Frequently Asked Questions about United States Marriage Records
How to Find United States Marriage Records FAQs about U.S. Marriage Records
Why would I want to search for a marriage record?
- May give the exact date and place where the marriage took place.
- May indicate where the bride and/or groom were born.
- May give you ages of the bride and/or groom.
- May give parents of the bride and/or groom.
- May indicate other relatives who were witnesses or bondsmen for the marriage.
- Help you extend a generation to the parents of the bride and/or groom.
What information does a marriage record include?
Information gathered by state and county officials differs from each state. Generally the following was included:
- Names of the bride and groom
- Date and place of the marriage
- Who performed the marriage
- Ages of the bride and groom
- Birthplaces of the bride and groom
- Residences of the bride and groom
- Father’s name (bride and groom)
- Mother’s name including maiden (bride and groom)
- Previous marriages of either the bride or groom
What you need to know about marriage records in the U.S.:
- Each state has a different year when marriages began to be recorded depending on when their state law was passed.
- Information gathered by state and county officials differs from each state.
- Most states began recording marriages from the date counties were formed.
- New England states started recording marriages on the town level starting as early as the first residents of the town.
How do I find my ancestor’s marriage record?
- Check online indexes and digital images
- Check repositories, such as archives and libraries (FHL)
- Obtain certificate from the government agency ($$)