John has been working on family genealogy for several years.
He enjoys doing this as it's part mystery and part
historical research. Mystery came into play when I asked him
when and where his grandparents were married. I was talking
about his father's mother and her second husband. She was
widowed in 1925 and we had been told she didn't remarry
until her only son (John's father) had graduated from high
school. That would have been around 1938. But it was odd
that when both were alive an anniversary date was never
mentioned and no anniversary ever celebrated. I never saw a
wedding photo, not even a snapshot. John can't remember ever
hearing about an anniversary or seeing a photo either. No
one ever mentioned a wedding at all--there were no stories
about what happened on the day they married, if they married
at home or in a church or a courthouse. As John and I talked
about it, I told him that I had once mentioned to his
grandpa that their 50th wedding anniversary must be close,
but he become uncharacteristically quiet and seemed
uncomfortable so I changed the subject.
John and I looked again at the cippings of his grandparents'
obituaries and realized that neither included a wedding
date. For some reason we had never noticed that before.
Our conclusion is that that, although his grandparents
undoubtedly loved each other very much and considered
themselves married, they never did so legally. Neither John
nor I will ever discuss this with his parents or any other
family member; it's one of several unspoken family secrets
which we will keep to ourselves.