Just Like Internet Dating?— Circa 1913



I don’t often read stories like this but, when I was researching through the newspaper archives I had to read this story twice it was so fascinating.

Ottawa Journal– October 21 1913 headline read:

Girl Underage Wed- Trouble Now!

Charity Officer  John Keane and his Charity offices of Ottawa were asked to investigate a case of a fair young U.S. visitor who had married her groom while still underage. It began innocently enough when a young girl came to Canada on a visit and met a young Lanark County man and Cupid engineered the rest.

They married and sent a clipping of their marriage to her parents in the United States. Maybe that wasn’t such a  wise decision as the young girl’s parents immediately contacted Canadian authorities that she was not yet eighteen–meaning in capital letters she was still underage.

Children’s Aid was then contacted who in turn contacted a similar American agency that immediately asked them if someone underage could get married in Canada. Well it seems that the young girl had made some misstatements and in those days official papers were not the first thing on everyone’s mind- so she got away with it.

Both agencies American and Canadian said that nothing could be done now as the marriage had taken place without incident. Had they known her parents had not given consent they could have stopped it– but there was nothing they could do about it now. The couple was now living in Ottawa and hopefully happily ever after.

My how times have changed.

Related Reading

Because You Loved Me — A Vintage Lanark Romance

Would You Duel Anything For Love?

The McArthur Love Story

About lindaseccaspina

Before she laid her fingers to a keyboard, Linda was a fashion designer, and then owned the eclectic store Flash Cadilac and Savannah Devilles in Ottawa on Rideau Street from 1976-1996. She also did clothing for various media and worked on “You Can’t do that on Television”. After writing for years about things that she cared about or pissed her off on American media she finally found her calling. She is a weekly columnist for the Sherbrooke Record and documents history every single day and has over 6500 blogs about Lanark County and Ottawa and an enormous weekly readership. Linda has published six books and is in her 4th year as a town councillor for Carleton Place. She believes in community and promoting business owners because she believes she can, so she does.

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