Sidney and Annie’s Marriage License

Back in 2001 I was very interested in Monroe’s black sheep couple! Their story fascinated me. I had access to a very bad copy of what looked to be a marriage license for them. Local historians claimed it was a fake. They had searched in the county courthouse in St. Louis but found no license. I found a great group of people on a website called “Random Acts of Genealogical Kindness”. A volunteer offered on the site to check the courthouse. They found it and told me how to get in touch with the clerk of court. It turns out St. Louis had TWO courthouses: One for the county and one for the city! I swiftly ordered a copy and was overjoyed when it came in! I had one of the copies framed and put on the wall of the genealogy department.

What had been found was the Marriage Register. It wasn’t the actual license. Basically, the difference is this: The license just gives you permission to marry. The register is where the officiant goes to the courthouse and states the marriage was performed by them!

Historians still claimed it is fake. I emailed Ms Carpenter (recorder of deeds) and told her the story. She stated it was not unusual for it to take days, months or even years to going to the courthouse and registering the marriage! In fact, she stated the register was more legal than the license, even if it was ever found (the license is missing)! It is still awful fishy that it was registered after Sidney’s death!

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