Was my grandfather illegitimate?

+3 votes
373 views
Cannot find a marriage record for my great-grandparents, Rossie Blackman and Flossie Capps. Rossie was born 1899 in North Carolina, Flossie was born 1902 in North Carolina. They had a son, George Ruffin Blackman, born 1929 in North Carolina. But I have never found a marriage license for them, making me ask if he was illegitimate.
in Genealogy Help by Derek Blackman G2G6 Mach 1 (19.2k points)
retagged by Michael Stills

5 Answers

+2 votes
I'm going to assume a few things -- one, you checked at both the state and county levels? Two, you used the SOUNDEX search in case of alternate spellings? Have you located George Ruffin Blackman's birth certificate? It may give you a clue as to the marital status of the parents. (i.e. she is listed by the Blackman name in one place and her birth name in another). Were they of a specific religion? Like Catholic parishes sometimes have records. Sometimes the cemetery they are buried in can be a clue. Is there is any other issue such as recent immigration status that may have complicated the filing?  Check plus or minus 5 years -- sometimes couples didn't have the money for filing a license, and the community considered them "married" as they had stood in front of them and shared vows even if it wasn't "legal".

 Is there a possibility they married in another state? My own grandparents traveled the half day to Arkansas in 1944 cause Missouri had a three day wait period and Arkansas didn't make you wait at all and they wanted to marry before he got shipped out.  So I would never find them in the Missouri records, even though my mother was born in St Louis Missouri in 1945.
by Katrina Whitaker G2G6 Mach 3 (35.0k points)
+2 votes

1930 census showed Rossie married but he was living with his parents, not his wife.

1930 United States Federal Census

View Image View Record

Name Rossie Blackman
Age in 1930 30
Birth Year abt 1900
Gender Male
Race White
Birthplace North Carolina
Marital Status Married
Relation to Head of House Son
Home in 1930 Selma, Johnston, North Carolina
Map of Home Selma, Johnston, North Carolina
Dwelling Number 73
Family Number 75
Age at First Marriage 28
Attended School No
Able to Read and Write Yes
Father's Birthplace North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace North Carolina
Able to Speak English Yes
Occupation Laborer
Industry Farm
Class of Worker Wage or salary worker
Employment Yes
Household Members
Name Age
John W Blackman 50
Avery E Blackman 54
Rossie Blackman 30
Clair Cruch 3 (niece)
by Patricia Stockley G2G6 Pilot (123k points)
+2 votes


The 1940 census showed Rossie as divorced and still living with his parents.

 

1940 United States Federal Census

 

Name R B Blachman
Age 39
Estimated Birth Year abt 1901
Gender Male
Race White
Birthplace North Carolina
Marital Status Divorced
Relation to Head of House Son
Map of Home in 1940 Selma, Johnston, North Carolina
Inferred Residence in 1935 Selma, Johnston, North Carolina
Residence in 1935 Same House
Resident on farm in 1935 Yes
Sheet Number 11B
Occupation Renter
Attended School or College No
Highest Grade Completed Elementary school, 7th grade
Hours Worked Week Prior to Census 60
Class of Worker Working on own account
Weeks Worked in 1939 52
Income Other Sources Yes
Household Members
Name Age
John W Blachman 64
Eva Blachman 64
R B Blachman 39
Chloe Cruch 13
by Patricia Stockley G2G6 Pilot (123k points)
+2 votes

U.S., Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014

Name Flossie Blackman
SSN 242-40-8593
Last Residence Raleigh, 27604, Wake, North Carolina, USA
Born 3 Nov 1902
Died Dec 1985
State (Year) SSN issued North Carolina - Before 1951
by Patricia Stockley G2G6 Pilot (123k points)
+2 votes

On the 1930 census Flossie was living with her parents and it showed her as widowed.

 

1930 United States Federal Census

 

Name Flossie Caps
Age in 1930 26
Birth Year abt 1904
Gender Female
Race White
Birthplace North Carolina
Marital Status Widowed
Relation to Head of House Daughter
Home in 1930 Selma, Johnston, North Carolina
Map of Home Selma, Johnston, North Carolina
Dwelling Number 27
Family Number 29
Attended School No
Able to Read and Write Yes
Father's Birthplace North Carolina
Mother's Birthplace North Carolina
Able to Speak English Yes
Occupation Farm helper
Industry General Farm
Class of Worker Unpaid worker, member of the family
Employment Yes
Household Members
Name Age
George R Caps 53
William Caps 68
Annie Caps 41
Flossie Caps 26
Edward R Caps 8
Lee H Caps 3
George Caps 1
by Patricia Stockley G2G6 Pilot (123k points)
I wouldn't be comfortable assuming that a record didn't exist just because i couldn't find it.  There could be all kinds of other reasons.  Of course, you can't use as a source something that you can't find -- you just can't say anything except where you have unsuccessfully looked so far.  Good luck in finding it someday!

PS -if you can find the actual divorce record, that could be interesting...

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