How to Find Washington Marriage RecordsEdit This Page

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

Finding Washington Marriage Records

The Washington Territory was established in 1853. Marriages were recorded by the county auditor as each county was created. Statehood was granted in 1889. Statewide registration of marriages in Washington began in 1968.

  • 1848 – Oregon Territory created, including present day Washington state
  • 1853 – Washington Territory organized
  • 1889 – Washington granted statehood as the 42nd state of the Union
  • 1968 - Statewide registration of marriages began on July 1

The State of Washington is an open record state. Anyone may order copies of Washington marriage certificates, as long as they can provide the required information.

Next Step: When did the marriage occur?

Marriage Records
Choose a time period:

Learn more about U.S. Marriage Records

Marriages Before 1853

  • Before 1853, no marriages were recorded by the county or state
  • 1853 to 1968 marriages were recorded by the county

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

Newspapers
Military Records
Obituaries

Census Records

Cemetery Records
Death Records
Bible Records

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Marriages 1853 to 1968

Washington Marriage Database - includes index and digital Images

Try 1st:


1843 to present Washington State Digital Archives

Washington State Digital Archives – Free, includes marriage records, license applications and certificates. Coverage varies by county.

Try 2nd:


Washington, County Marriages, 1855–2008
FamilySearch.org

FamilySearch.org – Free, partial index, browse images, not complete for all counties
Try 3rd:


Washington, County Records

FamilySearch.org – Free, dates vary by county; includes marriage records from the county clerks for early Washington. This is a browse collection, search for your county and then the Marriage Records.
Try 4th:


Washington Marriage Records, 1865–2004 Ancestry.com
Ancestry.com – $

Ancestryinstitution.comFree at Family History Library, FamilySearch Centers and some public libraries
Find your local FamilySearch Center
Try 5th:


Western States Marriage Index

Western States Marriage Index – Free, incomplete
Can't find your ancestor in the online index? Tips for searching online indexes
No marriage record for your ancestor?

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

Other records with marriage information

Marriage Records on Microfilm
Some county marriage records may be available on microfilm at your local Family Search Center. If you know the approximate date and county where the marriage took place, use the FamilySearch Catalog to see what is available.

  • Search the FamilySearch Catalog by county.
  • Select the topic Vital Records. Look for records authored by the county clerk.
  • For a small fee, order the microfilm to view at a local Family Search Center.

Order marriage records from the county auditor. If you do not find your ancestor in a marriage index contact the county auditor where you think the marriage took place.

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Marriages 1968 to present

Marriage licenses may be found in the records of the county where the marriage occurred.

STEP ONE: Find Marriage Information in Index

Some marriages records after 1968 with digital images are found in the following databases.

Washington Marriage Database - includes index and digital Images

Try 1st:


1843 to present Washington State Digital Archives

Washington State Digital Archives – Free, includes marriage records, license applications and certificates. Coverage varies by county.

Try 2nd:


Washington, County Marriages, 1855–2008
FamilySearch.org

FamilySearch.org – Free, partial index, browse images, not complete for all counties
Try 3rd:


Washington Marriage Records, 1865–2004 Ancestry.com
Ancestry.com – $

Ancestryinstitution.comFree at Family History Library, FamilySearch Centers and some public libraries
Find your local FamilySearch Center
Can't find your ancestor in the online index? Tips for searching online indexes
No marriage record for your ancestor?

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

Other records with marriage information

STEP TWO: Obtain the Certificate

If you did not find your ancestor in the above database, follow the instructions below.

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

  • If you know the county of marriage, request a search for a fee from the county auditor. To find the county auditor for the county you are interested in.  For example if you are interested in finding Yakima County Auditor, on Google enter; Yakima County Auditor Washington State.
  • If you don't know the county or date of marriage, request a search for a fee from the Washington State Department of Health.
  • If you don't know the date or county of marriage, you can also try searching for marriage information in other records.

PART B: You know the exact date and place of marriage from your records

  • Order copies from the county auditor.  To find the county auditor for the county you are interested in:  for example if you are interested in finding Yakima County Auditor, on Google enter: Yakima County Auditor Washington State    –OR
  • Order copies from the Washington State Department of Health
To Order Marriage Certificates
From County where marriage occurred From Washington State Dept. of Health
Pros Cons Pros Cons
May be less expensive and faster than ordering from the state County websites can be more difficult to use Offers a search of the state index for an additional fee May be more expensive than ordering from the county


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  • This page was last modified on 28 October 2014, at 23:00.
  • This page has been accessed 2,192 times.