Traded a dollar for a Penney?


My (very...) great grand-father Silas Carpenter married a woman by the name of Phebe Penn(e)y on 27 Mar 1804, likely in Pittstown, New York.

There's a family legend that states that Silas used to say something to the effect of:

I traded a dollar for a Penny and it was the best trade of my life

owing to the fact that a marriage license cost a dollar.

I'm trying to figure out if this family legend could in fact be true, but I'm not finding a great source to find the cost of a marriage license in those days.

Is this true, and if not, is there another possible source (Pastor cost for performing ceremony, etc) that could result in this legend?


Posted 2015-08-27T15:23:58.410

Reputation: 1 211



Call and ask

Rensselaer County County Clerk: 9am – 5pm, Phone: (518) 270-4080, Fax: (518) 271-7998, Location: 105 Third Street, Troy, NY 12180


Rensselaer Public Library
(518) 462-1193

Rusty Erpenbeck

Posted 2015-08-27T15:23:58.410

Reputation: 3 576

2I very much doubt whether a county clerk or a public librarian would be able to tell you offhand how much a marriage license cost in 1804. They would probably have to due a considerable amount of research... – Harry Vervet – 2015-10-01T00:05:08.870

They just need to know which book to look in. The answer is there. The problem is whether they will take the time. – Rusty Erpenbeck – 2015-10-01T01:54:54.360