One thing that's been on my mind lately is when my great-grandparents, Fred McRae and Maude Monroe, got married.
Since Fred was a native and lifelong resident of Brockton, Massachusetts and Maude had grown up in that city for most of her life, I always assumed that's the city they married in. But I never called or went to the Brockton City Clerk's office to confirm it because they had created a search fee a few years ago where they charge you in order for them to search their records. And whether or not a record was found, they kept the search fee. I didn't want to go there, pay them money to search for a record, only to find out it's not there and lose my money for nothing. Plus, even if they did find the record, it costs $20 for a certified copy. (Years ago, it used to only cost $5).
But today, I decided to take a chance and call them, hoping I would get someone who was pleasant and helpful or at least sympathetic. I called, asked how much a copy of a record costs (sadly, it's still $20), and then asked if she could confirm if the marriage record was there. I could tell she was hesitant at first but she eventually did. I gave her the names and date, she put me on hold, and then came back after a couple minutes and told me that the record was indeed there!
She told me that Fred and Maude were married on May 29, 1920 in Brockton, Massachusetts. After getting over my excitement at having the date, I looked at it for a moment and remembered that Maude was born in July of 1902. I realized that Maude was seventeen when she married (and Fred would have twenty-eight as he was born on May 10, 1892). This was interesting as one of my assumptions about the marriage has always been that Maude was eighteen when it took place.
The year of marriage being 1920 is very helpful to me because now, instead of having to spend $20 on a copy of the marriage record at the Brockton City Clerk's office, I should be able to get a copy for 50¢ at the Massachusetts State Archives.
So now that I have a marriage year, I must, besides get a copy of the actual marriage record, return to Brockton Public Library at some point soon to see if anything was published in the local newspaper regarding the marriage.