Actual marriage records can help in family research so much, that they should always be sent for. County courthouses sometimes have the original documents, and usually only a nominal fee is asked for to cover the copying and mailing of the record. If the couple had a religious ceremony, in addition to civil application for marriage, a record may also be available from the church. Family bibles sometimes have the dates for marriages. Keep a notebook to keep track of what was sent for.
Under the Documents section I’ve added two of the Barnes marriage records we have.
The first is for John Barnes (1832-1892) and Mary Ann Ryan (1841-1904), Irish Catholics that lived in County Offaly (Kings) Ireland, and married in 1859. They were the parents of Helen Catherine Barnes. Here is the PDF: BarnesRyanMarriage_0002 and under Documents there is also a jpeg copy.
The second is for Thomas Whitley Barnes (1861-1892) and Sarah Ophelia Rose (1863-1936), Southern Protestants that lived in North Carolina, USA, and married in 1884. They were the parents of Ernest Howard Barnes. Here is the PDF: BarnesRoseMarriage_0001 and under Documents there is also a jpeg copy.
For both of the PDF files, click and they will open in a new window.
In genealogy research it always gives me a start of recognition when I see my own name. In the Irish records another Mary Ann Barnes’s story emerges. I’m very happy that when I started asking relatives about Barnes ancestors, that I jotted down notes. Here is one about the Irish side.
“Mary [Ann Ryan Barnes] was a very young wife. My mother Helen said of her mother, that Mary was never a girl; just a child and then a mother. She married when she was young. Her husband John Barnes was born in Scotland, or was of Scottish descent.” ~ Per Helen Barnes Golden, April 16, 2004.