The last document…. I swear. And I have it (sorta).

Finding marriage applications for both my parents and grandparents was easy enough. I called the county clerks of the locations where both weddings occurred and I was able to simply request the documents. The marriage license application for my great-grandparents (circa 1924), was a little more difficult and it is officially the only document that doesn’t exist.

Or doesn’t anymore…

The Maryland State Archives sent me a letter and a refund of $35.00 for the search fee, citing that the document is not kept at the MSA. They recommended that I find the document at the county court (a phone call I already made months ago and swear I mentioned it in the letter to the MSA).

So, for a whopping $0.44 cents, I sent a letter to the Allegheny County Maryland County Clerk’s office and explained my situation. They sent me a letter back describing what had happened:

“We have received your request for a copy of the marriage application… However, our office has only retained scanned images of marriage applications from the year 1938 to present. Two fires and a formerly musty basement, where the old records were kept, claimed the older applications. Therefore, unfortunately, we are unable to furnish the information you are requesting…”

Haha, the basement claimed the documents… like it was the kracken or something.

But this isn’t entirely terrible news. The consulate excepts letters of no records (LNR) for the naturalization certificate, perhaps the most important document. Since it is debatable that marriage application licenses are required are even required, and also because I have the Marriage Certificate, I’m going to assume that I have all it will require to confidently say that:


To recap, I have:

  • 7 birth certificates
  • 3 death certificates
  • 3 marriage certificates
  • 2 marriage license applications
  • 1 naturalization certificate
  • 1 divorce certificate

A total of 17 documents and the product of 10 moths of work! I deserve a drink.

Tomorrow, I’ll be starting apostilles. It’s all downhill from here!

Total cost of this step: -$35.00 (returned check) + $0.44 postage

Total cost so far: $220.11