United States Western States Marriage Index (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.

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Record Description

This is an index to over 740,000 marriages prior to 1900. The entries are from county records in the following 12 western states:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Mexico
  • Oregon
  • Utah
  • Washington
  • Wyoming

The coverage is uneven and not comprehensive, although it contains a high percentage of marriages for Utah and Idaho and for Nevada prior to 1900.

This index was created by volunteers at Brigham Young University-Idaho and the Snake River Family History Center. The most reliable information is the date and place of the marriage and license date. Other information is dependent upon the reliability of the informant.

Record Content

Most entries in the index include the following information:

  • Bride’s name
  • Bride’s residence
  • Groom’s name
  • Groom’s residence
  • Marriage date
  • Marriage place
  • County and state
  • Volume
  • Page number

How to Use the Record

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

  • The name of the person at the time of marriage
  • The approximate marriage date and place
  • The name of the intended spouse

Use the locator information found in the index (such as page, entry, or certificate number) to locate your ancestors in the marriage records. Compare the information in the marriage record to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination

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 record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Download a copy of the record, or extract the genealogical information needed. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details. Add this new information to your records of each family. The information may also lead you to other records about your ancestors.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Continue to search the index and records to identify other relatives.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • You may need to compare the information of more than one family or person to make this determination.

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 the counties and states where your ancestors lived.
  • 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.

Related Websites

Western States Marriage Index

Related Wiki Articles

Western States Marriage Index

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.

Collection Citation:

"Western States Marriage Index." Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2015. Citing David O. McKay Library, Brigham Young University – Idaho, Rexburg, Idaho.

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 26 August 2015, at 20:33.
  • This page has been accessed 2,410 times.