Sunday, August 9, 2015

Genealogical Serendipity: Marriage in the Morning

I absolutely believe in genealogical serendipity. Every now and then, that thing you’ve been looking for, that record you wanted, or maybe even something that hadn’t even crossed your mind in a while – it’ll just pop up in front of you! I think it’s because – and I truly believe this – our ancestors want to be found.

Well this morning, I woke up and, like I do every day, started tooling around on the interwebs, visiting some of my favorite sites. At least once a week, I check out Dick Eastman’s super useful blog, Eastman’s Online Genealogy Newsletter, for the news, notes and updates he is always posting. So today, as I’m scrolling through, I come across an announcement about the newest updates to’s collections. Top of the list: Alabama County Marriages 1809 – 1950.

Well, hey, I know my paternal roots are in Alabama, let me just go check this out. Cool, calm, and collected. Used to being disappointed.

Get to their website, type in the name of the man I believe is my Dad’s maternal great-grandfather, Solomon Harris, and hit Search.

Voi – frickin la! Top 2 results (out of 484): Solomon Harris’s marriage to my great-great-grandmother Ardenia Jackson (alternately listed elsewhere as Ardelia, Adelia, Adenia, etc.) in Montgomery, Alabama!!

[Me→Dad→Grandma→Beatrice (Harris) Johnson/West→Ardenia (Jackson) & Solomon Harris], accessed 9 Aug 2015

The actual images of the records are not online yet, but basic details have been transcribed, so here’s what I’ve now been given:

"Alabama, County Marriages, 1809-1950," database with images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 9 August 2015), Solomon Harris and Adelia Jackson, 03 Dec 1914; citing Montgomery, Alabama, United States, county courthouses, Alabama; FHL microfilm .

And if I get super impatient and don’t want to wait for them to eventually load the original scanned documents, I now know the microfilm information in case I want to order it directly.

This is great: I have more confirmation that they were living in Montgomery, AL in the 19teens, I have another confirmation of Ardenia's surname, and pretty solid proof (though I need to see the hard copy to be fully sure) that they were actually married -  oh, look, a date! And frankly, it's great to have another record about Solomon - he's been difficult to find! 

My genealogy coup for the day, and it happened before 10am! Time to update my database…