Fearless Females --Marriage Records--Ethel Smith and Harold Murrell

In honor of Women's History month I am going to try to follow along with some of the blog prompts provided by Lisa Alzo of the The Accidental Genealogist. I am away on vacation this week, so I can't promise that I will be able to keep up with this daily. If you haven't been over to The Accidental Genealogist to check out the blog prompts, you should check it out. 

Today's prompt -- March 4 — Do you have marriage records for your grandparents or great-grandparents? Write a post about where they were married and when. Any family stories about the wedding day? Post a photo too if you have one.

I don't have a copy of their marriage record, but I do know that my paternal grandparents were married in 1932 at Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem, New York.

Abyssinian Baptist Church
Image courtesy of Wikipedia. Picture by DennisInAmsterdam

An interesting side note would be that they were married by Adam Clayton Powell Sr.

Adam Clayton Powell Sr. 
Image courtesy of BlackPast.org

For more information on Adam Clayton Powell Sr., here is the link to BlackPast.org:   http://www.blackpast.org/?q=aah/powell-sr-adam-clayton-1865-1953

My grandparents met while working at a place called the Morgan Laundry. When I did a search on Google today with the words "Morgan Laundry" and "Harlem", this is what I came across.

Excerpt from the "The New York Age" page 10, Saturday August 1, 1931 courtesy of Fulton History.com.

Many of the white laundry companies of New York employ large numbers of colored workers. The Morgan Laundry Service, the national laundry chain, a subsidiary of the Pullman Company, employs mostly colored in the laundering of the Pullman linens and towels. Another large laundry employing Negroes in Harlem is the National Laundry at I West 140th street, which has several hundred Negro workers. There are other similar establishments throughout the city.

Although I don't have a copy of their marriage license I am blessed to have my grandparents wedding photo.

Ethel Smith Murrell (January 6, 1911--July 4, 1996)
 Harold Osmond Murrell (August 16, 1903--October 9, 1996)


  1. That must have been hot work. I think a photo is better than a document because you can probably order a copy of the marriage license but if there's no photo, there's no photo.

    1. You are right about that Kristin. If there is no photo...there is no photo. I have to make a point an order a copy of their license.

  2. Although they are not grinning from ear to ear, they look happy and content with their choice.

    1. I think they were content with their choice. Like any marriage, they had their ups and downs.

  3. Very,very nice photo of your grands and that Church is beautiful.


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