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History of Ephemera & Museum of Old Original Certificates

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Old Originals Below

Nostalgic Paper Memories and your little piece of Ephemera
1848 Requirements of the Husband & Wife

Requirements of the Husband

A man shall leave father and mother and cleave to his wife (Matt 28)

Let every man have his own wife. (1 cor)

Husbands shall dwell with their wives according to knowledge, giving honor unto them, as unto the weaker vessle.

Husbands love your wives, even as Christ loved the Church, and gave himself for it (Eph 5)

So ought man to love their wives as their own bodies, he that loveth his wife, loveth himself (Eph 5)

Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence (1 Cor.)

If a husband provide not for his own wife and children, he is worse than an infidel (1 Tim)

A man shall cheer up his wife (Deut 24:5)

Husbands love your wives, and be not bitter against them (Cor 3:12)

Art thou bound to a wife, seek not to be loosed (Cor 1:27)

Marriage is honorable in all (Heb 13)

Let not the husband put away his wife (1 Cor)

Let none deal treacherously against the wife of his youth..God hateth putting away (Mat 2)

It is a wicked act that a man should gain the heart of a woman, and then forsake his wife.

Requirements of the Wife

A wifes desire shall be to her husband (Gen 3) (i.e. she shall be subject unto him)

Wives submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord (Eph 6)

Let not the wife depart from her husband (1 Cor)

Marriage is honorable in all (Heb 13)

Let the wife tender unto her husband due benevolence (1 Cor)

The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband (1 Cor)

Let every woman have her own husband (1 Cor)

She that is married careth (or should care) how she may please her husband (1 Cor)

I will that women marry, bear children guide the house (1 Tim)

A virtuous woman is a crown to her husband (Prov 42).

The woman which hath an husband, is bound by the law to her husband, so long as he liveth (Rom 7)

Aged women should behave as becometh holiness & that they may teach the young women, to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, to be discreet keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands (Dut 2)


 "Whom God hath joined together, let no man put asunder"



Ephemera (paper items)…… Ephemera is pronounced “efem’mera”

History of Die-Cut Scraps & Prints. For a hundred years, the brilliantly colored images have been tucked away, forgotten or preserved in private collections. Scraps, as they were called in Victorian times, leap from the page and stretch across the century to connect us with a golden time, a gentler time, a time spangled with beauty and innocence, the time of our great-grandmothers. Today these images, still as fresh and immediate as gossip over the backyard fence, are called antique paper ephemera. Originally, they were reproduced by the early painstaking process of chromolithography, which simply means PRINTING IN COLORS.  

After centuries of black ink on white paper, chromolithography intoxicated the world with its lush printed hues, transforming the look of trade and calling cards, valentines, wedding and birth announcements, cigar box labels, calendars, certificates, and chromos - pretty scenes meant to be hung on the wall. Chromolithography had a dazzling, meteoric life, appearing on the American scene about 1840 and vanishing during the third decade of the twentieth century.
In the 1880's, women collected pretty colorful pictures and pasted them in scrapbooks. When the Christmas tree became more popular in the homes, the women used these pictures from their books to decorate the trees, thereby the term "Scraps". In the 1890's, the German printers added tinsel, angel hair and glitter to the scraps creating the first "Victorian Scraps Ornaments"--known today as die-cuts.

Stone Lithographs were produced by a printer supplying a greasy substance to a flat stone in a liquid form with a brush or a pen. After the stone was prepared in this manner, the printer then dampened it with water and rolled it with a single color ink. The dampened areas repelled the ink and the greasy areas accepted it. Paper was then placed over the images on the stone and pressure was applied by a press on to the paper. This process was then done many times using a single color at a time, layer after layer, to achieve the finished results. Today, much time and effort is placed into maintaining and recapturing the rich vibrant colors found in stone lithographs from the turn-of-the century!



Marriage License
Marriage & Birth Documents from the 1700's and 1800's are few in survival from these periods. The 1800's started greater attempts at keeping records and State statutes began requiring that a recorder keep a record of marriages, yet many did not comply.  While vital records were at the hands of each State, some did not formalized even until the early 1900's.   While not everyone could afford such precious documents, genealogy research will still lead you to parchment (or notebook) paper documents and small printed forms.

Museum of Old Certificates
Certificates from the Victorian & Edwardian Era
Not for Sale.....just to look at
Enjoy this small museum of old relics and start your own record keeping from the certificates I offer for marriage, birth, baptism and more! While these old originals were used to officially document the event, you too can order reproductions that will one day be heirlooms and treasures for your family.

Public Notice
In order to get married during the 1700's and 1800's, most required permission by the parents (father). Couples could announce their intentions of marriage through the publication of banns; a marriage would be announced on three consecutive Sundays in church and if there were no objections, the couple was free to marry. Another way was through a marriage bond given to the court by the intended groom.  Some made it public by mounting a notice in public view for fifteen days. The historical course of marriage is often described as a shift from marriage as a status to the notion of marriage as a contract, but both status and contract coexist in conceptions of marriage even today.

Recordkeeping System
The twentieth century took greater strides in the process. Church and family bible records are the earliest indication of a record-keeping system. Marriage and birth registrations can be found in bible records, baptismal records, school records, and old scrapbooks.

The U.S. Congress ordered an act in 1877 whereby documented information on marriages would be maintained in order to track their whereabouts (County and State of residence)---hence the marriage license. 
Publishers and printers responded to the call of creating marriage and wedding documents. Some of the earliest marriage documents were printed in the 1850's (pre and post-civil war).

Other publishers began creating beautiful, paper documents using the process of chromolithography. Soon popped up those including Currier & Ives, Anderson & Cameron (1877), N. Currier, T. Newton Kurtz (the son of Rev. Benjamin Kurtz), CR Gibson, Abingdon Press, Eden Publishing House, Ernst Kaufmann, David W. Crider, M.C. Barthel, and W. Hageuberg, artist, for Cranston & Stowe Publishing Company.

The Northeast part of the country seemed to have the best record-keeping system with the most generated remains of these finely, printed originals.   Perhaps you have the original belonging to your grandparents or great-grandparents!

Some make the argument (and debate) that once you apply for a marriage license from your County and State office you place yourself under the jurisdiction of the Family Court and its family laws. The debate continues that marriage was instituted by God, therefore it is a God-given right and is to be governed by the family. A Family Bible contains birth, baptism and death records---and a marriage certificate; some say that what is recorded in a Family Bible will stand up as legal evidence in any court of law in America. Both George Washington and Abraham Lincoln were married without a marriage license. They simply recorded their marriages in their Family Bibles. For this reason, some might have their present day marriage certificate read, “according to the Ordinance of God and the Laws of [the church] (versus the State/City/County). 

....were not permitted to marry according to civil ordinance prior to emancipation; T. Newton Kurtz published a document of marriage for former slaves.   The below certificate was issued in 1863. Freedmen's Bureau's marriage records are arguably some of the most important records available for the study of black family marital relations before and after the Civil War. For the increasing number of African American genealogists and family historians, this unique body of marriage records may hold the only formal proof of a slave ancestor's marriage. Slave marriages had neither legal standing nor protection from the abuses and restrictions imposed on them by slaveowners. Slave husbands and wives, without legal recourse, could be separated or sold at their master's will. Couples who resided on different plantations were allowed to visit only with the consent of their owners. Slaves often married without the benefit of clergy, and as historian John Blassingame states, "the marriage ceremony in most cases consisted of the slaves simply getting the master's permission and moving into a cabin together."

Reproductions of the Old Originals
Tradition is being honored today for family members, brides and grooms all over the country. Reproductions of these beautiful certificates are being used during ceremonies today or proudly displayed on easels for all to see.  These heirlooms can be passed on to the next generation.
Wedding, birth, baptism or other family celebrations---obtain your own reproduction as a reminder of days gone by and set forth a good system of recordkeeping for your family heritage!


Purchase a Wedding Certificate Reproduction

For better for worst, for richer for poorer....This 1915 certificate features Isaac who lifted up his eyes, and saw, and behold the camels were coming. And Isaac took Rebecca and she became his wife (from scripture).  
This is a color lithograph used in Michigan.  



Reproduction Currier & Ives Marriage Certificate, published by N. Currier, "Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1848by N. Currier in the Clerk's office of the District Court of the Southern District of N.Y.," 152 Nassau St. Cor. of Spruce, N.Y.

This ornate Certificate of Marriage was signed in 1882 by Mr. Hardy and Miss Lizzie Wornell on October 26, 1882 in Cadott, Wisconsin. It has 3 oval cut outs for photos. This certificate was printed with black & gold ink. It was published by Anderson & Cameron, 95 & 98 Fulton St., New York.

This Antique Marriage Certificate is copyright 1901, Certificate No. 51 by C.R. Gibson & Co., N.Y. The wedding date is April 10, 1907 in New York. This one has a lot of use of colors and floral designs with two oval cut outs for photos.   Used now as a Quinceanera Certificate


A Lutheran pastor used this pretty certificate to document the marriage between Mr. Broisen and Miss Larsen on September 14, 1919 in Kansas.  The church seal is affixed and reads, "Tescott Ottowa Co Kansas, St. Paul's Ev Luth Church.  

This certificate was published by the Abingdon Press, New York--Cincinnati.  
Certificate No. 112
Scripture: And Boaz took Ruth and she was his wife. Ruth. IV, 13.

 The original document was published by Jennings and Dye of Cincinnati, Ohio,

printed in Germany.  Used in 1902


Old German Baptism Certificate

I found this certificate in Fredericksburg, Texas a few years back. The best I can read, the recipient, Alfred Georg John von Gustan Kirhn, was born June 19, 1899 and baptized March 16, 1913. The certificate was published by Eden Publishing House, St. Louis, Missouri, No. 503.


A Vintage Marriage Certificate of 1888 has two oval cut-outs for photos, featuring the marriage boat and printed in black & gold ink.  
Native to New York, this couple were married on October 24, 1888 in Amsterdam.  
The certificate indicates: "Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1877 by Anderson & Cameron in the Office of the Librarian of Congress at Washington."

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Published by Ernst Kaufmann, Lahr, Baden 22 & 24 North William Street, New York, certificate No. 104. This certificate was used in Pennsylvania at Hazleton on the 16th of September, 1905. The certificate has beautiful pictorials including Jesus at the door, the family gathered reading the bible and the church on a hill.


Blessings for Howard Graff for his confirmation in the Lutheran Church on March 29, 1918. This print was published by The Abingdon Press, New York-Cincinnati, No. 80 and No. 30 as indicated

Order the reproduction at Religious Certificates


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