A possible marriage lead?

For a long time, I have known that my great-grand aunt, Maria “Minnie” Bedina McCormack, was married in 1894 to Charles Eli Barnes. What I didn’t know was where and exactly when “Minnie” and Charles got married. I figured somewhere in Michigan because of Minnie’s and Charles’ background. Both were born and raised in Michigan [1][2]. Charles was a captain on the Great Lakes. I use Minnie instead of Maria is because that is what I found her to be called.

My possible marriage lead came to me when I was working on Minnie on FamilySearch.org. I had been working on adding some records to Minnie. Two of the last records that I found were indexes from the State of Michigan. One record had the data and another had the data and a picture of the actual index. Here below is a transcribed copy of the index [3] I obtain from FamilySearch;

Name: Charles E. Brown
Birth Date: 1868
Birthplace: Michigan
Age: 26
Spouse’s Name: Minnie B. Mccormack
Spouse’s Birth Date: 1869
Spouse’s Birthplace: Michigan
Spouse’s Age: 25
Event Date: 18 Jun 1894
Event Place: Au Sable, Iosco Co, Michigan
Father’s Name: Charles Barnes
Mother’s Name: Emeline Wood
Spouse’s Father’s Name: Martin Mccormack
Spouse’s Mother’s Name: Kate Steele
Race: White
Marital Status:
Previous Wife’s Name:
Spouse’s Race: White
Spouse’s Marital Status:
Spouse’s Previous Husband’s Name:
Indexing Project (Batch) Number: M73797-8
System Origin: Michigan-EASy
GS Film number: 963406
Reference ID: 37 p61


There’s a lot of data there. Let me start by telling you what does NOT match versus what does match because the second list is much longer than the first. The first thing that doesn’t match is the last name of the person at the beginning of the record. It is given as BROWN. Even in the recorded index below, the name appears to be BROWN. The second thing that doesn’t match is Minnie’s age. It appears to be 25. The date on file that I have for her is 16 Apr 1867 [1]. The date from the index, if correct, would have her born about 1869. There is an apparent discrepancy of about two years. The third piece of data that doesn’t match what I have is the first name of Minnie’s father. The index has it as Martin. About 99% of the records that I have found on him state his first name as Michael. There are a few instances however where Michael uses a middle initial of M. This index would be the first instance of the appearance of Michael’s middle name.

Minnie and Charles are the fourth couple down. I also have a jpg of the index [4];

Index including the marriage of Minnie McCormack and Charles E. Barnes.

Index including the marriage of Minnie McCormack and Charles E. Barnes.

What these two records give me is a firm date that Minnie and Charles got married and the first possible instance of the use of Michael’s elusive middle name. I don’t know if sending off a marriage request form to the State of Michigan would help me any but it is worth a try. One thing that the jpg file shows me that the transcribed file doesn’t give me is the names of the witnesses to the marriage. The first name is Minnie’s older brother, Henry McCormack. The second is Mrs. M. McCormack. I am guessing that this could be Minnie’s mother, Catherine (or Kate). Then again, it could be Henry’s first wife, Minnie Van Wormer. The marriage certificate or record that I get from the State of Michigan might tell me just who Mrs. M. McCormack actually was. Or it might not.

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you learned something!


1. Michigan, Department of Health, death certificate (State) no. 69477 & (local) no. 238, (11 Dec 1963), Maria “Minnie” Bedina McCormack, Vital Records Section, Lansing.
2. Ashtabula, Ashtabula County, Ohio, State of Ohio Department of Health, death Certificate no. 71329, 20 Dec 1941, Charles Barnes.
3. “Michigan, Marriages, 1822-1995,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/FCXG-9MR : accessed 23 February 2015), Charles E. Brown and Minnie B. Mccormack, 18 Jun 1894; citing reference 37 p61; FHL microfilm 963,406.
4. “Michigan, Marriages, 1868-1925,” index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/NQ39-Q9C : accessed 23 February 2015), Charles E Brown and Minnie B. Mccormack, 18 Jun 1894; citing Au Sable, Iosco, Michigan, v 2 p 286 rn 37, Department of Vital Records, Lansing; FHL microfilm 2,342,499.


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