John Smalley Marriage Proof

John Smalley Marriage

How I Found My 8th Great-grandparents Marriage Record

Through DNA testing I was able to connect my 2nd great-grandfather Charles Smalley to John Smalley/Smaley of Plymouth Colony. My cousins and I all found transcribed marriage records for John and an Ann Walden/Wallen. All the records stated that they married 29 Nov 1638 in Plymouth Colony. However, some records spelled her name Wallen, others Walden. Which way was it? As Good Genealogists, we all knew we needed to find an original document.

I had contacted Plymouth town for the records. They directed me to Plimouth Colony. The Colony directed me to the Town. Well that was not helpful.

I was planning a trip to Salt Lake and the Family History Library so I told my cousins I would try to find the original record. Well, after two weeks of fruitless searching on all the paid web sites at the library, scrolling through dozens of rolls of microfilm, looking through all possible books available, I came up empty…Nada, Zip, Rien, Nulla, Nichts.

Day Twelve, My Last and Final Day there: I tried one more roll of microfilm—Plymouth Colony Court Records (Governor Bradford’s Journal). I looked through the table of contents, found Marriages 1638 on page 199. Quickly I scrolled to page 199.

And There It Was! Clearly I could see that Ann’s last name was Walden with a “d.”

Of course, I did a Genealogy Happy Dance right there in the Library! I didn’t shout as that would have been unseemly, but I made a silent “YESSSS!” Immediately I took a photo of the record and e-mailed it to my cousins. A short while later I received an e-mail from Cousin James Smalley who said he was doing a Happy Dance in this office.

The moral of this story: Never give up. Try every possible record type.

Submitted by Barbara Johnson

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