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Gottfried Hann’s 1891 Marriage License

Gottfried Hann’s 1891 Marriage License is today’s Treasure Chest Thursday post.
Of course, it’s not just great-grandfather Gottfried’s marriage license but also my Sweden great-grandmother Anna Larsdotter’s license as well. And the reason why it’s in my Treasure Chest is that this document and his death certificate are the only documents that prove Gottfried Hann ever existed.

My mother recently unearthed a Marquette County, Michigan, marriage license for Godfrey Hamm and Annie Larson from her family stash (above). And I almost wept to see that he actually existed in a real tangible record. Gottfried Hann is my brickiest of brick walls. I know he’s from Austria, probably from the Tyrolean region, and that he was born in 1861.

And that’s it – the sum total of family knowledge. His daughter, my grandmother, was a posthumous child, born in December of 1896, two months after her father died at the age of 35 in Chicago.

I used the FamilySearch online database of Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925, and Godfrey Haun and Annie Larson’s record is there (#101), but it has a line drawn through their names.

Gottfried Hann's 1891 Marriage LicenseMost puzzling in light of the counter-signed, sealed, and embossed marriage license at top. So I wrote to Marquette County, Michigan, and they had no record of the marriage, even though I had a numbered license.

So I’m treasuring Gottfried Hann’s 1891 marriage license. My ongoing hunt from the mysterious Mr. Hamm Haun Hann? To be continued this Surname Saturday right here at Sassy Jane Genealogy. See you then!

Update: a brick wall has fallen, not in Austria, but Romania. Genealogy happy dance!

By |5 Aug 2010|Hann|4 Comments

About the Author:

Nancy Loe has an MA in American History and an MLS in Library Science and Archives. She has appeared on PBS’s American Experience, at Rootstech, SCGS Jamboree, and state and regional genealogy conferences. Her website was featured in Family Tree Magazine's “Social Media Mavericks: 40 to Follow.”


  1. Carol 5 August 2010 at 6:35 AM

    My experience with records such as this Michigan marriage tells me that for some reason, the Priest did not return the license, signed, sealed and such to the county clerk. The line through the record would support such a thought, as all the information about the return, the date, the witnesses, etc., are MIA.

    My next research activity would be to see if you can find the church this Priest served, and see if they have church/marriage records. The record, might, you can hope, contain his parent’s names.

    If it were me, I would be RUNNING to find church records! LOL

    Good luck and what a wonderful find your mother made!

  2. Sassy Jane Genealogy 5 August 2010 at 6:39 PM

    I think you’re absolutely right, Carol. But imagine if they’d needed proof other than their own copy of the license.

    I’m not running, but flying to those church records. I’ll be in Michigan by the end of the month. I’ve just got to find more evidence of poor Gottfried.

  3. KC McAuley 9 August 2010 at 4:30 PM

    Hey Sassy Jane! So is the CA dept of vital records the slowest ever or is it usual to wait for MONTHS! Honestly, it took them a month to cash my check for my grandmother’s death cert. And now it will be another 12-14 weeks! ACK!

  4. Sassy Jane Genealogy 9 August 2010 at 4:44 PM

    Arnold probably furloughed everybody in that department.

    Cook County took five months – four from the time they cashed the check. And my father died in the meantime, before I could give him an answer. 🙁

    But when you’re back, we shall proceed with the mysterious Mabel.

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