In a previous blog post, I discussed finding a brief marriage record of Thomas F. Larkins and Lula M. Cross at a very helpful online site related to Kalamazoo County Genealogy, at http://kalamazoogenealogy.org.
After entering the names of the bride and groom into the Family Search Labs database, I was able to learn a little more about this couple. Their names were listed in the collection entitled: Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925. This "hit" led to an image of the marriage record from Kalamazoo County, Michigan. (Click on the image for a larger view.)
The date of the marriage was January 7, 1889, and the minister who officiated was Rev. Thomas Ryan. As was also listed on the 3 x 5" card from Kalamazoo Genealogy, the ages of the bride and groom were listed, along with the names of the parents of the couple. When looking at the record as listed at Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925, I see a slight variation in the first names of the witnesses to the wedding of Thomas F. Larkins ad Lula Cross. Instead of Joanne Ryan and Maria McHugh, the names are listed as John Ryan and Mary McHugh.
Since the wedding took place in 1900, I decided to try to locate John Ryan in the U.S. Census for 1900. John Ryan was listed as living in Kalamazoo County, Michigan in 1900, and his birthplace was Ohio, the same birthplace as Thomas F. Larkins. Going back twenty years, I find a John Ryan living in the household of Patrick and Hannora Ryan, in a large family including seven children, and residing in Sandusky, Erie County, Ohio, the very county where Thomas F. Larkins was born and died!
The maiden name of the mother of Thomas F. Larkins was Bridget Ryan. So....was Bridget Ryan the sister of John Ryan's father Patrick Ryan? Or were these two young men both of Irish Catholic origin just close friends? Sadly, I do not know the exact connection between Thomas F. Larkins and John Ryan, who was one of the witnesses at his wedding. And since the minister was Rev. Thomas Ryan, it is possible that he may have been related to Mr. Larkins or Mr. Ryan, or possibly to both of them! What I did determine was that Thomas F. Larkins and John Ryan were teenage boys in the 1880 census in Sandusky, Ohio, and they both were at Kalamazoo County, Michigan on January 7, 1889, on the occasion of the wedding of Thomas F. Larkins and Lula M. Cross. So many questions, but not so many answers!