2019: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks – Week 9 (Feb. 25 – Mar. 03) At the Courthouse
I “first” joined Amy Johnson Crow’s 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks on its “first” year in 2014… and what a whirlwind year that was… writing, editing and researching daily for 365 days! As much as I wanted to continue the following year, I found that I didn’t have the time to continue another year with that type of research… although I did continue blogging and writing stories at my own pace, which allowed me to write on other topics as well as family stories when ideas came my way… but I’ve often missed it. The first year were no specific weekly prompts like today… but I’m taking a different spin on them. There will be some posts on a specific ancestor, but most will be memories that spring from those prompts. Head over to 2014 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks to read about my ancestors in the first years challenge.
If you’re new to genealogy, make your “first” stop to Amy’s website for genealogy ideas or even join in on this 52 Week challenge… you learn by doing… not procrastinating! There is no right or wrong… anything you do is a start!
Week 9 (Feb 25- Mar. 03) At the Courthouse
My most memorable memory of being “at the courthouse“… it wasn’t hunting down old wills or marriage documents… it was the day I married on May 5th, 1971 in Aikens, S.C.
I met my husband to be on Halloween night, (1970)… in December he was transferred to Maine! Our short whirlwind romance of two months… ended up being a long-distance romance… with hubby asking me to marry him over the phone… me in Georgia… he at Limestone, Maine at Loring A.F.B. He was being shipped out in June to Thailand and wanted to leave me as a married woman before leaving; I didn’t even blink an eye in saying yes! I don’t know where I’d have been if he hadn’t married me before leaving… it would have been awfully hard to stay home, while my girlfriends were out partying… I probably wouldn’t have lasted without a ring on my finger! He hadn’t planned on leaving me in Georgia when he left …he knew what happened to service wives… so he planted me in Connecticut at his parents house… and I quickly learned that I wasn’t in Kansas any longer! But it all worked out for the best and more… forty seven years this year!!
So back to the courthouse….
If you’re wondering why we “eloped“… well, I had the bright idea that since his parents lived way up in Ct. and mine were way down here in Georgia, that we’d just tie the knot by ourselves and have no one at our wedding… it would be just us! And if we went to S.C., we could get married the same day… well I did think that! I may not have been thinking clearly at that time… so young and in love. I’m not sure I would have taken that news as well as my parents.. if my daughter had told me that was what she was doing… but I had no rebuttal from my parents… not sure what his had to say. I think he just “point blank” told them he was going to Georgia to get married. I heard stories… but I won’t repeat them here!
Aikens, South Carolina Courthouse
We arrived in Aikens, S.C., but finding the courthouse was a bit tricky… no GPS or phones at that time… just a map and stopping to ask directions. By the time we finally found the courthouse, we were racing against a 5 p.m. deadline… and then told that there was actually a 24 hour waiting period… we hadn’t planned on that! I only knew what I’d been told from other people; who thought to call and ask the rules! Oh Well…. we filed for a marriage license and then found somewhere to stay.
A return trip to Aikens is on our bucket list to revisit that courthouse… not sure if I could walk up all those stairs again, but I could take a photo!
May 5th arrived and we dressed for our wedding vows… and believe it or not, I still have my short white dress, but naturally it doesn’t quite fit anymore! And I still have hubbys ruffled light purple shirt… what was he thinking… but it was fashionable at the time… and I still have it too! If you know me… I save way more than I should… it’s so hard to part with my memories, but one day I suppose my children won’t have that problem!
I remember being very nervous when we arrived “at the courthouse” on the morning of May 5th. We went back up to the justice of the peace’s office and for some reason, I remember walking up several flights of stairs… not sure why no elevator, but we walked up. As we headed up, we met an older woman coming down who looked at us, smiled and said… “I know where you’re going… you’re going to get married today.” I’m sure I giggled and blushed about that time!
After arriving early that morning to hand in our marriage license… everything moved along very quickly… no time to even think about what was to happen. The justice of the peace brought us into her office, and throughout the entire ceremony, I remember just wanting to laugh… it was so hard for me to keep a straight face… not sure why it struck me as so funny, but poor hubby… what was he thinking! Here he was, being very serious, and me… about to burst out laughing… not sure what came over me. But before I knew it, we said our “I Do’s” and ran back down those same stairs… the very stairs we’d just climbed up… me giggling and laughing. We packed and headed home to Georgia, back to my father’s house in Perry. Steve reminds me that he took us out to dinner that night at The New Perry Hotel… glad he remembered… as I’d forgotten!
Daddy took us for a wedding nite dinner here!
One of my last photos with my father… Clayton Bryan
Wedding reception in Connecticut at his parents… still wearing our funky wedding attire!
Our wedding rings… I married using my grandmothers wedding band… which he later replaced with a heart, diamond and ruby, scrollwork band that came out one valentine’s Day.
Stay tuned for Week 10… Bachelor Uncle
Continue reading 2019: 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks over HERE!
To read more Family Stories… click HERE.
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