These agencies collected correspondence from hopeful ladies and gents and relayed them to prospective matches, preferably resulting in a marriage.By the late 1800s, even the Salvation Army was getting into the matchmaking business, with hopes to “materially lessen the number of unsuitable unions.” The Evening Capital Journal from Salem describes this business venture as it unfolded in London: “A Matrimonial Agency” from April 11, 1892.These advertisements were often mailed to the postmaster general and forwarded to local newspapers.

Our ads are viewed by thousands of people on daily bases, so if you are searching for a particular item or service, or if you like to place free ads*, then you are more than welcome to do so at no cost to you.

However, for a nominal fee, your ads will appear on thousands of other websites.

Whether you believe the accuracy of this statistic or not, online dating, personal ads and the resulting relationships are normal enough that chances are you know or have encountered someone who has tried one of these non-traditional versions of matchmaking.

Finding alternate ways to meet mates certainly isn’t a new idea.

According to English Law, the day was “leaped over” and carried no legal status with it.¹ It was generally assumed that traditions also held no merit on the day.

This was exciting news for daring women who had the opportunity to reverse the tables and propose marriage on that leap year day. The leap day was taken advantage of in different ways, some of them controversial and some vexing to the men who were quite content to remain single.

Matrimonial agencies often had their own circulating publications, but they also frequently created newspaper ads in local newspapers on behalf of their clients, taking advantage of the near-ubiquitous newspaper readership of that time.

Although it was certainly useful to ask a matrimonial agency for help, it was also quite embarrassing and not something a respectable couple would outline in their marriage announcement.

Newspapers of the time are riddled with unsatisfied customers and jilted respondents.

Take for instance, this woman: Her hopes of snagging a wealthy husband (or at least one who can pay the bills) seem to have backfired after the nuptials were read.

One particular phenomena that benefited from the advent of newspaper advertisements was the tradition of Leap Year Proposals.