Thursday, July 17, 2008

The CHAPLIN - MARTIN Marriage Certificate

Source: Chaplin - Martin Certificate of Marriage. Washington. Clark County. Marriage Certificates 1889 - 1977. Digital image. Washington State Digitial Archives. : 2008.

Yes, I realize that Wordless Wednesday is supposed to be about displaying a photograph, not a document. Inspired by George Geder's posts of posting ancestral photos on Wednesday and then a biographical sketch on Thursdays, I started doing WW back in February, based on a pattern of showing ancestral photos from my father-in-law's, father's, mother-in-law's, and mother's family trees, in that order. The problem was, I don't have access to many photos from my mother-in-law's family, and I don't believe she does, either. Unless I can come in contact with some of her relatives and obtain scans of ancestral photos (if there are any), I'm relegated to displaying photos of tombstones and images of documents. So be it!

I did want to feature this document, however, for a variety of reasons. My husband's family (both parents' sides) has lived in this state since the early 1900s, and Washington State has a wonderful open-record policy, perhaps one of the best in the nation. In addition, the Washington State Digital Archives and FamilySearch Labs are featuring both indexes and images of county, state, and federal records for Washington residents. I'm waiting impatiently for FamilySearch to release the images that have been indexed on their pilot site, and decided to help them along by doing some indexing on that specific collection. That in itself has been a lot of see records from Stevens County (where my parents live), Spokane County (my residence), and Klickatat County (which we pass through on the way to visit my in-laws). I recognize all these little towns which certainly helps in determining messy handwritten locations on death certificates!

Besides featuring a document with personal sentiment from the fabulous digital archives site, I thought this record was unique because it contains the signatures of four my husband's direct ancestors. John Franklin and Angelia Rebecca (LUKE) MARTIN were Leona Mary MARTIN's parents. Forest "Frank" L. CHAPLIN and Leona were my mother-in-law's parents. I've always seen Forest's name spelled with two Rs, but here he signs it with one. Hmm... I had the privilege of meeting the widowed Leona once--at our wedding--and then attended her funeral in 1993. I've mentioned Leona and her twin brother Lee before in one of my earlier Wordless Wednesdays.

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