I am tracking the marriage certificate of a couple who lived in NYC and who reportedly ran away in Maryland to get married between 1940 and 1945. NYC marriage indexes are available and it is true they are not on there, on any borough.
Before I look more into Maryland (records are not available online) I would like to understand why they would have gone to Maryland.
A few key points:
- The groom had been married before and was divorced
- The groom was 25 years older than the bride (45 vs 20)
- The groom was not embraced by the bride's family because of different religions
I know that in the 20's and 30's Maryland was the Vegas of the North East because there was no waiting time between getting the license and ceremony and everything could be done in half a day, Elkton being the go-to town for this. However this stopped in 1938 when a law was passed implementing the 48 hours waiting between license and ceremony, and they got married after this.
I believe the groom would not have been able to re-marry in NY because he was divorced and probably at fault. That explains why going to another state to marry again, but why Maryland and why not Delaware, New Jersey or Pennsylvania?
Any pointers as to why Maryland remained a destination for people to re-marry would be very helpful.