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Friday, January 8, 2010

Finding a Marriage Record in Oklahoma



Juanita's Question:
My gr grandmother was first married in Ohio in 1875, later moving to Iowa where her husband died in early 1882. I lost track of her after that until recently when I found her on the 1910 Creek Co. Oklahoma census, town of Sapulpa, with a new husband. She indicated they'd been married 8 years. They were not Indian.

I'm trying to find a record of this marriage which I suspect occurred in Indian Territory. Can anyone give me a clue about where to look? I checked the District Court in Muskogee OK which I understand is the repository of marriages for Creek Co. before Statehood (1907) but was advised they had no record.

Her name: Clara (Stidger) HAMPTON. Her 2nd husband, according to the census, James TOLE. I know nothing more about him, except I found both Clara and James Tole died in Kansas City MO. I have copies of their death certificates, but need date and place of their marriage.

Olive Tree Answer: Dear Juanita - You have done your homework as far as Oklahoma is concerned, but we need to take a step back. An awful lot can happen in 18 years.

It is important that we find Clara (and James) in the 1900 census. There is nothing which decrees that, because they are in Creek County in 1910, that they were married there eight years previously. Clara may have been living with a brother or sister or an inlaw. Check for those siblings of hers, and her first husband's. I use the census records on
Ancestry.com but Footnote,comicon also has many online.

You might find James in the 1900 census and via city directories. Just remember that the directory information is up to a year old, there being no laser printers or corner Office Max stores about.

You did not mention her first husband: I will assume that he was not receiving a Civil War pension. If he had been, check to see if there was a widow's pension. (There will be addresses for Clara if she had applied.) Ancestry.com has Civil War Pensions online. Also check Footnote,comicon for their military records.

While you are following her siblings and those of Mr. Hampton, look for obituaries or social notes for them in local newspapers for those years 1882 - 1910 where Clara is "missing." There might be a mention of "and sister Clara Hampton of Battle Creek Michigan" or "Mrs. Kleidinghopper held a tea for her sister, Mrs. Clara Hampton of Dallas." Your best newspaper resource is probably GenealogyBank.com or NewspaperArchive.com

Lastly, you may want to refer to my Ancestor Marriage Record Finder for more ideas on where to hunt for that elusive record.

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