Index to Grooms_McDonald PA Marriage Notices_Washington County PA Genealogy and Family History_Little Washington

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Washington County 'Little Washington' Pennsylvania
 Genealogy and Family History



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Index to Marriage Notices

Victorian Wedding Dress

Announcement: Almost 3,000 Marriage Licenses and Wedding Notices!

Submitted by Sandy Miklavic
Typed by Sandy Miklavic and Judith Florian
And group of dedicated typists who helped in 2009.
Volunteer typists included:

Cindy Burchell
Kay Chestnut
Carole Clarke
Amy Denecke
Wilberta DiVincenzo
Liz DuBois
Susan Freer
Doris Greaves
Alice Walton Mason
Leslie Nelson
Trudi Ratican
Carma Rey-Klaja
Carol Taylor-Lanza
Pamela Villafuerte

Newspaper Header: Marriages

Marriage Notices Frequently Asked Questions - FAQ

Missing Wedding Notices from Master List #1 from McDonald PA Newspapers
Approx 324 notices were not received by Nov. 13, 2009.


A to B Index (No Index by Bride)

A-B | C-D | E-F | G-H | I-J | K-L | M-N | O-P | Q-R | S-T | U-V | W-X | Y-Z  

See divorces below.

(added June 2009)

The images for this section were submitted by Sandy Miklavic who resides in McDonald.  Her collection has grown to over 3,000 wedding notices, and some divorce listings.  Use the on-site search, or click on one of alphabet letter-links.

Like many researchers, Sandy Miklavic looked for the usual records for her ancestors, including articles, notices, and obituaries from the local newspaper. But as she collected her ancestor's marriage notices, she did something that few genealogists undertake-- the collection of every wedding or divorce notice she spotted. She says, "I thought there was very good info in these articles, and the data should be so much more accurate than other types since either the family, or the marrying parties, were the persons giving the information to the newspaper." Since the beginning of the year 2000 A.D., Sandy has collected at least 3,000 couple’s wedding and marriage-related notices! 

Then, just as other collectors experience, friends start to help a little with the desired "collection." For Sandy, this meant receiving more notices from persons like Vicki (Victoria Hospodar Valentine). Vicki was already actively maintaining her collection of McDonald PA obituaries and photos, so she knows the challenges of keeping up with such a large and ongoing project. 

Sandy and Vicki share the residential locality and geographical interest of McDonald, PA, and both research the newspapers in the McDonald PA area. "There were two papers in McDonald before 1932 when they merged. The Outlook and The Record became The McDonald Record-Outlook."

"I think it is interesting that the bride often wore 'dark' suits (brown, black, and dark blue seem to be favorites), as well as her maid of honor and bridesmaids (if any),” Sandy reflected about the notices she had read. They carried the dark color scheme through to the decorations in the home or place of the wedding, with plenty of nature's abundance of green leaves, vines, and even dark-colored flowers as signs of "fertility." Some brides adorned the family mantel or door archways with long flowery vines – direct from their own yard or garden. White, pink, or red roses seem to have been a favorite for bouquets.

Although today the expectation is white or pastel wedding dresses, before the 1800s, people considered women who wore light-colored clothing as being a "hussy." (Little girls could wear white pinafore dresses but when a girl reached teenage years, society expected them to wear black, gray, brown, or somber colors. White required bleaching; pastels required dyes, which were expensive and needed to be imported. Frontier life also required dark, practical clothing to withstand the rigors of daily farm life,

Wedding attire changed after 1840 when Queen Victoria of England wore a white wedding gown. Religious influence, especially the Catholic Church, promoted white as the color of girlhood purity, innocence and thereby, chastity. By 1890, the Ladies Home Journal declared white was historically the color of choice, but this was historically false.

With the outbreak of WWI and especially WWII, women again became frugal in their choice of dress. Often, short engagements (often, only weeks) and desire to avoid expense made women choose to use their "best dress" or "best suit." Many women had no other choice, unless they could borrow or rent a white dress (but renting was infrequent and often unheard-of then). So like in the frontier days, women in industrialized area such as Washington County with coal mines and steel mills surrounding then, they often relied on their best, but by daily custom, dark-colored suit. The newly married couple also used trains or automobile for their honeymoon "to points in the East" - or West -, and the dark suit with matching hat was perfect travel attire for long road trips. Long into the 1950s and 1960s, honeymooners in SW PA took short and long auto road trips after their weddings.

Another fact about weddings of Washington County PA couples is how many traveled to West Virginia to be married.  This was because West Virginia has traditionally maintained a lower age limit for marriage than Pennsylvania has maintained, and the short drive between Washington County PA and West Virginia locations, especially Wheeling.

Sandy has greatly enjoyed looking for additions to her collection of wedding announcements, despite the work involved. But, of course, her biggest and favorite moment was when she located the notice for one of her own ancestors. Since she was not even looking for that person on that day, her surprise was even greater! Such is the experience of many genealogists -- our ancestors seem to find us!   However, few researchers continue a collection that is so vast, and will be so important to other genealogists as the wedding and divorce collection Sandy Miklavic has created.

Missing Wedding Notices from Master List #1 from McDonald PA Newspapers
Approx 324 notices were not received by Nov. 13, 2009.

Funnies from the NPR The Least Appropriate Wedding Songs Ever

Only Wedding Dresses

Wedding Gazette states:

"As with many other things in life, there is much folklore and legend surrounding the various other colors that brides have been known
 to wed in.  One old rhyme seems to sum up these notions:

Married in white, you have chosen all right.
Married in green, ashamed to be seen.
Married in red, you will wish yourself dead.
Married in blue, you will always be true.
Married in yellow, ashamed of your fellow.
Married in black, you will wish yourself back.
Married in pink, your spirits will sink. "


A Prominent McDonald PA-area Minister Rev. Dr. W. D. IRONS, D.D.

Rev. W. D. IRONS, D. D. From the Oct. 7, 1927 McDonald PA Record, submitted June 2007 by Victoria Hospodar Valentine.
Photo of elderly Rev. William Dickson IRONS who served from a McDonald PA church for decades
A prominent minister for a time in Washington County was Rev. William Dickson IRONS, D. D., better known in newspaper items as Dr. or Rev. W. D. IRONS. He officiated over many weddings, funerals, and in between the two was entertained and revered in many Washington County homes. Here is his obituary. Death of the Rev. Dr. W. D. IRONS The Rev. William Dickson IRONS, D. D., died at 3:30 o'clock Wednesday afternoon, October 5, 1927, in his home in West Lincoln avenue at Third street, McDonald, of pneumonia. Dr. IRONS conducted the communion service of the church to which he had ministered for nearly fifty years only ten days before his death. He took to his room on Thursday of that week. Dr. W. R. DICKSON, who was called, immediately recognized the seriousness of his condition and summoned the members of the family. A nurse experienced in similar cases was obtained, two specialists were called, and everything possible was done, but without avail. He passed away as he had lived, conscious of the Divine presence, and intent upon the salvation of others. He at the last earnestly entreated his nurse to be faithful in his attendance upon church services. William Dickson IRONS was born on a farm near New Sheffield, Beaver county, June 16, 1852, a son of Joseph and Margaret (DOUDS) IRONS. The father of Dr. IRONS, who died in 1890, was born in Beaver county, and was a son of Solomon and Rachel (DICKSON) IRONS. The mother's grandfather was killed by the British while serving as a soldier in the Revolutionary war. The IRONS' came to America early in the seventeenth century during a religious persecution in Germany. The name was VON EISEN, and there are letters in the IRONS family written three centuries ago, which are models of fine German penmanship and good diction. William Dickson IRONS obtained his primary education in the schools of Beaver County. At the age of fourteen he was teaching school in the winter and working on the farm in the summer to obtain the means to enter college. He graduated from Westminster college in 1874. He spent several years teaching and then entered the Allegheny (now Pittsburgh) Theological seminary, from which he was graduated in 1880. On March 20th of that year he received the call to the McDonald church, and in June he entered upon his ministry, which ceased only when he drew his last breath, for his last conscious hours were occupied with his ministry of the First United Presbyterian church of McDonald. When Dr. IRONS came to McDonald the congregation was four years old. Through his energy, zeal, and executive ability the frame building soon gave way to the present commodious brick edifice and the congregation grew in numbers. Other claims upon his time and attention and strength at the beginning of his ministry were the Ingleside academy, which he conducted for fifteen years, and the French Mission, which he organized. Students of the Ingleside academy included numbers of men who have become prominent in professional life--lawyers, ministers, physicians, teachers, and missionaries. The French Mission which he started was the first effort made by the United Presbyterian church in America to evangelize foreign speaking people. It has been a contributing facto to the church life of McDonald, and from here have gone forth influences which are incalculable. Dr. IRONS had a number of calls to service elsewhere. Years ago he was offered the presidency of Muskingum college, and later of Tarkio college in Illinois. A professorship in Xenia Theological seminary was tendered him. He was sought as pastor by other churches, in and out of his denomination. For forty years he served as a trustee of his alma mater--Westminster college (outside website). He was a member of the important prudential committee. He served on the United Presbyterian Board of Publication and assisted in the preparation of the Sabbath school literature. As a trustee of the Pittsburgh Theological seminary and one of the board of managers of the Boys' Industrial Home of Oakdale he gave unstintedly of his time and strength. On June 17, 1874, Dr. IRONS was united in marriage with Miss Edith Belle VAN ORSDELL of New Wilmington, by the Rev. J. M. DONALDSON, father of Mrs. W. R. DICKSON. Mrs. IRONS died January 14, 1925. The following sons and daughters survive: Harold M. IRONS, assistant solicitor of the City of Pittsburgh; Mrs. Mabel MOORE of Buffalo, N. Y.; Mrs. W. H. CRAMER of Newark, Ohio; William V. IRONS of Buffalo, N. Y., a professor of chemistry in the University of Buffalo; and Joseph R. IRONS of Noblestown. Two brothers and a sister also survive: James H. IRONS of Ben Avon, Joseph IRONS of Struthers, Ohio, and Mrs. Elizabeth MCCREADY of Long Beach, Calif. He leaves also seven grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Funeral services will be held Saturday afternoon at two o'clock in the First United Presbyterian church in charge of the Rev. Albert A. LOVE of Mt. Washington United Presbyterian church who will be assisted by the Rev. Edmond ROBB of the Second United Presbyterian church of... [remainder of the obituary missing. If anyone comes across the rest of it, please submit it to me.]] 

This page was added April 28, 2007 ; update July 15, 2007; Nov. 19, 2014

White wedding bells with pink hearts

More than 3,000 couple’s wedding and marriage- related notices!


A-B | C-D | E-F | G-H | I-J | K-L | M-N | O-P | Q-R | S-T | U-V | W-X | Y-Z |

Keywords: Marriage License, Weddings, Marriages, Married, Wed, Eloped, Elopement

This page was last edited Monday, July 06, 2015


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