Wisconsin County Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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

Contents

Record Description

The collection consists of a name index to marriage records in Wisconsin. The record content varies by county. Names are being published as they become available.

Record Content

Genealogical facts found in these marriage records include the following:

  • Name of the groom
  • Name of the bride
  • Names of the officiator and witnesses
  • Names of the parents or guardians of the bride and groom
  • Date of the marriage
  • Birthplaces of the bride and groom
  • Residences of the bride and groom
  • Occupation of the groom
  • Races of the bride and groom

How to Use the Record

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

  • The names of the bride and groom
  • Other identifying information such as the approximate 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 article FamilySearch Search 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 place of birth and the names of the parents to find the couple’s birth records.
  • Use the residence to find 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.
  • 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 names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for an 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 localities.
  • Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor

For a summary of this information see the wiki article: United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records).

General Information About These Records

Marriages were recorded by the clerk of the district court for each county from the time the county was formed. Persons desiring to marry obtained a license that they presented to the minister or other person authorized to marry, such as a justice of the peace. Once the marriage was performed, the officiator sent a return to the clerk confirming that the marriage had occurred.

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, and residence of the bride and groom are relatively reliable. Other information, such as birthplace, is dependent on the knowledge, memory, and accuracy of the informants, usually the bride and groom.

Related Websites

Public Records Search

Related Wiki Articles

Wisconsin Vital Records

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 Citation:

"Wisconsin County Marriages, 1836-1911." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2014. Citing the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Madison.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record will be available with each record once the collection is published.

 

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  • This page was last modified on 19 December 2014, at 15:28.
  • This page has been accessed 939 times.