AfriGeneas Genealogy and History Forum
Re: Perry County AL Marriage Data
In Response To: Re: Perry County AL Marriage Data ()
I am not familiar with Alabama marriage laws and history, but at one time in order for anyone to marry in most States, there had to be a surety paid and a promise that there was no legal impediment to the marriage. If there was, then the monies paid for the surety bond was forfeited to the State.
It would not surprise me if Alabama did away with the surety bond (the fee demanded was often so onerous that a lot of couples simply cohabitated rather than pay it) but left the oath as to no legal impediment to a valid marriage, in place. Even today, when a couple marries they must attest that there is no legal impediment to the marriage (that they are not already married to someone else, not closely related, residents of the State, etc.) and this is usually done when applying for a marriage license. It is not unusual, and is customary in almost every State. It is likely that the person making the oath at the time of your ancestors' marriage was a relative as the Civil War was over and there was no need for a former master's permission (I also notice that the affiant made his mark "x" and could not read or write). You are indeed lucky to have such a document referencing your ancestors.