A Marriage Certificate from 1924 Leads to a Birth Record from 1864

Baptismal Record of Alvin Leslie Hill, 1864A while back, I created a Vital Records Checklist to catalog all the obvious records I had, and the ones I needed, to flesh out the most rudimentary data, the births, marriages, and deaths of my ancestors.

This led to my sending out a request to the Clerk of the Valley County, Nebraska Court (http://www.co.valley.ne.us/clerk.html) has sent my the marriage certificate for my grandparents, Helen Kjerstine JOHNSON and Ernest Melvin HILL.

The document confirms the relationship of Ernest Melvin HILL with Mary Jane SCOTT (his mother) and Alvin Leslie HILL (his father), and outside of census records, is the earliest document I have found that does this. (My grandfather was born in 1895, which was prior to birth registration in Nebraska, and he died in 1933, before Social Security Registration required folks to get delayed birth certificates.

Witnesses at the wedding included Helen’s maternal uncle, “W. B. Gregg” (William Blakeway GREGG) and Ernest’s brother Alfred L. HILL.

It’s curious to me if there was a reason that none of the three living parents of the couple (Nels JOHNSON, father of Helen, and Mary Jane and Alvin) were listed as witnesses. Of course, the form only asks for two witnesses. And these were an older couple (Helen was 30 and Ernest 29) at their first marriage, but one wonders.

I believe I have a newspaper account of the marriage. I would like to know for sure whether the parents attended. I assume they did, as they all lived nearby, but, I am not sure at this point.

The document provides the following dates:

  • 12 November 1924 – Application for Marriage License
  • 22 November 1924 – Marriage License
  • 24 November 1924 – Marriage Certificate

This appears on a single page in what is no doubt a marriage book. However, the Clerk did not clarify the actual volume. There is a notation at the top, “55” and the page is pre-printed with “75,” so perhaps this is:

Marriage Record (Application for Marriage License; Marriage License; Marriage Certificate) of Ernest Melvin Hill and Helen Kjerstine Johnson, 24 November 1924; Valley County Clerk, Ord, Nebraska; Marriage Book 55:75.

(I may have to call them, or research further. Until then, I will add a question mark at the book number.)

Meanwhile, take another look at my Vital Records Checklist, I wondered if I could find anything about the birth of Alvin Leslie HILL. Less than five minutes later, I had the kind of instant gratification on Ancestry that peppers their television commercials:

“Alvin Leslie, son of Edward John Hill of Shefford and Alice Welch, his wife, was born the twenty fourth day of July one thousand eight hundred and sixty four and was baptised on the thirty first day of December by me. David Lindsay.”

Entry for Alvin Leslie Hill, 1864; Québec Vital and Church Records (Drouin Collection), 1621-1967 [database on-line]. Ancestry.com: Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2008.Original data: Gabriel Drouin, comp. Drouin Collection. Montreal, Québec, Canada: Institut Généalogique Drouin.

A two-fer! I now have a slight majority of the vital records (18 of 33) that I listed from my father, grandparents, and great grandparents.

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