Updated: Oct 9
Documents and records provide some very intriguing information about couples in Jeff and Polly's family. Sometimes, it is not always a marriage record that provides the proof of marriage and the records can sometimes conflict with other records.
Ephraim and Anna McKinney Musick Bundy* (Jeff's great grandparents) had their family in Virginia. Their first child, Mary, was born about 1802; George (Jeff's grandfather) on 6 Jan 1804; Margaret "Peggy" in 1805; and Jeremiah about 1809. By 1824, Ephraim and Annie had moved to Pike County, Kentucky, with some of their adult children. There, on 28 Nov 1830, they were married by their son-in-law, Ferrell Evans, after Ferrell and their son George posted their marriage bond.
Why did they wait 28 years after their first child to be married? One has to look at the records of the October Term of the Pike County Circuit Court, p. 301, in which Ephraim Hatfield and Anna Bunda were charged, along with other Pike County couples, with adultery. In the 1831 April Term of the Court, p. 309, the indictment was discontinued "they having married."**
While we don't know the exact date of the marriage of George and Nancy Jane Whitt (Jeff's grandparents), the will executed by George on 9 Dec 1882, left property to "my wife Nancy Hatfield."***
Jeff and Polly's own marriage documents have created difficulty for genealogists. Many use the date of 3 Oct 1896, based on the date in the West Virginia Memoranda of Marriage
License Issued (shown below). However, all family records, including those by their children, TC Hatfield and Katherine Langley Hatfield Scott, and their family Bible show their date of marriage to be 8 Oct 1896. This probably reflects a difference in the date the license was issued and the actual date they were married. We have not found a recorded record of when they were actually married, but we know they and their children considered it to be October 8, as reflected in the Family Bible. (Note that while other documents and her gravestone spell her name Polly, in the Family Bible it is spelled Pollie.)
Jeff and Polly's children, for the most part did not stray far from Blackberry Creek in Pike County to be married. As Dovil Scott once said, "We didn't kill the fatted calf--we just got married." Generally, they told Polly they were getting married, but Jeff found out at the breakfast table or at work. Jeanette, who frequently had to chaperone her younger sisters, told Jeff at breakfast that Melda had spent the night with Orville--omitting, for the moment, the detail that they were married. At work in 1922, Jeff asked where Adam Norman was. Informed that Adam had gone to get married, Jeff could infer that it was to LeEttie and she would not be home that night. Guy and Lilly intended to keep their marriage a secret until she completed high school, but that idea only lasted a few hours.
(Clockwise: Bob and Virginia; Orville and Melda; TC and Opal; Guy and Lilly; Dovil and Katherine; Lullis and Bill; Pearl and Estil; Jeanette and Anthony; and Adam and LeEttie.)
TC and Opal "eloped" to Inez in the neighboring county (and his name is misspelled in the Marriage Register). Robert and Virginia were married in Pikeville, some 30 miles from home. Estil and Pearl were married by Estil's grandfather, Anderson Hatfield, while LeEttie and Adam were married by local minister, John D. Rife. Ester Hopkins married Jeanette and Anthony, Melda and Orville, and Katherine and Dovil at Goody, Kentucky.
The siblings served as witnesses to the marriage of each other. For example, LeEttie and Adam had LeEttie's brother, Earl, as a witness; Jeanette and Guy witnessed Melda and Orville's wedding; and Guy and Orville were witnesses for Katherine and Dovil's wedding. Guy and Katherine also married siblings when Katerine married Dovil Scott and Guy married Lilly Scott.
In Kentucky, the marriage records listed the occupation of the husband. Estil, TC, and Bob were teachers (all moved to other occupations as their families grew); Anthony was in "trucking"; Guy and Orville were miners; Dovil was in "railroading"; and Bill was doing "office work."
Jeanette and Bill were each married in Virginia for their second marriages (Jeanette to LeeRoy Smith and Bill to Imogene Hager Adkins). The Virginia marriage information is much richer than the early data in Kentucky. Virginia records include actual birthdays, as opposed to the age at marriage in Kentucky. We also learn about their level of education--Jeanette completed the 8th grade and Bill completed high school.
Whatever the variances in the documentation of their marriages, Jeff and Polly's children found their mates and started their families. With the exception of TC and Bill, they were also neighbors, as they raised their families on Blackberry Creek.
*Anna "Annie" had a storied life. Presumably born in North Carolina about 1755, she married David Musick, who was killed by Shawnee Indians in 1792 in Russell County, Virginia. She and her five children were kidnapped by the Indians after David's death. Ephraim Hatfield was among the men who followed the Indians and rescued Annie and her children. At some point after David's death and before she married Ephraim, she married a Mr. Bundy and had a child by him.
**Love, Opal, privately printed in 2008, p. 324-325.
***Kentucky, Will and Probate Records, 1774-1989, for George Hatfield, Ancestry.com.