Family:Abner Dunn and Nancy Miller (1)

Facts and Events
Alt Marriage? ABT 1821 based on birth of first child
Marriage[1] 12 Nov 1824 Indiana, United Statesby Mr. Black, a Justice of the Peace; no county given
25 Feb 1879

In her deposition to complete the application for a Bounty Land Warrant based on Abner's service in the War of 1812, Nancy, by then widowed, stated that she and Abner were married 12 November 1824, in "[blank] county", Indiana.[1] If her statement is accurate, it seems most likely they were married in Hendricks County, where Abner, at least, had been living since 1823. There is, however, no record of the marriage.[1][2] Hendricks County was created in December 1823, and formally organized 21 April 1824, prior to the stated date of marriage,[7] so it is reasonable to expect a marriage record there.

There also is no record of the marriage in Morgan County,[6] which neighbors Hendricks County and which Abner quite likely visited on his journey from Knox County to Hendricks County. Nor is there a marriage record in Putnam County,[8] part of which was ceded to Hendricks County at the time of its formation. (The other part of Hendricks County came from the same unorganized territory used to create Morgan County.) Nor is there any record of Abner and Nancy's marriage in the Indiana State Library index of marriages through 1850.[4] Wherever the marriage occurred, it does not seem to have been recorded.

There is also a problem with an 1824 marriage date, as it post-dates the birth of Lavina and, possibly, Sarah. Both Lavina and Sarah used the surname Dunn and are named as Abner's legal heirs,[9] so it is unlikely that they are children of a previous marriage for Nancy. Nor is there any indication of a previous marriage for Abner, who apparently was single when listed in the 1820 Census for Knox County, Indiana.[5] (There also is no marriage record for Abner in Knox County.[3])

Its possible that Abner and Nancy lived together through the birth of the first one or two of their children before actually marrying. It's also possible that Nancy was confused about the year of her marriage. Based on both Nancy's and Abner's Applications for Bounty Land Warrants,[1] various census records, and Abner's reported age at time of death, this family had difficulty remembering specific dates, particularly years. Thus it's possible that Abner and Nancy were married earlier than she stated, possibly in Delaware or Wabash unorganized districts. Delaware "County" of 1820 was on the route most likely taken by Abner from Knox to Hendricks County.[10] In the 1820 Census for Delaware County,[5] there was a George Miller whose household could have included Nancy, although currently there is no documentation to support any such relationship. Marriage in unorganized territory, however, would be consistent with Nancy's inability to provide the name of the county where she married, as well as a lack of records.

In either event, Abner and Nancy almost certainly were married in Indiana, probably by a Mr. Black, Justice of the Peace; just when, however, remains problematic.

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Abner and Nancy Dunn Bounty Land Warrant Application, in Dunn Family Documents, Primary quality.

    Statement made in June of 1856.

  2. Hendricks County (Indiana). Clerk of the Circuit Court. Marriage records, 1824-1952. (Salt Lake City, Utah: Genealogical Society of Utah, 1982, 1993), FHL #1315915, Primary quality.
  3. Hribal, Mary R, and M. Jeanne Coan. Marriage records of Knox County, Indiana, 1807-1840. (Vincennes, Indiana: M.R. Hribel], 1964), Secondary quality.
  4. Indiana State Library. Indiana State Library Genealogy Database: Marriages through 1850. (Indiana, United States), Secondary quality.
  5. 5.0 5.1 United States. 1820 U.S. Census Population Schedule. (National Archives Microfilm Publication M33), Primary quality.

    Widnor Township, Knox County, Indiana
    Delaware County, Indiana

  6. Ridlen, Colleen Alice. Morgan County, Indiana early marriage records, 1822-1840. (Beech Grove, Indiana: Ridlen, c1978), Secondary quality.
  7. Indiana County History, Hendricks County, 6 Feb 2011, Secondary quality.

    See also: History of Hendricks County (accessed 5 Dec 2006)

  8. Putnam County INGenWeb Marriage Index pre-1850, 6 Feb 2011, Secondary quality.
  9. Deed Book 15, in Clinton, Indiana, United States. Deeds, 1828 - . (Frankfort, Indiana, United States: Clinton County Recorder), 76, Mar 1853-Jan 1854, Primary quality.
  10. Abner may well have moved from Knox to Hendricks County with Robert Dunn, father of the Jeremiah Dunn who witnessed Nancy's Bounty Land application; and brother of the James Dunn living in Delaware "County" in 1820 who moved shortly afterward to Hendricks County.