(Treasure Hunting): Treasure Received

Today’s post will show that, sometimes, treasures are delivered right to your mailbox.

Nancy is a distant cousin on my father’s side of the family.  She lived an hour or so away when we were children, so we rarely saw each other. (Travel then wasn’t as frequent nor as easy as it is these days.)  Through family circumstances, we reconnected a couple of years ago – first through snail mail and then by e-mail. She now lives in New York, and we’re hoping for an in-person visit soon. Nancy’s late mother researched the genealogy on my father’s side back to when my great-great-great grandfather, Duncan McGuriman, arrived in the United States from Glasgow, Scotland in the 1700’s.  I’m fortunate to have a copy of the family history she researched.

A couple of months ago, on my birthday, a package addressed to me from Nancy arrived in the mail. I wondered what it could be? Was it a coincidence that it arrived on my birthday? Then I remembered that she has the family history, too, so she would know my birth date.

I hurriedly opened the box and found two framed documents.  The first was a copy of the marriage bond for Duncan McGuriman.  (In “the old days”, following a marriage proposal,  the perspective groom went to the courthouse with a bondsmen, usually the father or brother of the bride, to obtain a marriage bond. No money was paid at that time. But if the marriage couldn’t take place, because of circumstances pertaining to the groom, he was required to pay the amount of the bond.)

d mcg1 8-10-2013 10-12-18 AM

The bond reads: “Know all Men by these Presents that We Duncan McGuriman And John Judkins—-are held firmly bound unto his Excellency Benjamin Harrison Esq. Governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia in the Sum of Fifty Pounds Current Money to be paid to the said Benjamin Harrison esquire or to his successours We bind ourselves our Heirs Executors & Administrators firmly by these Presents Sealed with our seals and dated this 26th day of February 1783 and in the Seventh year of the Commonwealth of Virginia ~

The Condition of the above Obligation is such that if there be no lawful Cause to obstruct a marriage shortly intended to be solemnized according to The Rites and Ceremonies of the Church of England under the CommonWealth of Virginia between Duncan McGuriman & Elizabeth Kerr——that this obligation to be void otherwise to remain in full force and virtue~

Sealed & delivered                                                               Duncan McGuriman, L.S.
In presence  of                                                                      John Judkins, L.S.
J. Faulcone

The second (smaller) framed document Nancy sent was a copy of the exterior of the marriage bond, as it was folded.

d mcg2 8-10-2013 10-12-56 AM

Duncan McGuriman’s
Bond for Marriage 
Licence Feb 26, 1783

 “In the Seventh year of the Commonwealth of Virginia”: it’s amazing to me to realize that this document was written just seven years after the American Revolution.

Thanks, Nancy, this is a special gift, and  I will treasure it.


17 responses to “(Treasure Hunting): Treasure Received

  1. You’re holding history in your hand! What an amazing gift 🙂

    I love the hope that occurred 7 years after the American Revolution 😉


  2. How extraordinary and special……it must be wonderful holding a bit of your family history in your hand.


  3. What a thoughtful gift given to someone who understands what a treasure it is to have such a connection.

  4. That’s really special!

  5. Very interesting about the marriage bond and how special that you have it! Such a thoughtful gift!

  6. Wow! Thanks for sharing! What a wonderful family treasure!

  7. Now that is a gift I am sure you will treasure.

  8. What a cool gift! I love knowing my ancestors on one side have been here since Jamestown and the other side since the Revolutionary War! History is sooooo cooool!

  9. What a wonderful gift and so nice she framed it for you. What a walk down your personal history lane! Now this IS a treasure–and priceless.

  10. a neat piece of personal family history.

  11. An amazing gift. You must have been so thrilled to receive it. And yes, this was a real treasure that came right to your mail box! Thanks for sharing!

  12. A great gift ! It’s just one of those things that adds to the family history & our appreciation for it !

  13. This is just so cool!! I also love these types of treasures, I’d love to know more about who I am. How precious, and I love those frames lol

  14. Wow, that is a thoughtful and treasured gift! So neat of her to share the family legacy with you. 🙂

  15. Shirley Matthews Dunn

    What a wonderful treasure not to mention birthday gift.

  16. That is a special gift, and personalized for you.

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