I have a marriage contract/certificate that I'm a little confused by and was hoping for some help/clarification on.

Mamie Price was born on 10 November 1875 in Wisconsin. Birth date is from death record.

I know to get married in the state of Wisconsin as of today the ages are 18 without parental consent and 16 with parental consent.

On 21 February 1895 Mamie Price was contracted to marry Frank Raymond. She was age 15 at the time of the contract and he was age 19.

On 15 September 1895 at the age of 16 Mamie Price married Frank Raymond. Underneath the "any additional circumstances" question the Methodist priest wrote "19 years old, married with consent of parents."

Should I take the priest's comments to mean Frank Raymond was of legal age at age 19, and Mamie Price was married with consent of parents? That's what I'm assuming the priest meant but I would prefer other opinions over assumptions.

  • Is there any chance that you can edit an image into your question to provide more context? It may help to figure whether the 19 years clearly lines up with Frank or could be referring to an inflation of Mamie's age.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Sep 27, 2014 at 7:11

1 Answer 1


A state's age of consent for marriage (without parents' permission) today is not necessarily the same as the age of consent for marriage (without parents' permission) a century ago. My husband's grandmother and grandfather were married in New York City in the 1940's when he was "just" 20, not yet 21, and so he had to bring his father with him to prove he had permission!

In other words, the priest's comments about parental consent may well have applied to the groom, too, not just the bride. You'll need to look at Wisconsin law some more to be sure, though.

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