15 May 2011

May 2011, Week 2: Marriage of John Huigens

My great-grandparents John HUIGENS and Mary FITZLER were married in Henry, Marshall Co., IL at St. Mary's Catholic Church. The priest was Father Carl Hout.  The only thing I'm not sure about is the exact date of the marriage. Back in the 1990s my mother got an abstracted Certificate of Record of Marriage from the Marshall County Clerk. That document gave the date of the wedding as 29 Jan 1884.

In 2006, I obtained a similar certificate from the same place. As you can see, the date listed on that one was 24 Jan 1884. To further complicate the issue, I found a marriage announcement in the microfilmed Henry newspaper from Feb 1884. The wedding date listed in that article was 1 Feb 1884.

So which date is correct?  I think that the 24/29 is a transcription error where a 4 was mistaken for a 9 or vice versa. I also thank that date is the date on which they obtained the license and not the actual date of the ceremony. The three dates fall on a Thursday, a Tuesday and a Saturday.  (Gotta love those on-line calendars for any month and year!)  I think it's more likely that the wedding was on Saturday, 2 Feb 1884.  Seeing the actual marriage license at the county courthouse will resolve the conflict. I was hoping to to find the license on the microfilmed Marshall Co. records at the Illinois Records and Archives Depository in Normal, IL. Unfortunately 1884 was one of the years that was not filmed.  Drat!

I was able to tie Fr. Hout to the specific church thanks to on-line transcripts of newspaper announcements for other Henry marriages in the 1880s here. St. Mary's was the German Catholic Church in Henry. Like many towns across the mid-west in the 1800s, Henry had two Catholic churches, one for the Irish and one for the Germans. That way both of the two main immigrant groups of the period could have homilies and hymns in their native language.

One of John and Mary's wedding gifts was a clock that my dad now owns.  This summer I'll get a picture of it.  It's wonderful to have something that ties back to an event from over 125 years ago.

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