The Saturday Night Genealogy Fun challenge posed this week by Randy Seaver was to determine how many ancestors celebrated golden wedding anniversaries and, of those, which couple was married the longest.
I have to admit it was a bit of a sobering experience to look at my family tree, which fared better than my husband’s, and realize how many ancestors died young. Many died of ailments that are very treatable today. For example, my great grandfather, Charles Adams, died in his 40’s of a strep infection a few years before penicillin was invented.
On a happier note, I have six ancestral couples who celebrated their golden wedding anniversaries:
The most recent of these ancestors are two sets of my 2x great grandparents:
- John Scerbak married Maria Patorai in 1861. Maria died in 1912, a month before their anniversary so they were married 51 years.
- William Coleman married Sarah Crouse in 1855. William died in 1905, just after their anniversary so they had just completed 50 years of marriage.
Next, I have 3 sets of 3x great grandparents:
3. Daniel Adams married Sarah Parker in 1836. Daniel died in 1893 before their anniversary, so they were married for 56 years.
4. John Stewart married Catherine Carlisle in 1814. John died in 1869 so they were married for 55 years.
5. Thomas Coleman married Mary Elizabeth Astle in 1830. Thomas died in 1888, again just before their anniversary, so they were married for 57 years.
I have only one pair of 4x great grandparents who celebrated 50 years together:
6. William Tarbox married Judith Haskell in 1802. William died in 1860, before their anniversary, so they were married for 57 years.
Therefore, in my ancestral lines, I have no couples who made it to 60+ years. Thomas Coleman and Mary Elizabeth Astle were married the longest, beating out Daniel and Sarah by a few months. They were married for exactly 57 years, 10 months and 17 days.
I mentioned that my lines fared better than my husband’s. His family was decimated by illness, war and a few divorces. He has only two sets of ancestors who made it to the 50 year mark and, ironically, one of those sets is his parents.
- Edward Stufflebean and Ruby Sturgell were married in 1938. Ed died in 2002, a week after their 64th wedding anniversary.
The other pair of ancestors who passed 50 years were:
2. Isaac Riddle and Catherine Johnson married in 1824. I don’t have death dates for either of them, but both were living with their widowed daughter, Rhoda York, in Clinton County, Kentucky in 1880 so they were married at least 56 years. Isaac was 80 and Catherine was 79 in that census.
So Randy, to answer your question, I have no one who can top 66 years and I, myself, have only six out of 63 sets of ancestors celebrated their golden anniversary.