How to Find North Carolina Marriage RecordsEdit This Page

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How To Find U.S. Marriage Records go to North Carolina Gotoarrow.png North Carolina Marriage Records

Finding North Carolina Marriage Records

  • Marriages are kept by the county clerk for each county and begin at the creation of the county
  • 1962 - counties began sending copies of marriage records to the state

Next Step: When did the marriage occur?

Marriage Records
Choose a time period:


Learn more about U.S. Marriage Records

Marriages Before 1741

Records survive for few marriages that took place before 1741.

From 1669 to 1741, marriages were performed by clergy or civil authorities and were recorded in county records. Check the North Carolina Archives or the Family History Library to see what is available for the county of interest.

If you cannot locate your ancestor in the databases below, try searching for marriage information in other records.

1. Look first in 2. Then search
Church Records
Bible Records
Return to the Top: Choose another marriage year

Marriages from 1741 to 1961

  • Marriages are kept by the county clerk for each county and begin at the creation of the county

Different types of county marriage records are available in North Carolina in different time periods. In general, the following types of records are available:

  • 1741-1851 Marriage bonds
  • 1851-1868 Marriage bonds, licenses and certificates
  • 1868-present Marriage licenses

STEP ONE: Find Marriage Information in Index

Marriage Indexes and Digital Images
Database Name - Index and Image Link or links to access database # of records
FamilySearch, Marriages, 1762-1979 On FamilySearch; free; INCOMPLETE for all counties and years; consult coverage table to identify counties and dates included 649,806
If you do not locate the marriage in the above, try:
Database Name-Index Only Link or links to access database # of records
Ancestry, Marriages, 1741-2004 Free using Ancestryinstitution at FamilySearch Centers $, Use your own Ancestry subscription 2,709,615
Ancestry, Marriage Bonds, 1741-1868 Free using Ancestryinstitution at FamilySearch Centers $, Use your own Ancestry subscription 339,887
FamilySearch, Marriage Index, 1759-1979 On FamilySearch; free; INCOMPLETE for all counties and years 2,128,230
State Archives of North Carolina Newspaper Notices, 1799-1893 Indexes of marriage announcements compiled from five North Carolina newspapers dating 1799 to 1893
Can't access Ancestry? Visit your local Family History Center or your local public library.
No marriage record for your ancestor?

Search for Gretna Greens-- locations away from the home county where marriage laws were less restrictive.
Search other records with marriage information.

STEP TWO: Obtain the Record

If you found the marriage information from the indexes above, there are two ways to obtain the marriage record:

OPTION 1
Marriage Records on Microfilm
Some county marriage records may be available from the North Carolina Archives or FamilySearch Centers and Libraries. With the county and date of marriage, use the table to determine how to make a search.

North Carolina State Archives FamilySearch Centers and Libraries

OPTION 2
Order the marriage record from the Register of Deeds in the county the marriage took place. List of county Register of Deeds contact information.

Still can't find your ancestor in the above indexes? Try one of the following:

Return to the Top: Choose another marriage year

Marriages from 1962 to Present

  • 1962 - counties began sending copies of marriage records to the state

STEP ONE: Find Marriage Information in Index

Marriage Indexes and Digital Images
Database Name - Index and Image Link or links to access database # of records
FamilySearch, Marriages, 1762-1979 On FamilySearch; free; INCOMPLETE for all counties and years; consult coverage table to identify counties and dates included 649,806
If you do not locate the marriage in the above, try:
Database Name-Index Only Link or links to access database # of records
Ancestry, Marriages, 1741-2004 Free using Ancestryinstitution at FamilySearch Centers $, Use your own Ancestry subscription 2,709,615
FamilySearch, Marriage Index, 1759-1979 On FamilySearch; free; INCOMPLETE for all counties and years 2,128,230
Can't access Ancestry? Visit your local Family History Center or your local public library.
No marriage record for your ancestor?

Search for Gretna Greens-- locations away from the home county where marriage laws were less restrictive.
Search other records with marriage information.

STEP TWO: Obtain the Record

PART A: You know the exact date and place of marriage from your records or the above indexes

To Order Marriage Certificates
From County Register of Deeds where Marriage occurred North Carolina Public Health, Vital Records Unit
Pros Cons Pros Cons
May be less expensive and faster than ordering from the state County websites can be more difficult to use Expedited service on VitalChek Must have an exact date and county of marriage


PART B: You don't know the exact date or place of marriage

Return to the Top: Choose another marriage year

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  • This page was last modified on 19 July 2014, at 05:01.
  • This page has been accessed 6,339 times.