Saturday, March 7, 2015

Louise's Lost Files - Certificate of Marriage

This is part of my Louise's Lost Files Series in which I share with my readers some of the items I am inventorying, scanning and posting that came from my great-grandmother, Louise Lasiter's house in Fort Smith, Arkansas.

The first part I tackled were two small drawers of paperwork belonging to my great-grandmother. They contained basic household mail items such as bank statements, bills, and tax statements. Intermingled in these mundane household items, however, were a few items of genealogical significance including their original Certificate of Marriage shown below.

Marriage Certificate Louise Benson and James Putman Lasiter
Marriage Certificate Louise Benson and James Putman Lasiter, from the personal collection of Ginger R. Smith

It says:

This Certifies

that on the Second day of December in the year of our Lord 1931,

J. Putman Lasiter and Louise Benson 

were by me united in Marriage 
at Tulsa, Oklahoma 
according to the Ordinance of God and Laws of the State of Oklahoma.

Witnesses: Udrah Kaemmerling and Conrad H. Grabradshi [sp?]

Otto LeRoy Curl, Ph.D., D.D.
Pastor University Methodist Episcopal Church


A little bit about the physical condition of the marriage certificate:

It is a tri-fold and has a piece of braided cord punched through one seam so that when it's folded in 3, it can be tied on the outside. There is also an outer cover which you can kind of see in the scan if you look closely at the bottom. 

A little bit about my great-grandparents: 

Louise Benson was 19 years old when she married James Putman "Put" Lasiter on December 2nd, 1931. She had been living with her family in Newby, Oklahoma in April of 1930 when the census was taken. According to the census, she was still attending school, so she must have been attending a junior college of some sort because she graduated from Spiro High School in 1929. 

An interesting tidbit of information was that Louise was pregnant with her first child Barbara when she married Put. And yes, I assure you that her first child was Put's. My grandmother and her sister Barb could have been twins, their likeness was so similar. 

James Putman "Put" Lasiter was 23 years old when he married Louise. He was living in Fort Smith, Arkansas with his parents when the census was taken in 1930. According to the census report, he was also attending school. 

I wish I knew how my great-grandparents met with one living in OK and the other living in AR about two hours away. Maybe I will find some clues in the rest of the boxes? In addition to this marriage certificate, I found their original marriage license and I also found a certified copy of the marriage license which was obtained in 1943. 

I wonder what the certified copy was required for? 

Why would someone need a certified copy of a marriage license 12 years after they were married?
They didn't buy their house until 1950, so it could not have been for a mortgage. Hmmm...interesting.