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


What is in This Collection?

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

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

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?

Information usually found in the marriage records include:

  • 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

Coverage Table and Map

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 List

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?

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

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

View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:

  1. Select the County
  2. Select the Record Type, Year Range and Volume Number or Letter to view the images.


How Do I Analyze the Results?

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

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 at the California Vital Records.

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • In case you need to find this record again later, copy the citation below in the Citing This Collection section.
  • Use the age or estimated birth date to find other county or vital records such as birth, baptism, marriage, and death records.
  • 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.
  • Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family.

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?

  • 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.

Known Issues With This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

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

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

"California, County Marriages, 1850-1952." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 16 February 2017. County courthouses, California.

Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

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 Records.

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