Genealogy: Marriage by Blacksmith: Gretna Green Marriages

1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Event Details

Marriage by Blacksmith: Gretna Green Marriages, with speaker Madeline Yanov

In the world of romance, few places hold the allure of Gretna Green. Nestled in the heart of Scotland, this charming town has long been synonymous with elopements and whirlwind weddings. Literature and movies, immortalizing the tales of star-crossed English lovers dashing across the Scottish border to escape the clutches of disapproving family members, have captivated the hearts of generations, but what lies behind this fascinating tradition? Instead of the conventional church weddings, the quaint town of Gretna Green bore witness to a unique tradition: blacksmiths forging bonds of matrimony over their anvils. What is the history that led to this intriguing custom? Were these marriages even legally binding?

Join us on a journey that unravels the mysteries of Gretna Green. Did you know that the United States boasts its array of Gretna Greens, scattered across multiple states? While Reno and Las Vegas, Nevada may be familiar names in the world of quickie marriages, have you ever heard of Elkton, Maryland, Crown Point, Indiana, Keokuk in Lee County, Iowa, or Tishomingo County, Mississippi? They too, were Gretna Greens at one point. Surprisingly, even New York City and Chicago were once considered as Gretna Greens. These American counterparts may hold the key to your ancestor’s missing marriage records. 

In this intriguing presentation, Madeline Yanov will delve into the origins of Gretna Green's popularity and unravel the stories behind its American counterparts. What motivates people to journey far from home to exchange their vows? Are these marriages even legally recognized? And where can one unearth the elusive records of these unions?

Prepare to embark on a fascinating exploration that will provide you with invaluable insights and resources for tracking down those elusive marriage records. Join us in uncovering the treasures of Gretna Green and its American counterparts in this enlightening journey through the world of elopements and whirlwind romances. Don't miss this opportunity to unlock the tales of love and adventure in the world of Gretna Greens, both in Scotland and the United States.

This program will take place on Zoom. Register in advance for this meeting by clicking on the link below. After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.

Event Type(s): Classes/Workshops, History/Genealogy
Age Group(s): Adults, Teens (13-18)
Presenter: Madeline Yanov
(916) 264-2920