Join the Cause! Index Every Marriage Record in the United States

September 21, 2016  - by 

The U.S. Marriages Project, a joint initiative between and, is actively working to save the marriage records from every state in the United States. Through the indexing efforts of online volunteers across the U.S, this service project will create a high quality, searchable database of nearly every marriage recorded in the United States since the early 1800s.


Valuable Records for Connecting Families

1970s weddingMarriage records, often recorded by county clerks in beautiful ledgers, have valuable data that many records do not have—the wife’s maiden name and her parents. This information was not generally captured in earlier census records or other government documents. As people fill in the branches of their family tree, it is often the lines of the women that are harder to fill in. Marriage records in this project will help many people fill in their family tress. Fueled by the joy of discovering fascinating surprises from their own family history, volunteer indexers are excited to join the cause of indexing U.S. marriages.

When complete, the index and images will be available to findmypast subscribers and LDS members with accounts. Free access for everyone will be available at family history centers all over the world.

How to Participate

Marriage records for this project are listed by state. Indexers are invited to contribute to any state in the available projects. If there is a state that indexers feel connected to, then that is a great place to start.

To select a project, follow these steps:

I’m New to FamilySearch Indexing

  1. Go to the list of U.S. Marriage Projects here:
  2. Find a project with the term “Marriage Records” in the title, as in this example: US, California—Marriage Records, 1750–1990
  3. Click Get Started, and follow the instructions.

I Have Used FamilySearch Indexing and Have the Software on My Computer

  1. Open the indexing program on your laptop or desktop computer.
  2. Click the blue Download Batch button.
  3. A pop-up window will open. Click the button to select Show all projects.
  4. Click the column Project Name (this sorts the list alphabetically).
  5. Select a US State—Marriage Records project.

Help Publish: Arbitrate Indexed Marriages

As you know, indexes cannot be published on until they are reviewed, and arbitrators make this possible. Thank you for your help in arbitrating these U.S. Marriage Records.

Get Started Arbitrating
Find Help with an Arbitration Mentor
Match Records (Video)


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  1. I have been anxious for this topic of indexing since last week. When I saw it up on the top I hoped that the links would work. I have tried each of the links in your article, but I have not as yet been led to an article in which weeding records could be found. This is a wonderful topic to help get people involved. I do hope the concerns can be addressed. I will keep watching. Many thanks. I cheering for you!

  2. Thanks and for taking this wonderful initiative. We all need to get involved in this project and index as many marriages as we can. A lot of people will be able to complete their family tree if this project comes through.

  3. I just realized my indexing of Cook County marriages is really free labor for FMP, a corporate entity. I can’t see the indexing results for my own research unless I go to a Family History Center. I’m considering ending indexing all together.

      1. Isn’t Family Search free? I have subscribed to for a couple years now and haven’t used FS that much. I have noticed new marriage records coming up quite frequently. I have indexed in the past and try to do my state before others but love indexing all of it.

  4. Does the LDS Church or concern it’s self with linking of any of their records with people or user’s DNA results? I do not find any mention of DNA on this great web site.

  5. I would like to index the state of Maryland, but it never comes up on my list. I do click show all projects. Is it only for certain people?

  6. The number of names in a marriage “record” is at minimum 2, but could be greater depending on whether parents’ names are available. The statistics need to recognize this by returning the number of names indexed in addition to the number of records. It’s not hard, everything is in the database.

    1. ive heard the goal this year is 20 million marriage records over last years five how are we doing so far?
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  7. What action can or do you take to inform your users about an official marriage record that is in error and has been repeated in a respected genealogy of one of the families by a descendants of that family? The error can be verified by searching subsequent deeds of the parties involved. Would you have any influence with the county involved to get them to attach a warning to the record so that researchers would be aware that a discrepancy exists?