Idaho, County Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Idaho County Marriages, 1864-1950 .
This Collection will include records from 1864 to 1950.
About half the records are single page records or registers and another half are packet style with packet cover and related documents. Included in this collection are marriage licenses, certificates, applications, docket books, and affidavits. The collection may also include some loose documents. The first laws in Idaho Territory concerning marriages were enacted in 1864. The first Territorial Legislative Assembly made provisions for books in which to record certificates issued by the person performing the marriage ceremony, as well as contracts made by individuals. Although some early Idaho Territorial marriage contracts were recorded, most were not. Pre-1895 records located in the county courthouses of Idaho are certificates issued by the person performing the marriage ceremony. County recorders have records of marriages since the date each county was organized. In addition to the register, most counties will also have the original marriage applications. These are especially valuable if one or both marriage parties are under legal age as permission from the parent or guardian is included. No licenses were required before 11 March 1895. Civil marriage records were created to legalize marital relationships and to safeguard the interests of the wife and other heirs. The date and place of marriage and the name of the presiding official are quite reliable. Other information depends upon the knowledge and reliability of the informants, usually the bride and groom.
Information found in most Idaho marriage records may include:
- Names of the groom and bride
- Current county and state of their residence
- Date and place license was issued
- Date and place of marriage
- Names of witnesses
- Presiding official
How to Use the Records
To begin your search you will need to know the following:
- Name of your ancestor
- Name of the intended spouse
- Approximate date and place of marriage.
Search the Collection
To search the collection by name fill in your ancestor’s name in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about those in the list to what you already know about your own ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. Look at the images one by one. Again you will need to compare the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor.
As you are searching it is helpful to know such information as your ancestor’s given name and surname, some identifying information such as residence and age, and family relationships. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name as your ancestor and that your ancestor may have used nicknames or different names at different times.
- If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
- Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at FamilySearch Search Tips.
Using the Information
Marriage records are the best source for validating the date and place of marriage. Use the marriage as the basis for compiling a family group. Use the birth date or age and birth place of each partner to find a couple’s birth records and parents’ names. Use the place of residence to search for other records that may have information on parents and siblings. The name of the presiding official is a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county. However, ministers may have reported marriages performed in other counties.
|FHL Place United States, Idaho items or FHL Keyword Idaho items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see Idaho Archives and Libraries.|
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Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
- "Idaho, County Marriages, 1864-1950." Index and Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing County Courthouses, Idaho.