Thursday, March 04, 2010

Fearless Females Prompt 4

March 4 — Do you have marriage records for your grandparents or great-grandparents? Write a post about where they were married and when. Any family stories about the wedding day? Post a photo too if you have one.

I have marriage records for every couple in my family tree from my own through my 2nd-great-grandparents, with the exception of one couple, my direct maternal line. They are Charles Frisbe STRONG and Mary Lucy WRIGHT. I do know that they were married in the year 1873 in the Village of Fairfield, Town of Candor, Tioga County, New York.

I thought I would focus, though, on my paternal grandparents. Robert Lewis ROBBINS and Jeanne Marie HOLST (born Jane Mary YORK; she was adopted) were married 12 October 1940 in the Methodist parsonage in Coopersville, Ottawa County, Michigan. My grandfather was 20 and my grandmother had just turned 16 the week before. Because she was underage, she had to get her parents' permission to marry. And because she was legally only a foster child, her foster parents had to legally adopt her in order to grant their permission. Since the adoption process would have taken time, I'm sure they started it sometime before she was marred; perhaps when she started dating my grandfather and they realized they would need to be her legal parents to give her permission to marry, should she choose to marry young as so many women did in those days.

My grandparents' best friends, Ray ADAMS and Geneva PARRISH stood with them; however, Geneva was also underage and that is probably why her name does not appear as the second witness on my grandparents' marriage certificate. The minister's wife's name is listed along with Ray's. Fifty years later, my grandparents celebrated their golden anniversary and Ray and Geneva were among the wedding guests.

I believe this photograph was taken outside my great-grandparents ROBBINS' home, but I'm not certain. This photograph was taken outside my great-grandparents HOLST's home in Coopersville. Looking closely at this image, you can see a small dog in the lower left corner and what looks like rhubarb growing against the foundation of the house. My dad recently told me, "Mom and Dad lived on the Holst place in a tiny
trailer at first until dad decided he would get along better with his in-laws if he didn't live too close." My grandparents then purchased some land on River Street and my grandfather began building their house and later the body shop where he had his business.

My grandparents were married for 63 years before my grandfather passed away in 2003. They raised five children and countless foster children. Their home was open to my grandfather's youngest siblings, and they helped raise some of their grandchildren. They also took in my Great-grandmother ROBBINS in her senior years until her health required her to live in a nursing home.

My grandmother is still alive, although she suffers from Alzheimer's. You can read more about my grandfather's life in his AnceStory (ancestor story) on my website here.

For more on the Fearless Females Blogging Prompts, visit The Accidental Genealogist.


Taylorstales-Genealogy said...

What a great story. Congratulations for having so many copies of those marriage certficates as well. I only have a couple of my great grandparents marriage certificates so you have prompted me to get a few more if possible. Thanks for sharing such a terrific post, your great grandparents sound like wonderful and caring people!

Miriam Robbins said...

Thank you, Taylorstales!