this 28th day of December 1793.

The condition of the above obligation is such that whereas there is a marriage shortly intended between the above bound William Rodgers and Elizabeth Rutter.  Now, if there be no lawful cause to obstruct the said marriage then this obligation to be void or else to remain in full force.

William C. Rodgers

John Rodgers

Witness John Reed, Jr.


I do hereby authorize you to grant William C. Rodgers a license to marry my daughter, Elizabeth, as I have no objection to the match.  Given under my hand December 28, 1793.                                James Rutter        Elizabeth Rutter

Witnesses present                   Edmund Rutter            Benjamin Phillips

3 replies »

  1. The father of Elizabeth is James Rutter, Sr, b. c. 1755, died 1814, Livingston County, KY. He was in Washington County, KY for at least a decade… several of his/ Elizabeth’s children married there, 1790s…then moved en masse to Livingston County, KY about 1801. This Rodgers/Rutter union created the town of Salem, KY. Elizabeth Rutter’s (Sr.) maiden name may have been Owens or Phillips. She is believed to have been born in PA, where several of her Rutter children were born. Yes., I descend and will be happy to swap.

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