|1938 Marriage License and Certificate|
Leonard E Griffith and Emma J Haitz
The 1938 marriage document for my great-aunt Emma J Haitz and Leonard E Griffith can be found in the Ohio, County Marriages, 1789-2013 database on Family Search. From it, I was able to learn several new pieces of information while it also raised a couple of questions.
I was not aware that Emma's husband was named Leonard. All I have ever seen or heard was Elwood. For this marriage license application, he stated his birthdate as February 7 and since he was 20 years old that previous February. He still resided in the town and was a truck driver there. His parents were Marion Griffith and Selma Shelton. It was his first marriage.
Emma J Haitz was about 5 years older than her husband according to this document. Her date of birth was December 7 and her 26th birthday was just around the corner from the time she and Elwood were granted the marriage license. I do not know what Emma's middle name was and finding out has been added to my To-Do list. Her parents were Joseph and Henrietta (Koehler) Haitz and she was a housekeeper, most likely helping her mother at their house in Ripley, Ohio. She had not been previously married.
Due to Leonard's age, the consent of his father was required and Marion's signature is below that of the couple's.
The Rev. Father Anthony Hoch of St. Michael Catholic Church in Ripley married the couple. His signature can be found on the bottom of the marriage certificate that was filed and recorded in probate court on December 22, 1938. Therein lies the big question I have about this marriage. The date that Father Anthony wrote on the marriage certificate is December 26, 1938, but how can a certificate be filed before the marriage was performed? Did Father Anthony make a mistake in writing the date? Was the marriage performed on November 26 instead of December? Writing the wrong month would be an easy mistake to make, especially if the calendar had already turned by the time Father Anthony had completed this form. It can be easily seen that he had already written Leonard's name where the date is indicated.
My plan is to try to find a wedding announcement in The Ripley Bee that will clear up the mystery when I can get a chance to take a road trip to Ohio. Until then, the question remains!