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California, County Marriages - FamilySearch Historical Records

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California, County Marriages, 1850-1952
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
California, 
United States
California flag.png
Flag of California
US Locator California.png
Location of California
Record Description
Record Type Marriages
Collection years 1850-1952
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Multiple county courthouses


What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

This collection consists of an index of county marriages acquired from local courthouses for the years 1850 to 1952. Coverage years will vary by county.

The county marriage records consist of a number of different type of documents including, licenses, certificates, registers, applications, affidavits, and stubs. These records are often in bound volumes but may also have some loose papers.

Image Visibility[edit | edit source]

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However, ultimate rights make it so that some of these images must be viewed at the Family History Library or a family history center near you.

For additional information about image restrictions, please see the Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections page.

To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for California, County Marriages, 1850-1952.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The following information may be found in these records:

  • Name of the groom
  • Name of the bride, often including the maiden name of the bride
  • Names of the officiator and witnesses
  • Names of the parents or guardians of the bride and groom
  • Date of the marriage
  • Birthplaces of the bride and groom
  • Residences of the bride and groom
  • Age and races of the bride and groom
  • Marital status of the bride and groom

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Coverage Table and Map[edit | edit source]

A table and map showing the number of records per county is available at here. This page also includes a chart showing the number of records per year. Most of the records in the collection are from the time periods listed in the table; however, the collection may have a few records from before or after the time period. Records where the exact county could not be easily identified due to incomplete information in the index as listed in the table as California (State), but are not graphed on the map.

To see a coverage map of FamilySearch's holdings of California county marriage records, click here.

Digital Folder Number List[edit | edit source]

This collection was published as a DGS browse collection. These collections do not include any human-readable waypoint data making them difficult to use. A table showing each DGS number and its contents can be found in California, County Marriages Digital Folder Number List. The list can be sorted by DGS number, GS number, author, title, and county.

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • The date of the marriage
  • The place where the marriage occurred

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name by visiting the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

View the Images[edit | edit source]

To view images in this collection:
  1. Look at the California, County Marriages Digital Folder Number List article to determine the folder/film number for the images you want to see
  2. Go to the Browse Page
  3. Select the Film number to view the images


How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images.

What Do I Do Next[edit | edit source]

If these are indexes, the original records may contain additional information than was not indexed, or the information might have been indexed incorrectly. You may want to search for the original record.

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Use the age or estimated birth date to find vital records such as birth, baptism, marriage, and death
  • Use the information found in the record to find additional family members in the census records
  • Use the information found in the record to find probate records
  • If applicable, search for immigration and naturalization records as well

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you find possible relatives
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching a nearby locality
  • Try different spellings of your ancestor’s name
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of California.

Known Issues With This Collection[edit | edit source]

For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to support@familysearch.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.

Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?[edit | edit source]

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Historical Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.

To access available information, first log into FamilySearch.