Minnesota, County Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: Minnesota County Marriages, 1860-1949 .

Record Description

This collection consists of a name index and images of county marriage records for Minnesota. It covers the years 1860 to 1949.

For a list of records currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.

Coverage Table

The Coverage Table shows the places and time periods covered in the indexed records for this collection. Most of the records in the collection are from the time periods listed in the table; however, the collection may have a few records from before or after the time period.

County Years Covered in Index
Anoka 1846, 1852, 1854, 1858-1951, 1953, 1958, 1992
Blue Earth 1860, 1865-1917
Brown 1849, 1852-1853, 1857-1951, 1989, 1991
Carver 1808, 1829-1832, 1840-1844, 1853, 1856-1945, 1967
Cottonwood 1871-1912
Dodge 1855-1868, 1881, 1887-1925, 1942, 1945
Faribault 1859, 1861-1916, 1919, 1936, 1964, 1968, 1970, 1999
Fillmore 1827, 1838-1839, 1853-1920, 1978
Freeborn 1816, 1842, 1857-1917, 1940, 1976
Goodhue 1821, 1825, 1854-1911, 1991
Hennepin 1842, 1871-1917, 1920, 1943, 1954, 1957, 1966, 1976, 1989
Kanabec 1881-1954
Rock 1916-1922, 1926
Steele 1815-1816, 1837, 1856-1869, 1883, 1886-1887, 1889, 1964

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Records collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.

"Minnesota, County Marriages, 1860-1949." Index and Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

Genealogical facts found in these marriage records include the following:

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Name and residence of groom
  • Name and residence of bride
  • Names of witnesses
  • Name of person officiating at marriage

How to Use the Record

To use these records it is helpful to know the following:

  • The name of the person at the time of marriage
  • The name of the intended spouse
  • Other identifying information such as the approximate marriage date and place

Search the Collection

To search the collection by name, fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches.

To search the collection image by image, you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select the "Browse through images" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the "Digital Folder Number" category which takes you to the images

Compare the information about the ancestors in the list or in the images to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination. Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.

Using the Information

When you have located your ancestor’s marriage record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family. For example:

  • Use the marriage date and place as the basis for compiling a new family group or for verifying existing information.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth of each partner to find a couple's birth records and parents' names.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • The name of the officiator is a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county. However, ministers may have reported marriages performed in other counties.
  • Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
  • Compile the marriage entries for every person who has the same surname as the bride or groom; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • 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 or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • The information in marriage records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one marriage record to another record.

Unable to Find Your Ancestor?

  • Look for variant spellings of the surnames.
  • Look for another index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.

General Information About These Records

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.

Civil marriage records were created 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.

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.

Related Websites

Minnesota County Marriage Index

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

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.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

"Minnesota, County Marriages, 1860-1949." index and images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/: accessed 27 March 2012), entry for Samuel T Kilpatrick and Sophia Alford, married 17 May 1909; citing Marriage Records. FHL microfilm 1,315,837; Freeborn County Courthouse, Albert Lea, Minnesota,FHL microfilm, 420 reels. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.