On this day: Orville Garrison & Naomi Carman wed

Marriage license of OW Garrison & NE Carman
My grandparents’ Elkton Marriage License (click to view full size)

On July 24, 1937, my grandparents Orville W. Garrison & Naomi E. Carman were married in Elkton, Maryland. My grandmother told me this, but unfortunately I did not know enough about Elkton to ask for more of the story. It turns out that Elkton was known as the place Philadelphians went to when they eloped or otherwise wanted a quick marriage. Unlike neighboring states, Maryland did not have a waiting period for marriage at the time.

The Boundary Stones blog has a brief overview of Elkton as the place for quickie marriages. According to that article “couples didn’t have to wait to use their marriage license in Maryland, but they did have to have a church service as part of the ceremony,” which might explain why my (as far as I know) irreligious grandparents were married by a Baptist minister. (My grandfather’s family were mostly Methodists. My grandmother’s were a mish-mash of various Protestant denominations, none of which were Baptist, and Catholics.)

I do know that my grandparents had waited to get married because they had both been out of work due to the Depression. So, perhaps after they got jobs, they just couldn’t wait? I do know it was not a “shotgun wedding,” as my mother was born a little less than a year later. It was also not due to the rashness of youth as described in the blog article above. My grandmother was 32 and my grandfather was 29, both had worked since adolescence and my grandfather had already been out west and returned, so they were not young people “first experiencing freedom.” I will probably never know why my grandparents ran off to Elkton to get married instead of waiting 48 hours to get married in Philadelphia, but it’s interesting to know they were a part of east coast history.



Maryland. Cecil County. Marriage Certificates. Clerk of the Circuit Court, Elkton. Orville W. Garrison & Naomi E. Carman, 1937.

Elkton, Maryland: The Quickie Wedding Capital of the East Coast,” by Krystle Kline. Boundary Stones: WETA’s Local History Blog, https://blogs.weta.org/boundarystones/.

On this day in 1815: Ayars-Severs marriage

On this day in 1815, my fifth great grandparents Addi Ayars and Mary Severs were married in Burlington County, New Jersey by Amos Pearce, Justice of the Peace.

Image of marriage book
Image from New Jersey, County Marriages, 1682-1956 on FamilySearch

Addi Ayars was the great-great grandson of Robert Ayars who settled in New Jersey by way of Rhode Island around 1705 and who was likely a Seventh Day Baptist, by far the most interesting religion I have found in my family tree to date.

Garrison – Ware Marriage 1899

First United Methodist Church marriages
Bridgeton, New Jersey

John Garrison & Mamie Ware marriage record
John Garrison & Mamie Ware marriage, 1899. Click to see full page.

Dec 13 1899

Groom: John S. Garrison
Residence: 163 Fayette St
Place of birth: USA
Occupation: Brass finisher
Age: 23

Bride: Mamie E. Ware
Residence: 741 Mt. Vernon, Camden, NJ
Place of birth: USA
Age: 25

Officiating Minister: Chas. H. Elder [not positive about last name]

Original Source Citation:
Historical Society of Pennsylvania (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania), First United Methodist Church marriages, Bridgeton, NJ, image 698, John S. Garrison & Mamie E. Ware; digital images, Ancestry.com. Pennsylvania, Historic Church and Town Records, 1708-1985 (http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2451 : accessed 14 March 2014).