Pennsylvania Philadelphia Marriage Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)
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Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Indexes, 1885-1951 .
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States|
|Flag of Pennsylvania|
|Location of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|Location of Pennsylvania|
- 1 What is in This Collection?
- 2 What Can These Records Tell Me?
- 3 Collection Content
- 4 How Do I Search This Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 Known Issues with This Collection
- 7 Citing This Collection
- 8 How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
What is in This Collection?
The collection consists of marriage indexes from Philadelphia for the years 1885 to 1951. The marriage indexes are arranged by the names of brides and grooms with the year of the marriage and the license number. The surname of the spouse is shown in parentheses. Use the license numbers listed in the index to find copies of the marriage license records. Microfilm containing marriage license records for years 1885-1915 can be located in the FamilySearch "Affidavit of applicant for marriage license (Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania), 1885-1915; index, 1885-1916" collection, and viewed at the Family History Library and Family History Centers. Marriage license records for years 1916-1951 are available at the City Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
The city and county of Philadelphia were combined in 1854. In 1860, the city passed a law requiring the Board of Health to register all marriages. In 1885, Pennsylvania authorized the Orphans’ Court in each county to register marriages. By 1885, all marriages were supposed to be licensed in Pennsylvania. The index entries are type written and arranged in columns.
Marriage records validate a spouse’s legal claim to property. Marriage licenses grant permission for a marriage to be performed and replaced the previous requirements to post banns or intentions. The index was created to provide public officials with a quick and easy access to any specific marriage record.
What Can These Records Tell Me?
Information in the marriage index includes:
- Full name of person making application for license
- Surname only of spouse
- Gender of person making application
- Year of marriage
- Certificate number
How Do I Search This Collection?
You can search the index or view the images or both. To begin your search it is helpful to know:
- The name of your ancestor
- Name of spouse or date of the event
Search the Index
Search by name by visiting the Collection Page.
- Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have
- Click Search to show possible matches
View the Images
View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page.
- Select Year range
- Select First letter of surname
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.
|More images are available in the FamilySearch Catalog at Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Indexes, 1885-1951. Click on camera icon to see images.|
What Do I Do Next?
Whenever possible, view the original records to verify the information and to find additional information that might not be reported. These pieces of information can lead you to additional records and family members.
I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?
- Use the information to find other records such as birth, christening, census, land and death records
- Use the information to find additional family members
- Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family
- Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900
I Can’t Find Who I’m Looking for, What Now?
- Try viewing the original record to see if there were errors in the transcription of the name, age, residence, etc. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name
- Collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relations that can be verified by records
- If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality in an area search
- Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name
- Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well
- Search the indexes and records of Pennsylvania, United States Genealogy
- Search in the Pennsylvania Archives and Libraries
- Search in the FamilySearch Catalog
Known Issues with This Collection
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 email@example.com. 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
"Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Indexes, 1885-1951." Database with images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. Citing Clerk of the Orphan's Court. City Hall.
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.
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?
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