Florida, 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: Florida, Marriages, 1830-1993 .
This Collection will include records from 1830 to 1993.
The collection consists of an index and images of marriage records from various counties in Florida. These records include licenses, marriage applications, marriage certificates, and marriage packets. The records are arranged by county, date, and record type. Information on marriages is generally handwritten on pre-printed forms. Some eighteenth century bonds were written out by hand. During later years the information was typed. The actual forms differ from one county to another, but include the same basic information.
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.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
- County Clerks in Florida. Florida Marriages, County Courthouses.
The marriage license and/or affidavit records usually lists the following information:
- Name and age of groom
- Date and place of birth
- Residence of groom
- Name and age of bride
- Date and place of birth
- Residence of bride
- Race of the bride and groom
- Parents' names of groom
- Parents' names of bride
- Date and place where license issued
- Date and place of marriage
How to Use the Record
Begin your search by finding your ancestors in the index. Name indexes to marriages make it possible to access a specific marriage record quickly. Remember that these indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings and misinterpretations.
When searching the index it is helpful to know the following:
- The county where the marriage occurred
- The name of the person at the time of marriage
- The approximate marriage date
- The marriage 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.
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 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.
- Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or 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.
Keep in mind:
- 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.
For a summary of this information see the wiki article: United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records).
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.
Known Issues with This Collection
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Contributions to This Article
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. 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.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.
Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection
"Florida, Marriages, 1830-1993," index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/V6RH-9L6 : accessed 20 April 2012), Louis Emanuel Bacon and Flora Isaacson, married 30 June 1932; citing various county clerks throughout Florida.
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