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Occupation: Lady

May 30, 2008

This morning I went out on errands, and after they were completed I decided to visit the downtown shops, and, of course, my favorite place in Shamokin’s business district–the library.

I headed there after a mostly dull trip to two odds and ends shops. At the second one I missed a trunk of 1940’s newspapers by ten minutes, nothing was left but a piece of the classifieds. After that disappointment, I wandered about the smoky junk shop for a few minutes, and, finding nothing remarkable, I proceeded to the library. I did not expect to find much there in terms of my research, as I’ve read about 80 percent of their historical materials, but there was something I needed to look up, and I enjoy being there anyway.

After checking some minor matters in a book of burial records, I went to the file cabinet where miscellaneous records on microfilm are kept, hoping that there might be something in those registers, indexes, records and dockets that I hadn’t seen yet.

Well, there were birth records, tax records up to the 1840’s, minutes of the county commissioners or something of that nature from about the same time; and marriage license dockets from the 1890’s. In that collection, there would be, of course, records of the marriage of M.H. Kulp and Sarah Detweiler, but I thought, why would I need to read that, I know what it says.

However, I had nothing better to do, so I brought out the reel and set it up at the microfilm reader. After scanning the reel’s index which preceded the actual records and required especial attention to muddle through the 19th century clerk’s handwriting, I finally found the page number and scrolled up to it.

The first few lines of the marriage license was basically what I had expected–names, parents’ names, where born, age, etc. Then, “Date of former marriages of woman, if any, and to whom.”

This of course mentioned W.C. Detweiler, Sarah’s first husband, and the date that they were married, August 11, 1887. This I’d known, but two lines down:

Name and date of death or divorce of woman’s former husband,
WC Detwiler October 24 1890

I have been looking for this date for almost as long as I’ve been researching the Kulp family at all, and finally I’ve located it in one of the more ordinary places it could have been. Needless to say, this will open up paths such as obituary searches, and of course it is an important detail for reference.

And, toward the end of the record was an interesting line which, for me, summed up the grand old era of this 19th century marriage:

Occupation of man, Lumberman
Occupation of woman, Lady

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