Monday, September 19, 2011

Stephenson~Cloyd 1808 Marriage Bond - Amanuensis Monday

Thanks to John at Transylvanian Dutch who originated the Amanuensis Monday meme, providing a framework (and nudge) for transcribing family records, news clippings and other treasures.

During my summer research travels I stopped at the Rockbridge County (VA) Clerk's office and asked to see the marriage bond for my 4th great-grandparents'. They brought out the document, encased in mylar (I hope) and allowed me to handle it carefully and photograph it.
Stephenson~Cloyd Marriage Bond

Know all men by these presents that we John Stephenson & Joseph Cloyd are held and firmly bound unto Wm. H. Cabell governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia & his successors in office for the use of the commonwealth in the sum of one hundred and fifty dollars to ___ which payment well & truly to be made we bind ourselves our heirs executors & jointly & severally firmly by these presents Witness our hands & seals the 13th day of Septem 1808  The condition of the above obligation is such that whereas there is a marriage shortly intended to be solemnized between the above bound Stephenson and Elizabeth Cloyd, Daughter of David Cloyd, decd ______
If therefore there shall be no lawful cause to obstruct the same then this obligation to be void otherwise to remain in full force and virtue
J Stephenson {seal}
Jos Cloyd {seal}
Teste William Anderson

Notes: Joseph Cloyd was Elizabeth's brother. Her mother, also named  Elizabeth was still living. John and Elizabeth were married by his maternal uncle, Rev. Samuel Houston, at Natural Bridge. It was Rev. Houston's habit to marry couples outdoors at Natural Bridge. I took the picture below the same day I photographed the marriage bond. The small white dots at the foot of the bridge's arches are people. It's hard to imagine a more majestic setting.

Source: Rockbridge, Virginia, John Stephenson/Elizabeth Cloyd Marriage Bond, 13 Sep 1808; Rockbridge County Clerk's Office, Lexington.  


  1. What a majestic setting for a wedding. Did you get goose bumps handling the marriage bond?!

  2. Great document, and lovely setting for a wedding. Natural Bridge looks like the kind of place where people would still like to get married today.

  3. OK, this is way COOL! How did you discover the Rev. Houston liked to marry people at Natural Bridge?? That is such a neat piece of family history.

  4. That is a majestic setting. I have always wanted to stop by and see the Natural Bridge but never did. The small dots of white really give you a reference to how huge is that that formation.

    One hundred fifty dollars was an enormous sum of money in 1808 and it is nothing to sneeze at now.

  5. What a stunning wedding back-drop...I wonder if anyone sketched it in the days before film?

  6. It was an amazing day.

    As excited as I was to see the marriage bond Cathy, I was even more moved at Natural Bridge. I'd driven by - even over (US 11 still runs over the bridge) dozens of times but never stopped. We'd no idea in those days that ancestors had lived, married and died there.

    Carol - I have an abstracted newspaper marriage announcement that states they were married there. Rev. Houston wrote about his life and family many years later and mentioned the practice of marrying at the bridge.

    Dee - I'm sure there are sketches. There are also magnificent landscape paintings of the bridge done by Frederic Church and John Bowen. Many others as well, I'm sure.


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