Parental marriage consent
For an underage bride or groom to marry, a parent or legal guardian had to
sign a piece of paper indicating the marriage was permissible. While some jurisdictions have required consent regardless of
age, most demanded consent affidavits from a parent or legal guardian only for
those under the minimum age -usually twenty-one for males, eighteen for females.
Sometimes a parent or guardian appeared with the underage person and gave
verbal permission. The record will show that the parent was present and was
known to the clerk but may not record the name. A detailed, printed consent
form was part of the marriage license in a few localities.
The signed slip was brought to
the county clerk and had to be submitted before a marriage license could be
obtained. The existence of the slip was usually recorded in a county record
book on the day the license was procured, though the date on the slip itself might
have been several days earlier.
father of the underage person usually gave consent, especially in the South.
When a mother has given consent, the father was likely deceased. When both
parents were deceased, the legal guardian granted permission to marry. If the
guardian is related to the person getting married, their relationship may be
stated besides the title guardian. If the parent was not the signer of the
consent, the consent often mentioned that the bride or groom is the "son/daughter of" a named deceased and the aforementioned signer had to be a
legal guardian. If the consent is signed by the mother of the party, again it
can generally be assumed that the father is deceased at the time of the
proposed marriage. Thus the only person who could sign a letter of consent for
marriage was a parent or legal guardian. If a legal guardian was the signer
then it would say "---" legal guardian of " ----".
I have checked with numerous court
house officials and they all agree that Robert M. Womack was the son of Levi B.
Womack. They all also stated that only his father or a legal guardian could give
consent for marriage. Each official said that if Levi were his legal guardian
instead of a parent then it would list Levi's relationship as legal guardian of
Robert M. Womack.
Robert M. Womack was enumerated twice in the 1850 US Federal Census.
When I showed the 1850 census they
each said that he was enumerated twice and that this was a common occurrence. I
have found other relatives of mine that were also enumerated twice.
Robert M. Womack as listed in the 1850 United States Federal Census.
AL DeKalb, 25 Division, roll 5
Page 354A, House 385
Sanders, Elijah 45 M W Farmer Unknown
Sanders, Ailsa 42 F W AL
Sanders, Elijah 17 M W Farmer AL
Sanders, Mary 12 F W AL
Sanders, Margaret 8 F W AL
Sanders, Frank 4 M W AL
Sanders, William 3 M W AL
Sanders, Caladonia 1 F W AL
Page 354A, House 386
22 Wammock Robert 18 M W Farmer 0 TN =Robert M. Womack (enumerated twice )
23 Wammock Elizabeth 19 F W AL
Page 354A, House 388
28 Wommack L B 47 M W Farmer 0 NC
29 Wommack Martha 46 F W GA
Robert 19 M W TN= Robert M. Womack ( enumerated twice )
31 Wommack Obediah 15 M W AL
32 Wommack Jesse 12 M W AL
33 Wommack Isham 10 M W AL
Page 354A, House 389
34 Wommack W R 24 M W Farmer 0 TN
35 Wommack Lucretia 18 F W AL
36 Wommack Elizabeth 1 F W AL
Listed below are a few of the
"famous" people who have been found to have been listed twice in a
United States federal census.
1850 Samuel Clemens (Mark Twain) -- is listed with his family & with a printer in Hannibal, Missouri
1860 Robert E. Lee -- is listed in Virginia with his family & in Texas with the military
1880 Frank Lloyd Wright -- had a first enumeration & had a second enumeration
1880 Rutherford B. Hayes -- was listed in Ohio and in Washington DC
1900 Humphrey Bogart--once in Ontario
County, New York and once in Manhattan.
1900 Katherine Anne Porter--in Hayes
County, Texas with her father and again with her grandmother
1910 George M. Cohan --In an apartment by himself and with his family
1910 Jack London -- In Oakland, California and in Sonoma County, California
1930 Charles Lindbergh --1930 in St. Louis, Missouri with his wife, Anne Morrow Lindbergh and in an earlier enumeration (also in 1930) in St. Louis with his wife.
1930 Thomas Edison -- In New Jersey and in Ft. Myers, Florida
Robert was listed twice in the
It could happen to your ancestor, too!
also have reason to believe that Robert M. Womack had the nickname of Wiley
Womack. And that his son William Wiley Womack was named after his
aforementioned nickname. I have a few documents that suggest this.
I started genealogy when I was a young girl -a little
over 30 years ago, and have collected a lot of information on my direct line,
but the search is never ending. LOL.
Any information on the
Womack or Sanders line would be helpful and greatly appreciated!