Michigan Marriage Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Michigan, United States
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Flag of Michigan
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Location of Michigan
Record Description
Record Type Marriage Records
Collection years 1868-1925
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What is in This Collection?

This collection includes marriage records from 1868 to 1925.

Most of this collection consists of marriage licenses, applications, records, registers, and certificates. The records are arranged by county, then by volume and year range. The form type varies between register style and certificate style. County clerks usually used the same printed form during the same time periods. Marriage records were generally well preserved, although fires, floods, or other disasters may have destroyed some records. The earliest marriage bonds and licenses were usually handwritten on loose papers that were later bound into lettered volumes. Some marriage records had multiple entries on each page, while others had single records per page.

An 1805 law required registration of marriages with the clerk of the local district court. In 1867 an additional law required the counties to send copies of the records to the Office of the State Registrar. A very high percentage of marriages that took place in Michigan were recorded by civil authorities.

Marriages were usually recorded by the clerk of the district court for each county from the time the county was formed. Persons desiring to marry obtained a license that they presented to the minister or other person authorized to marry, such as a justice of the peace. Once the marriage was performed, the officiator sent a return to the clerk confirming that the marriage had occurred.

Counties in Michigan recorded marriages to legalize marital relationships and to protect the interests of the wife and other heirs to legal claims on property.

The marriage date, place, residence of the bride and groom, and occupations are relatively reliable. Other information, such as age or birthplace, is dependent on the knowledge, memory, and accuracy of the informants, usually the bride and groom.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The following information may be found in these records

Marriage

  • Full names of the bride and groom
  • Date of marriage license
  • Date and place of marriage
  • Age of bride and groom
  • Race of bride and groom
  • Residence of bride and groom
  • Birthplace of bride and groom
  • Occupation of bride and groom
  • Full names of parents of bride and groom
  • If bride or groom have been married previously
  • Maiden name of bride and groom’s mother
  • Name of person performing the marriage
  • Witnesses to the marriage
  • Residence of witnesses

Collection Content

Sample Image

Coverage Table

A coverage table showing the number of record per county, and record per year is available at Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925

Coverage Map

To see a coverage map of FamilySearch's holdings of Michigan marriages, click here.

How Do I Search This Collection?

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

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

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

To view images in this collection:
  1. Look at the Michigan Marriage Records 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?

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. Keep track of your research in a research log.

What Do I Do Next?

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

  • Search for the family in census records
  • Occupations listed can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as military records
  • Continue to search the marriage records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the bride and groom who may have married in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family
  • Search the county where the marriage occurred for other records such as church, land, and probate

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

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties

Research Helps

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

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
"Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 9 July 2018. Citing Secretary of State. Department of Vital Records, Lansing.
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.

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