Sunday, October 30, 2011

An Autumn Wedding

(This post was written for the 111th edition of the Carnival of Genealogy which is all about autumn weddings.)

I actually don't have that many ancestors who were married between September and November, and in the last 100 years the number is very small: two couples.  My great-grandparents, Joseph James Allen and Daisy May Croad were married in Jackson, Jackson, Michigan on 28 Oct 1921.

The other couple (again my great-grandparents), Gideon Gottlieb Berger and Georgiana Wellons were married in Yreka, Siskiyou, California on 29 Sep 1919.  The time was 11:59am.  The groom was just shy of 34, the bride 28.  The newspapers reported that they were married in the home of the bride, and that the officiating minister was a good friend of the groom.  The bride's mother and sister were the witnesses.  The groom's family wished them well, but did not make the trip from Oakland.  At the time, Gideon was the minister of the Methodist church in Sisson (now Mt. Shasta City).

Although the marriage was a long and happy one, apparently at least one person wasn't in favor of it at first.  When I interviewed my grandmother a few months ago she told me the story:  Georgia was working as a school teacher in Edgewood, where Gideon was a minister.  They met there and decided to marry not long after.  Georgia's best friend apparently didn't approve of Gideon (for whatever reason, though I believe it might have been because their courtship was rather short) and after they got married the two friends stopped speaking... until the friend married Georgia's brother.

Gideon G. Berger and Georgiana (Wellons) Berger
8 Oct 1948, Vallejo, CA
I've always thought of Gideon and Georgia as a pretty modern couple.  They were older than the norm at the time when they married.  They both were educated and had careers when they met.  They both had traveled and lived on their own away from their families and were self-sufficient.  In short, they were mature, independent people when they married and although they still had many years and experiences to look forward to, each had their own years and experiences to look back on.  I have to wonder if they had any idea that years later, their odd path would become the preferred one for most and the "new norm."

An interesting side note is that a year earlier Georgia and Gideon were living less than a mile from each other in Oakland, but their paths never crossed.  Gideon died in 1965, Georgia in 1985.  They were married 46 years.


  1. Thank you for sharing your great grandparent's wedding story in the COG. I really like the way you likened them to a modern day couple. I would not have considered that had you not mentioned it. Well done!

  2. I wonder if people didn't marry later in that generation. All of my grandparents were in their late twenties when they married around the same time as your grandparents. I enjoyed their story.

  3. What an interesting story. It's funny that her best friend didn't approve of the marriage and then married her brother. And it's too bad that the groom's parents didn't attend the wedding (but at least they wished the newlyweds well). I also find it interesting that the exact time of the marriage was written on the certificate. It's the first time I've ever seen that. Thanks for sharing their story.


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