Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Wedding Wednesday - A Murky Piece of Family History

My grandpa during Army days
My beautiful grandma with my dad & uncle

My grandparents were Clarence Paul Tabor and Florence Genevieve Bronsavage, and I had always been told that Florence was pregnant when they married.  I always believed it, and it is still possibly true but the story is a bit murky.  It's a bit off.  A little history.

Clarence had married Catherine Gluoknis on January 14, 1931...and divorced in October 1935.  I had been told that she was a mean, nasty person, but I have to look at this with a grain of salt.  We all know how people tend to view their exes.  Either way though, Clarence was apparently unhappy with his choice of bride.  As far as we know Clarence and Catherine didn't have any children together although I don't have any confirmation of this.  They were married for four years so children are possible.  

Clarence, now a single man, met Florence and they fell in love, but being Catholic, Clarence wanted an annulment so that he could remarry in the church.  I was told that Clarence paid approximately $500.00 for an annulment that never came to be and that it was because of the lack of annulment (and Florence now being pregnant) that caused them to leave the Catholic church to be married.  Then I found this Certificate of Marriage as I was sorting files.

Sure it's possible that Florence could have been pregnant when they got married.  It would certainly be close.  I know this without calculation because I got pregnant beginning to mid-May with my oldest and he was born on his due date in January and his due date is one day before my father's birthday.  So yes, she could have been pregnant and gone into labor early (not the norm for first children, however, but it is possible) or she would have been just pregnant and unless they were already planning the church wedding and just sped things up the story doesn't make complete sense.  As you can see from the marriage certificate they were married at Saint John the Baptist Polish National Catholic Church.  Yes this isn't the Roman Catholic Church, but it not only is a "Catholic" Church (broken away from the Roman Catholic Church), but it is a Polish National Catholic Church and to the best of my knowledge, Clarence's parents, Adam and Jadwiga, went to a PNCC.  

So why the big family history story?  Perhaps Florence wanted to get married in the Roman Catholic Church?  She was Roman Catholic.  But my father wasn't raised in a PNCC...or a Roman Catholic church.  He was raised Methodist, so Clarence and Florence changed churches, and religions, for a second time.  Perhaps there was no PNCC in Hazleton.  There is one there now although I don't know how long it's been there.  In fact, I believe, my uncle (Clarence and Florence's 2nd son) goes to the PNCC in Hazleton. So I'm not sure why the change in religions...or why the annulment story.  I may have to do some more research into the PNCC and see if perhaps they permitted divorce/remarriage without an annulment...and as for Florence being pregnant, well that would be hard to disprove, but it would be close.

So the family history surrounding their wedding and the change of faiths that my grandparents had is made murky by a little piece of paper.  A little piece of paper that I should have given a closer look about 5 years ago!

No comments:

Post a Comment