Saturday, May 12, 2012

Warren's Cherokee Claim Based on Family Newsletter; No Marriage License Application to Be Found

The slender thread upon which Elizabeth Warren’s claim that she is 1/32 Cherokee rests—a purported 1894 marriage license application—has been exposed as non-existent. Based on a review of the original marriage records found in the files of the Logan County, Oklahoma Court Clerk’s office in Guthrie, Oklahoma, and the statements of ReJeania Zmek, the Court Clerk of Logan County, Oklahoma, it is likely that the ephemeral 1894 marriage license application never existed.

"In modern times we keep marriage license applications,” she said. “The way they’re issued now, you do the application, then you do the license. We currently do keep records of marriage license applications,” she said, explaining that this practice didn’t begin until around 1950.

When asked specifically if marriage license application documents were created in Logan County in 1894, she said she is almost certain they were not. She added that, when looking at the records of marriages in Logan County, Oklahoma in the 1890s, “if there’s a license and then a certificate I would think the license would be the application as well. That would be my thought. I’m thinking they came in, got a license, got married.”

Ms. Zmek also confirmed that no other news organization had contacted her to date on any national topic or to inquire about the validity of this purported 1894 Logan County, Oklahoma marriage license application or anything related to the 1894 marriage of William J. Crawford.

On May 10, 2012, the Logan County Court Clerk’s offices made a copy of the original May 12, 1894 marriage license and the corresponding May 13, 1894 certificate of marriage of William J Crawford, great-great-grand uncle of Elizabeth Warren, and Mary E. (Long) Wolford (found on Book 2, pages 157 and 158 of the records of 1894 marriages).

The original marriage license does contain a column for the race of the bride and the groom, but both groom William J. Crawford and bride Mary E. (Long) Wolford left the column blank. You can see both the license and the certificate of marriage here, along with the County Court Clerk stamp of ReJeania Zmek, signed by a deputy in her office:

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