Source: John Perkins Lord, The Maine townsman, or, Laws for the regulation of towns: with forms and judicial decisions, adapted to the Revised Statutes of Maine (Boston, Mass.: White, Lewis & Potter, printers, 1844).
[p. 276]
BIRTHS, DEATHS, MARRIAGES.

1. Record of births and deaths.

2. Duty of parents and others.

3. Neglect of duty.

4. Publication of marriage.

5. Where published.

6. Form of certificate of publishment.

7. Consent of the parent.

8. Banns forbidden.

9. Justices may solemnize marriages.

10. Also, ministers.

11. Record of marriages.

12. Evidence of marriage.

13. Pulling down publishments.

14. Marriages returned to clerk of courts.

15. What constitutes marriage.

16. Form of solemnizing marriage.

17. Form of certificate of marriage.


1. Every town and plantation clerk shall record all births and deaths, which shall occur in the place of which he is clerk, and come to his knowledge, stating the time, when each such event took place, and the names of the parents, [if] known, the fees to be paid by such town and plantation. R. S. c. 38, § 1.

2. It shall be the duty of parents, householders, masters of work houses, prisons and vessels to give notice to the clerk of the births and deaths which take place in their respective families, houses and vessels; and also the duty of the elder person next of kin, to give like notice of the death of his kindred. Ib. § 3.

3. Any person neglecting to perform the duty required of him in this chapter, shall forfeit one dollar, for each offence, to be recovered on complaint to the use of the town. Ib. § 3.

4. All persons resident in this State intending to be joined in marriage, shall have their intentions published at three public religious meetings on different days, at three days distance from each other, in the city, town or plantation where they dwell; or posted up by the clerk in some public and conspicuous place fourteen days ; and the clerk shall deliver a certificate thereof under his hand to the minister or justice, solemnizing the marriage. Ib. c. 87, § 6.

5. If either of the parties live in a place, where there is no clerk, publishment shall be made in the adjoining place. Ib. § 6.

[p. 277] 6. The form of the certificate may be ;

This certifies, that I posted up a certificate on the outer door of the ______ meeting house in the town of ______, being a public and conspicuous place, of the intentions of A. B., of ______, in the county of ______, and E. G., of said town, to be joined in marriage. Dated at ______, this __ day of ______, 18__.

A. B., Town Clerk of ______.

7. When a male under twenty-one years, or a female under eighteen years, is to be married, the consent of the parent, guardian or other person, having the care and government of such party, if in the State, shall be first obtained. Ib. § 7.

8. When the banns of matrimony are forbidden, and the reasons in writing are left with the clerk, he shall issue no certificate, until a decision shall be had by two justices, approving the marriage, after notice to, and hearing of all parties concerned ; provided the person forbidding within seven days procure the decision of such justices, and if against the person forbidding, he shall pay all costs, and the justices shall enter judgment and issue execution therefor. Ib. § 9.

9. Every justice of the peace may solemnize marriages in the county where either of the parties reside. Ib. § 11.

10. Every ordained minister, duly appointed and commissioned therefor, may solemnize marriages, in the county where either of the parties reside. Ib. § 12.

11. Every justice and minister shall keep a record of all marriages solemnized before him, and in April, return to the town or plantation clerk certifying the names of the parties, the place of their residence and the date of the marriage, under a penalty of fifty dollars, half to the use of the county, half to the use of the prosecutor. Ib. § 16.

12. An attested or sworn copy of the record of a marriage shall be received in all courts as evidence of the fact of marriage. Ib. § 17.

13. Whoever shall pull down any written posted publishment before the end of fourteen days shall forfeit and pay ten dollars for the use of the town or plantation. Ib. § 18.

14. The clerk of every city, town and plantation shall return to the clerk of the judicial courts, a transcript of all [p. 278] records of marriages made upon his books, during the year for which he is clerk; and the clerk shall record the same in a book kept for the purpose. Ib. § 21,

15. If the parties themselves enter into an agreement to become man and wife in the presence of a justice or a minister of the gospel, duly commissioned to solemnize marriages, he assenting to act on the occasion in his official capacity, this is sufficient. 7 Mass. 48; 1 Mass. 240.

16. The form of solemnizing marriage may be ;

You, A. B. and C. D., having entered into an agreement to become man and wife, and having produced to me, a certificate, that your intentions of marriage have been published, according to law, you will now please to join your hands. You now promise, mutual fidelity in the relation of husband and wife, agreeably to the laws of God and man, so long as you both shall live. This you signify by disjoining your hands.

I now pronounce you, man and wife, married according to the laws of this State. Those whom God has joined together, let no man put asunder.

17. The form of a certificate of marriage:

To all whom it may concern : This is to certify, that A. B. and C. D., both of E., in the county of F., and State of Maine, were joined in marriage, at E., on the __ day of ______, A. D. 18__.

By me,
G. H., Justice of the Peace.

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