A. E. Jordan
"Was it common at that time in NYC to have a religious marriage prior to a
civil ceremony? And if so, why. didn't the religious ceremony count legally?"
First I would ask did you check the actual 1906 certificate? Some times the
index is wrong on the dates. Also read the certificate to see if it shows
that the report was delayed ... it should say when and where the marriage
It would not be common for a civil ceremony to be performed after the
religious one in New York City in 1905/1906. Maybe the 1905 or earlier
ceremony was not in New York -- or even the USA --- and for some reason the
couple felt they needed to document the marriage on paper in New York in 1906.
What we more typically find is a civil ceremony first months earlier and it
seems like the family or whatever then convinces the couple that they needed
to redo it with a religious ceremony. You can tell because the first one is
usually at the Municipal Building and performed by the City Clerk or Deputy
Clerk. I recently saw one (not Jewish) where the first marriage was performed
by a local elected official of some notoriety and a few months later they got
married in the church.