The 31 Dec 1814 marriage of Moses Ragan and Miss Polly Walker in Nelson, Kentucky, United States shown here states:

Know all men by these presents, that we Moses Ragan & Charles Walker are held and firmly bound unto the Commonwealth of Kentucky, in the sum of fifty pounds current money; to be paid to the said Commonwealth, to which payment well and truly to be made, we bind ourselves, our heirs, ex'ors and adm'ors, jointly and severally by these presents; sealed with our seals and dated this 01 day of Dec 1814 The condition of the above obligation is such, that if there is no lawful cause to obstruct a marriage, intended to be solemniaed shortly, between the above bound Moses Ragan & Miss Polly Walker daughter of Martha Walker then the above obligation to be void; else to remain in full force. Witness Ben Grayson Seal Moses Ragan Charles Walker

License: This is to certify that I am willing for a license to issue for the marriage of Moses Ragan to my daughter Polly Walker. Given under any law and seal this 31st day of Dec. 1814. Witness Charles Walker Susanna Remey? Seal: Martha Walker

Given that mother of Polly, Martha Walker, is listed in both documents, can I infer that the father of Polly, Mr. Walker, was deceased as of December 1814?

  • I think you should ask your spelling of "Susanna Remey" question separately.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Jan 1, 2016 at 2:10
  • 2
    Have you read the relevant statutes about marriage bonds in that place and time?
    – Jan Murphy
    Commented Jan 1, 2016 at 2:12
  • @PolyGeo I broke out Remey spelling to here.
    – WilliamKF
    Commented Jan 1, 2016 at 17:51
  • @JanMurphy Thanks for the good suggestion!
    – WilliamKF
    Commented Jan 1, 2016 at 17:52

1 Answer 1


Based on Jan Murphy's comment, I researched the statutes in place as to who would sign consent under the law and I found this article on RootsWeb, citing Kentucky Ancestry: a guide to genealogical & historical research by Roseann Reinmuth Hogan, 1992, p. 82-85, that states in part:


Beginning in 1799, the Kentucky General Assembly amended its 1798 act so that both parties had to have the consent of a parent/guardian to marry if either the bride or the groom was less than 21 years old. (This was the first time such was required.) This consent was usually filed as loose papers along with the bond and a copy of the license [as a result of this "filing system", many of these are no longer available today]. It listed the signer's relationship to the future bride/groom. If the parent was not the signer of the consent, the consent often mentioned that the bride or groom is the "son/daughter of" a named deceased. If the consent is signed by the mother of the party, it can generally be assumed that the father is deceased at the time of the proposed marriage.

So it would appear that since Polly Walker's mother signed that her father was very likely deceased at the time.

  • 1
    A friendly reminder: one source is not proof. You can infer from this that the parties accepting the mother's signature on the bond believed that the father was dead, or if they had knowledge to the contrary, were willing to look the other way.
    – Jan Murphy
    Commented Jan 1, 2016 at 18:34

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