Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Documenting a Marriage, Part 1

The Marriage of Thomas Fogden Overington and Jane R. Burns, my great-great-great-grandparents

Thanks to my genealogist great-great-grandfather, I have a great deal of information regarding my family's history. Among all the photos and papers are some incredible references to weddings. Today I'm looking at his parents' wedding.

This is a letter from Thomas Rowland Jr., apparently a friend of the family. It is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek request for the services of a Reverend George Sheets at the wedding of Thomas Fogden Overington and Jane Burns. What I find particularly humorous about this is that I'm fairly certain Thomas Rowland's brother Benjamin and Thomas Overington's sister Sarah had married two years earlier. Here is a transcription:
My friend T. F. Overington about making a change from the life of a Bachelor to that of a married one; desired that I would write requesting your services on the reason of his wedding. Prompted in making this request for the desire of his intended Bride (Miss Jane Burns), as well as in accordance with his own feelings on the subject, his esteem & affection towards a leash & divine from early association being centered in yourself, a favourable answer would be particularly desirable. Tuesday the 5th day of June at about 10 o'clock is the day & time appointed for the ceremony. Please address care S&B Rowland Co. undersigned at 61 South Second St. Very respectfully, Thomas Rowland, Jr.
As it turns out, Rev. George Sheets was available to perform the ceremony because I also have this document:

Here Rev. Sheets puts their marriage into writing:
Whereas application has been made to me by Thomas F. Overington and Jane Burns, both of Frankford, Philadelphia, Pensylvania [sic], to be unified together in holy Matrimony, and find upon due examination that there is no legal let or impediment by reason of precontract consanguinity, affinity, nor any other just cause whatsoever, to hinder their marriage; This is therefore to Certify that the said Thomas F. Overington and Jane Burns were joined in wedlock by me. Given under my hand this fifth day of June, AD, 1855. George Sheets, Rector of St. James' Church, Stanton, Delaware
And finally, here are the happy couple (albeit individually and at different times):

Jane "Jenny" R. Burns (1836-1927)

Thomas Fogden Overington (1828-1877)