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Frequently Asked Questions about United States Marriage Records

Finding United States Marriage Records go to FAQs about U.S. Marriage Records

Why would I want to search for a marriage record?

  • May give the exact date and place where the marriage took place.
  • May indicate where the bride and/or groom were born.
  • May give you ages of the bride and/or groom.
  • May give parents of the bride and/or groom.
  • May indicate other relatives who were witnesses or bondsmen for the marriage.
  • Help you extend a generation to the parents of the bride and/or groom.

What information does a marriage record include?
Information gathered by state and county officials differs from each state. Generally the following was included:

  • Names of the bride and groom
  • Date and place of the marriage
  • Who performed the marriage

May include:

  • Ages of the bride and groom
  • Birthplaces of the bride and groom
  • Residences of the bride and groom
  • Father’s name (bride and groom)
  • Mother’s name including maiden (bride and groom)
  • Previous marriages of either the bride or groom

What you need to know about marriage records in the U.S.:

  • Each state has a different year when marriages began to be recorded depending on when their state law was passed.
  • Information gathered by state and county officials differs from each state.
  • Most states began recording marriages from the date counties were formed.
  • New England states started recording marriages on the town level starting as early as the first residents of the town.


How do I find my ancestor’s marriage record?

  1. Check online indexes and digital images
  2. Check repositories, such as archives and libraries (FHL)
  3. Obtain certificate from the government agency ($$)


  • This page was last modified on 8 April 2013, at 21:04.
  • This page has been accessed 217 times.