New Hampshire Marriage Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
This Collection will include records from 1637 to 1947.
Marriage records were handwritten or later typed on pre-printed forms or cards with single entries on each page. In some cases brides and grooms have separate cards; in others the bride and groom are listed together. The cards are arranged alphabetically by the first and third letter of the groom's surname. More recent marriage records may include certificates of intention of marriage and certificates of marriage.
Town clerks began recording marriages as early as 1639. However, the earlier records do not give much information and the information varies depending upon the clerk. The earlier records only include part of the population. Records after 1901 give more information and the population coverage is near 100 percent.
Marriage records were created to legalize marital relationships and to safeguard the interests of the wife and other legal heirs.
The marriage date, place, residence of bride and groom, and occupation are fairly reliable. Other information such as age or birth place is dependent on the memory of the informants (usually the bride and groom).
While earlier records are usually less complete, many marriage records include the following:
- Date and place of marriage
- Groom's name
- Bride's name
- Residences of the bride and groom
- Age and race of the bride and groom
- Occupation of groom
- Birthplace of each
- Number of marriages for each
- Whether widowed or divorced
- Name of groom's parents and father's occupation
- Name of bride's parents and father's occupation
- Name, residence and title of officiator at marriage
How to Use the Record
To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:
- Names of the bride and groom
- Identifying information such as the marriage date and place.
Search the Collection
To search the collection fill in the requested information in the boxes on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to look at the information on several individuals comparing the information about them 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.
- 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
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.
Tips to Keep in Mind
- Occupations listed can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as 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.
- 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.
Unable to Find Your Ancestor?
- Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
- Search for the marriage record of the marriage partner if known.
- Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
For a summary of this information see the wiki article: United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|Don't overlook FHL Keyword New_Hampshire, Marriage_Records items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see the wiki article New_Hampshire Archives and Libraries. For additional information about this state see the wiki article New_Hampshire.|
Known Issues with This Collection
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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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.|
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.
- "New Hampshire, Marriage Records, 1637-1947." Index and Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013. Citing Bureau of Vital Records and Health Statistics, Concord.
- This page was last modified on 25 August 2014, at 22:27.
- This page has been accessed 6,424 times.
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