Shared Photo: Charles Melville and Hattie Gibson Palmer

+9 votes

I am befuddled by this marriage record. It says that Charles M Palmer and Hattie Gibson were married in 1889. Yet, in the 1900 Census the couple has 3 living children and declares they have been married ten years. In the 1910 Census, they declare they have been married 20 years. Plus, in this census, one of their children, Edward E. Palmer, is the same as appears as informant in Charles Melville's death certificate. There must be two Charles M Palmers and Hattie Gibsons.  

I wanted to share this family photo of Hattie Palmer with the community. Location: Christ Episcopal, Williamsport, Lycoming, PA. Date: 10 Dec 1889.
Click here for the image details page or here for the full-sized version (7394 x 5620).

WikiTree profile: Hattie Palmer
in Photos by Alexandra Florimonte G2G6 Mach 2 (20.3k points)
recategorized by Dorothy Barry

2 Answers

+4 votes
As strange as it seems, there is most likely two or more couples with the names Charles Palmer and Hattie Gibson. I have experienced this in my own research. Good luck finding the proper couple's records!
by J Steinbach G2G6 Mach 3 (34.9k points)
Yes, J Steinbach: We have had couples with the same names before, but always separated by a generation. I think a clue for me that it might not be the record of my ancestors is that this couple was married in the Episcopal Church and most of my own Palmer ancestors were Methodists! Of course, it could have been by request of the bride, but still...

Thanks for your comment!
I have since found out that this IS the correct couple. Reaching out to another family researcher and to GEDcom has helped me sort it out. Charles Melville Palmer DID become a member of the Episcopal church because of his wife's affiliation. It is one of those lovely insights into our ancestors' pasts; to me, that makes this work wonderful!
+3 votes
What am I missing?  If the couple were married at the end of 1889 (Dec), and then if the 1900 census was in the Spring of 1900, they would have been married 10 years and at the same time in 1910, it would be 20 years.
by Ruth McGettigan G2G1 (1.8k points)
Ruth McGettigan, you are so right! I have made a simple math error and am pretty embarrassed right now!  I went from 1889 to 1900 in one year. Big D'UH on my part. Thanks for sorting me out.

If they are one and the same, and she was Episcopalian, it might explain why he wasn't included in information about other family members. They were Methodists. Why does that matter? Well, an example from the mid-1960s: my grandmother (a Methodist) told me the Lutherans "were too much like Catholics" and disapproved strongly of anyone in the family going to that church. Wouldn't the Episcopalians also have fallen into that category? There was a lot of religious mistrust back then. Everyone of my ancestors was one of the protestant sects that found religious freedom in America. Until the 20th century, that is.

When my father's older brother (Methodist) was married to a Ukrainian Catholic woman around 1940, her parents refused to attend the wedding. It took five years, a grandchild, and perhaps the War (WW II) to turn them around. My parents were the younger brother and younger sister (respectively) of the first couple, and my grandparents attended their wedding in 1945.

Thanks again for pointing out my math error!

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