Submitted by: Donald Hank
I just found out from a list member that marriage licenses were not required in the US until after the Civil War!
Does that mean great-great granddaddy was illegitimate?
I doubt it.
Maybe it is time to rethink the role of the State in marriage.
I know men who were fleeced out of their entire life savings by "family" court decisions after a very brief marriage. Could it be that "family" court and marriage laws have been co-opted by cultural Marxists in their fanatical zeal for "culture change"?
For most of Western history, marriage was a private contract between two families. Until the 16th-century, Christian churches accepted the validity of a marriage on the basis of a couple’s declarations. If two people claimed that they had exchanged marital vows—even without witnesses—the Catholic Church accepted that they were validly married.
State courts in the United States have routinely held that public cohabitation was sufficient evidence of a valid marriage. Marriage license application records from government authorities are widely available starting from the mid-19th century. Some are available dating from the 17th century in colonial America. But marriage licenses were not required until after the American Civil War. Marriage licenses from their inception have sought to establish certain prohibitions on the institution of marriage. These prohibitions have changed throughout history. In the 1920s, they were used by 38 states to prohibit whites from marrying blacks, mulattos, Japanese, Chinese, Indians, Mongolians, Malays or Filipinos without a state approved license. At least 32 nations have established significant prohibitions on same-sex marriage.