Until October 3, 1681, all marriages in Bergen were
performed in the school-house, thenceforth in the church, it
was the custom to be married in the presence of the
congregation either by the minister or the Voorleezer, if by the
latter, the record bore the clause "in the presence of the Court
of Bergen." In the early days the usual fee was f6 in wampum,
paid over to the church funds. Often a collection was taken up
among the wedding guests for the poor. There are several
instances of the kind on record. There was no almshouse until
recent years, and in the early days the town paid for the board
of the poor, but the method of arranging the matter sounds
very strange nowadays. It seems from the records that the
poor dependent upon the town were sold to the lowest bidder.
Winfield' quotes the following: "At Bergen Town meeting Dec.
15th 1784, at a public Outcry is sold Enoch Earle to the lowest
bidder for, the sum of seven pounds, ten shillings, the conditions
are as follows, the byer is to find the said Enoch Earle a Good
Bed, Washing, Lodging and Victuals, and mending his close; the
Overseers of the Poor are to find all the New Close and then
thesaid Enoch Earle is to work for the Byer as much as he is
able to do until the year's End."