In my effort to join the DAR, I’ve spent quite a bit of time looking like I’m doing something. I contacted a local chapter. I created a spreadsheet to stay organized. You know – busy work. But I finally DID something that looks like something: I ordered a marriage record.
That’s no small feat for me. I am always reluctant to order records. Don’t ask me why. It can’t be the money because I don’t hesitate to shop online. In this case, though, I’m glad I hesitated.
My maternal grandparents married in Hagerstown, Maryland in 1922. Had they been thinking about what I would need 90 years later, they’d have gone down to the EUB Church in Shenandoah, Virginia to exchange their vows. Then their records would be available free at the Library of Virginia. But no, I have to search in Maryland.
Assuming Maryland would house records in the Archives like Virginia does, I Googled my way to the Maryland Archives. Certified marriage records are available for $35, non-refundable even if no record is found. Wow. In Virginia, a certified record is only $12. But Maryland isn’t Virginia.
I printed the form and started filling out the required information. Before I signed my check for $35, I decided to Google one more time, just to see if there were any other source. And ta da – I landed on the Hagerstown Circuit Court website. Certified copies of marriage records are $5.50. $5.50?!?! How did I not find this place in my first search?
Just to be certain I wasn’t dreaming, I called Hagerstown, and sure enough, the nice lady said they would indeed have marriage records for 1922. Score! Attention Hagerstown! The. Check. Is. In. The. Mail.
The $29.50 I saved will cover the cost of TWO – count’em TWO – Virginia records. Hmm, what shall I order next?