Tuesday, June 9, 2020

#70 - Kate Barnwell and Victor ("Jack") Higgins marriage license FOUND

 Yes, there was a wedding!
Sometimes it takes years to find a wedding record. My father's parents were married 3 October 1927 at least that's what I had heard.

Her name is Catherine Florence Barnwell, she was born 2 September 1911 in NY, NY to John Joseph Lawrence Barnwell and Agnes McCune. 
Catherine Barnwell Higgins abt 1940

His name was Victor Higgins, but he usually used / went by the name "John" (or Jack, informally) because he hated his first name. His mother had him in a hospital for unwed mothers in New York City and gave him her surname "Higgins." He was born on 23 December 1905.
Victor "John" Higgins and Catherine Barnwell Higgins 1943

He was not yet 22 when they wed, and she was 16 years old. And, if she carried her first baby Alice to term, she may have been pregnant when they wed.  

For a long time I couldn't find the wedding certificate. Now I know why. The wedding licenses in NYC are indexed, but if they are indexed incorrectly, you might as well browse the entire collection.

One day, thanks to Ancestry. com, I was searching the NYC marriage record index (thanks to "Reclaim the Records"), and I found an "Irene Higgins" who married in 1927 and "she" married a woman named Catherine. Aha!

When I went to the index I found it was indexed as "Irene V Higgins" - I clicked on the imaged and read it. This is what it said:
Victor "John" Higgins' marriage license index

The names are listed last name, first name, the certificate number and then the date. The blue arrows indicate the correct information. The gold arrow indicates what was indexed as "Irene V" - but if you look at it, it is "John V" not particularly clear, but it's ok.

I looked for his wife's record, and here is what came up:
Catherine Barnwell's marriage license indexed

The record number for both "John V" (or Irene?) Higgins and Catherine Barnwell are both 5107 and the date for both is October 3.
Voila! Happy Ending!
(By the way, her name Barnwell is notoriously misspelled--I found her birth record in the NYS Library in Albany, the book of NYC births. Her name was "Katharin Barwall" -- I wrote down the certificate # and was able to find her birth certificate.)

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