Marriage Records

Berry-Rice 1799 Marriage – Jessamine County

This marriage bond for Thomas Berry and Hannah Rice was written May 14, 1799.  Gabriel Madison is the bondsman.  This bond has little pieces missing, but there is enough we can piece together what is written.  The bond is from Jessamine County, Kentucky.

marriage-berry-riceKnow all men by these presents that we, Thomas Berry and Gabriel Madison, are held and firmly bound unto James Garrard, Esquire, Governor of Kentucky, and his successors, in the sum of fifty pounds current money of Kentucky, which payment well and truly to be made to the said governor or his successors, we bind ourselves, our heirs, jointly and severally, firmly by these presents, sealed with our seals and dated this 14th day of May 1799.  The condition of the above obligation is such that whereas there is a marriage shortly intended to be solemnized between the above bound Thomas Berry and Hannah Rice, for which a license has issued.  Now if there be no lawful cause to obstruct the said marriage the above obligation to be void or else to remain in full force and virtue.

Thomas Berry, Gabriel Madison

Teste.  Samuel H. Woodson, Clerk

2 replies »

  1. I have in my posession, several marriage bonds for some of my ancestors. Can anyone tell me what the purpose was of a marriage bond?

    • Lesa, there are several pieces of paperwork for a marriage to be conducted in Kentucky – especially in the early days of the state. A marriage license was first procured from the county clerk, giving permission for the man and woman to be married – generally states by any minister of the gospel or those of authority with the power to perform marriages. Then the bond would be issued – someone acting as bondsman with the groom, vowing to pay 50 pounds current money if the marriage is not performed. I suppose this insures the bride if she is left at the altar. And the final piece is the marriage certificate, signed by the minister or official, stating when and where the marriage took place, and lists witnesses.

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