On this day (May 23rd), 101 years ago my maternal grandpatents, Joseph Chapple and Estella Smith were married by Justice of the Peace, Leon Lush, in Houston, Harris County, Texas.
Wedding Wednesday is a daily blogging prompt used by many genealogy bloggers to display and share old wedding photos, wedding invitations, and announcements!
My feature bride and groom today are my parents – John Taylor and Carrie Chapple. If my father was still alive, my parents would have celebrated their 67th wedding anniversary this month/year.
On Sunday the 3rd of April 1949 at 4 PM
John Willie Taylor and Carrie Chapple
Their private ceremony was officiated by Rev. Jessie Glover, the Pastor of Canaan Missionary Baptist Church that was located at 2500 Altoona Street at the time. The ceremony and reception occurred in the home of my mom’s sister and brother-in-law — Edward and Ella Louise (Chapple) Marshall who lived at 1708 Chew Street in the Greater Fifth Ward, Houston, Texas community.
Special guests and members of the bridal party in the group photo above were (standing l to r): Joseph Chapple (Father of the Bride), the Best man, John Taylor (Groom), Carrie Taylor (Bride), Sue Wesley (Maid of Honor), Faye Short (Soloist), Ethel (Abram) Chapple (Step-Mother of the Bride). Guests not shown were Juanita Boykins (pianist) and Willie Crosby (photographer).
The groom wore a double-breasted black suit, white shirt, black tie and black shoes. The bride’s wedding gown, veil and opera length bridal gloves in white were purchased from Solo Serve, a popular discount retail chain in downtown Houston, for $25.00!!
Their graduated tier wedding cake with white butter icing topped with a miniature bride and groom was made by her step-mother, Ethel (Abram) Chapple.
If I didn’t know this couple personally, I would have thought their wedding day wasn’t a happy one. Why? No one smiled! There were no smiles on the faces of the bride, the groom, members of the bridal party, or guests in any of these wedding photos! As I got older, I often teased my parents about these pictures. I even asked them, “were you two marrying under duress?! They would simply laugh and shake their heads at me in disbelief, not realizing that I was being serious with them.
Well, despite the solemn looks they had in their wedding photos 67 years ago . . .
they have been all smiles and looking good together ever since!
After the Civil War, many couples who had married as slaves and who desired to stay together, legalized their unions by getting married. As a result, marriage became one of the very first civil rights that [newly free] African-Americans [were] able to exercise. 
I strongly believe this was the case for my 3x great-grandparents, Osborn and Sallie Routt! According to the 1870 Census (the very first census to document African-Americans who had been slaves before and during the Civil War), they were listed as a family with three children ranging in ages 7, 5, and 9 months. Their oldest child, Jefferson Routt who was 7 years old at the time, was born during slavery about 1863. So today for Wedding Wednesday, I celebrate the official marriage of Osborn and Sallie Routt, which took place, 9 July 1871!
The State of Texas, to wit: Washington County, S.-S.
To all who shall see these Presents, Greeting:
Know We, THAT ANY PERSON LEGALLY AUTHORIZED TO SOLEMNIZE THE RITES OF MATRIMONY IS HEREBY LICENSED TO
JOIN IN MARRIAGE AS HUSBAND AND WIFE,
Osborne Routte and Sally Routte
and for so doing, this shall be your authority.
In Testimony Whereof, I, J. J. Stockbridge, Clerk of the District
Court here unto subscribe my name, and affix the seal of said Court, this
8th day of July 1871
J.J. Stockbridge, C. D. C. W. C.
By _____________, Deputy
The State of Texas, to wit: Washington County, S. S.
This certifies that I joined in Marriage a Husband and Wife
Osborn Route and Sally Route
on the 9th day of July 1871.
Because marriage records vary from state to state and often contain several dates (a license date, a wedding date, a return date, and a filing date), I want to remind researchers to double check these records carefully and make sure to record the correct wedding date on their family group sheets and pedigree charts. At first, I had Osborn’s and Sallie’s marriage date as 8 July 1871 in my notes. But upon careful inspection of this certified marriage license, I now know that was the date they applied for the license. Their actual wedding date was 9 July 1871!
1. Hunter, T. (2010, February 11). Slave Marriages, Families Were Often Shattered By Auction Block [Interview by M. Martin, Transcript]. In New Discoveries in Black History. NPR.
2. Washington County Marriage Volume 3: 488, County Clerk’s Office, Brenham, Texas.
It’s Wedding Wednesday and thanks to Chappel Hill, Texas Historian, Nath Winfield, I now have the marriage license of my paternal Great-Great-Grandparents, Jim Green & Lou “Lula” Routt!
Jim Green and Lou “Lula” Routt were joined in marriage as husband and wife on the 27th day of September in 1888 by Richard Dickerson, Pastor of Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church in Chappel Hill, Washington County, Texas.
So if you have Jim and Lou Green from Chappel Hill, Texas in your family tree, let me hear from you because I’m . . . claiming kin!
1. “Texas, Marriages, 1837-1973,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/F6B8-GMN : accessed 01 Jun 2011), Jim Green and Lou Routt, 27 Sep 1888.