Delaware, Marriage Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

From FamilySearch Wiki

FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.

Contents

Record Description

The collection "Delaware, Marriages and Marriage Licenses, 1713-1894" consists of an index to selected church marriages and marriage licenses.

You will be able to browse through images in this collection when it is published.

The collection "Delaware, Marriage Records, 1913-1954" consists an index and images of Delaware statewide marriage records. The certificates are arranged by year then by certificate number.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Delaware Marriage Records, 1913-1954.

Record Content

Delaware marriage records may include the following:

  • Groom's name and residence
  • Groom's age, race, nativity and occupation
  • Name of groom's father and place of nativity
  • Name of groom's mother and place of nativity
  • Marital status of the bride and groom
  • Bride's name and residence
  • Bride's age, race, and nativity
  • Name of bride's father and place of nativity
  • Name of bride's mother and place of nativity
  • Name of the officiator
  • Witnesses' names and their place of residence

How to Use the Records

To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:;

  • The name of the person at the time of marriage
  • Identifying information such as the approximate marriage date and place

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.

If you did not find the person you were looking for, you may need to search the collection by image.
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the appropriate "Film Number" which takes you to the images.

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. 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.

With either search 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.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article [FamilySearch Tips and Tricks].

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.
  • Use the parent’s birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • Use the marriage number to identify previous marriages.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • 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 1900.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one marriage record to another record.
  • Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Unable to Find your Ancestor?

General Information About These Records

State registration of marriages began in 1847 as the recorder of deeds for each county began to send copies of marriages to the secretary of the State Board of Health. Vital registration was generally complied with after 1913 when the central Bureau of Vital Statistics was established according to state law, which required registration of vital records. Copies of marriage records for the most recent 40 years can be obtained by writing to the Bureau of Vital Statistics, or for earlier records, from the Delaware Public Archives in Dover, Delaware.

Population coverage is nearly 100% after statewide registration began in 1847. Coverage is not as complete for some earlier years.

Counties in Delaware recorded marriages to safeguard the interests of the wife and other legal heirs by documenting marriages and property ownership. Marriage records are considered to be primary source records. Information in these records is usually reliable, including the marriage date and place and residences of the bride and groom.

Originally, marriage records were handwritten. Later they were typed on pre-printed forms with multiple entries on each page. Marriage records were generally well preserved, though fires, floods, or other disasters may have destroyed some records.

Related Websites

Delaware Genweb Project

Related Wiki Articles

Contributions to This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. Guidelines are available to help you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide. If you would like to get more involved join the WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Citations for This Collection

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information; that is, cite your sources. This will help people find the record again and evaluate the reliability of the source. 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. Citations are available for the collection as a whole and each record or image individually.

Collection Citations:

"Delaware, Marriages and Marriage Licenses, 1713-1894" Index. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing Bureau of Archives and Records Management. Hall of Records, Dover.

"Delaware, Marriage Records, 1913-1954" Index and Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing Bureau of Archives and Records Management. Hall of Records, Dover.

Image Citations

The citation for an image will be available on each image once the collection is published.
The citation for an image is available on each image in this collection by clicking Show Citation at the bottom left of the image screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Delaware Marriage Records, 1913-1954.



 

Need additional research help? Contact our research help specialists.

Need wiki, indexing, or website help? Contact our product teams.


Did you find this article helpful?

You're invited to explain your rating on the discussion page (you must be signed in).

  • This page was last modified on 29 October 2014, at 19:20.
  • This page has been accessed 6,297 times.