Marriage Records

1901 Wedding of Hermia Louise Northup and Francis Burchard Harrington

After typing an obituary or a wedding announcement, as in this case, I always try to find more information to add to my article.  What I found was rather sad, and I almost decided not to publish this blog, but since life isn’t always kind, I decided I would.  More information at the bottom.

Hermia Louise Northup was a daughter of Jay Northup and Emma Eliza Wood, both born in New York.  In the 1880 census of Lawrence County, Kentucky, Jay was 37, Emma was 36, Mary was 11, Pheba was 5; Hermia was 3 and Emma was six months.  Twenty years later, in 1900, only the two youngest daughters remain at home.  Jay and Emma have been married 33 years, and of eight children, four are living.

Louisa, Kentucky, is the county seat for Lawrence County.  In 1900 there were a little more than a thousand people living there; one hundred years later the population has doubled – still not a metropolis.  I love small towns – everyone knows everyone, people are close and even small things are exciting – much less a society wedding!

The Big Sandy News, Louisa, Lawrence County, Kentucky

Friday, October 11, 1901


Of One of Louisa’s Most Charming Young Ladies

A wedding of more than usual interest to Louisa people occurred at Ashland, Wednesday of this week.  At eleven o’clock, a.m., on that day, Miss Hermia Louise Northup, of Louisa, became Mrs. Francis Burchard Harrington, of Albany, New York.  The marriage took place at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Russell, the latter being the bride’s sister.  Rev. W. H. Hampton, of the Episcopal Church, spoke the fateful words that bestowed the new name upon one of our most lovable girls.

The spacious parlors were artistically decorated in palms.  To the strains of the Lohengrin Wedding March, by the Leroy Orchestra, the bridal party entered.

Miss Emily Northup, youngest sister of the bride, acted as maid of honor, while Mr. Tensck, of New York, was groomsman.

The bride wore a magnificent gown of white Louisine crepe.

The affair was kept so quiet that only members of the family knew anything of the arrangements.  Friends had expected the event to occur soon, but were taken unawares at last.  The inefficient train service up this way was the principal reason for having the wedding occur in Ashland.

The bride is the third daughter of Col. Jay H. Northup, our most prominent businessman.  It is customary to shower words of praise upon brides, oftimes without strict regard for the merit in the case.  But here is an instance in which it is genuine pleasure to write of the graces and good qualities of the bride, for she possesses them in an unusual degree.  To say that she is a general favorite is to give that common term its fullest meaning.  Her amiability and sweet disposition, her kindly interest in all and cheerful greetings for each, have won for her the friendship and admiration of all who know her.  It is safe to predict that in her new home she will win her way to the hearts of all as she has here.  She possesses marked ability as an artist, and it was while pursuing studies in this line in the east that Mr. Harrington met her.

Mr. Harrington is the son of a prominent and wealthy New York railroad man, and he himself is engaged in the same occupation, holding a responsible position on the New York Central system.  He is known as an exemplary young man.

No invitations were issued and only the immediate families and a few friends were present.  The wedding party from New York came in the private car “Idler”.

The young couple left Ashland at 1 o’clock, going to Cincinnati and, after a brief wedding tour, will go to Albany, their future home.

I can’t say exactly what happened between Hermia Louisa Northup and Francis Burchard Harrington, but I cannot find them together at any point after the marriage.  In the 1910 census of Albany, New York, Francis B. is living with his father, Francis A., just the two with a housekeeper and three servants.  I cannot find Hermia in any 1910 census.  In 1920 she is living with an aunt and uncle – T. F. and Pheba E. Wallace, in Lawrence County.  Hermia is listed as ‘widowed’.  In 1930 it is just she and her aunt, and she is listed as divorced.  In 1940 Hermia is still in Lawrence County, her sister Emily, brother-in-law John Turner, and nephew John Turner live with her.

Hermia Louisa Northup died November 24, 1945, in Eastern State Hospital, in Lexington, Kentucky.  ‘Hospital records’ is listed as the informant on the death certificate, with unknown for birthplace and parents’ names and birthplaces.  I find this very sad – was no one with her when she died?  Eastern State Hospital has been a psychiatric hospital since 1817.  I presume the 1-16 length of stay on the above record was days – we know it could not be years.

Now, just so we don’t end on a sorrowful note, I did find in The Big Sandy newspaper that Hermia lived a full life.  There were numerous mentions of her in the columns visiting family members, going on trips, having people to visit, etc.  She never remarried and had no children. 

1 reply »

  1. Hello! I can’t believe I found this… Francis Burchard Harrington was my mother’s step grandfather. His first marriage was annulled due to mental instability of his wife. He remarried in NY but never had any children. My mother adored him and gave me his last name as my middle name.

Any thoughts?

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