Pennsylvania Philadelphia Marriage Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Indexes, 1885-1951
CID1388247
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
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Location of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania
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Location of Pennsylvania
Record Description
Record Type Marriage
Collection years 1885-1951
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


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.

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Indexes, 1885-1951.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The following information may be found in these records:

Marriage

  • Full name of person making application for license
  • Surname only of spouse
  • Gender of person making application
  • Year of marriage
  • Certificate number

Collection Content

Sample Image

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

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 Year Range
  2. Select the First Letter of Surname 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?

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 vital records such as birth an death
  • Use the information to find additional family members in census recors
  • Search church records for additional information
  • Search for land and probate records

I Can’t Find Who I’m Looking for, What Now?

  • Collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relatives
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist. Try variations of your ancestor’s name
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names, or even initials

Record Finder

Consult the Pennsylvania Research Tips and Strategies to find other records.

Known Issues with This Collection

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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
"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.
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.