Wisconsin, County Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Wisconsin, County Marriages, 1836-1911 .
The collection consists of a name index to marriage records in Wisconsin for the years 1836-1911. The record content varies by county. Names are being published as they become available.
To see a coverage map of FamilySearch's holdings of Wisconsin marriages, click here.
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.
- 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
|Don't overlook FHL Keyword Wisconsin, 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 Wisconsin Archives and Libraries. For additional information about this state see the wiki article Wisconsin.|
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.
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How You Can Contribute
| We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records. |
Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.
Citations for This Collection
Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.
- "Wisconsin, County Marriages, 1836-1911." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2015. Citing the State Historical Society of Wisconsin, Madison.
Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):
|The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Wisconsin, County Marriages, 1836-1911.|
- This page was last modified on 2 September 2015, at 21:14.
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