How to Find Pennsylvania Marriage Records

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''[[How to Find United States Marriage Records|How To Find U.S. Marriage Records]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png|go to]] [[Pennsylvania]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png]]'' '''Pennsylvania Marriage Records'''
  
'''[[How to Find United States Marriage Records|How To Find U.S. Marriage Records]] [[Image:Gotoarrow.png|go to]] How To Find Pennsylvania Marriage Records'''  
+
*Pennsylvania counties have continuously recorded marriages since 1885.
 +
*In Pennsylvania, copies of marriage records '''''are not''''' sent to the state.
  
 
{{Tip|More marriage information is usually found on the '''marriage license application''' or the '''marriage register'''. Less information is found on the '''marriage certificate'''. }}  
 
{{Tip|More marriage information is usually found on the '''marriage license application''' or the '''marriage register'''. Less information is found on the '''marriage certificate'''. }}  
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{| width="75%" border="1" align="center" style="margin: 1em auto"
 
{| width="75%" border="1" align="center" style="margin: 1em auto"
 
|-
 
|-
! valign="middle" bgcolor="C0 C0 C0" align="center" scope="col" colspan="2" |  
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! valign="middle" bgcolor="C0 C0 C0" align="center" colspan="2" scope="col" |  
 
== '''Next Step: When did the marriage occur? '''  ==
 
== '''Next Step: When did the marriage occur? '''  ==
  
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== '''Marriages Before 1852'''  ==
 
== '''Marriages Before 1852'''  ==
  
*Before 1852 marriages were kept on the Church level. Some of the larger cities may have marriage registers but may be difficult to search. If you cannot locate your ancestor in the databases below, try searching for marriage information in [[Marriage Information Substitute Records|other records]].
+
*Before 1852 marriages were kept on the church level.  
 +
*Some large cities have marriage registers, but they are often difficult to search.
 +
 
 +
{| width="100%" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="6" border="1"
 +
|-
 +
| colspan="4" | '''Marriage Indexes'''
 +
|-
 +
| width="15%" align="left" | '''Database Name-Index Only '''
 +
| width="70%" align="left" colspan="2" | '''Link or links to access database'''
 +
| width="15%" align="center" | # of records
 +
|-
 +
| Ancestry, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985
 +
| width="35%" align="center" | [http://search.ancestryinstitution.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2451 Free using Ancestryinstitution at FamilySearch Centers]
 +
| width="35%" align="center" | [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2451 $, Use your own Ancestry subscription]
 +
| align="center" | 7,542,774
 +
|-
 +
| width="30%" | FamilySearch, Marriage Index, 1709-1940
 +
| width="70%" align="left" colspan="2" | {{RecordSearch|1681011|On FamilySearch}}; free; INCOMPLETE for all counties and years
 +
| align="center" | 476,245
 +
|-
 +
| Ancestry, Marriage Records, 1700-1821
 +
| width="35%" align="center" | [http://search.ancestryinstitution.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2383 Free using Ancestryinstitution at FamilySearch Centers]
 +
| width="35%" align="center" | [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2383 $, Use your own Ancestry subscription]
 +
| align="center" | 78,410
 +
|-
 +
| Ancestry, Marriages, To 1810
 +
| width="35%" align="center" | [http://search.ancestryinstitution.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2098 Free using Ancestryinstitution at FamilySearch Centers]
 +
| width="35%" align="center" | [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2098 $, Use your own Ancestry subscription]
 +
| align="center" | 34,873
 +
|-
 +
| Ancestry, Marriages, To 1790
 +
| width="35%" align="center" | [http://search.ancestryinstitution.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2097 Free using Ancestryinstitution at FamilySearch Centers]
 +
| width="35%" align="center" | [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2097 $, Use your own Ancestry subscription]
 +
| align="center" | 15,830
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
If you cannot locate your ancestor in the databases above, try searching for marriage information in [[Substitute Records for United States Marriage Information|other records]].  
  
 
{| width="75%" border="1" style="margin: 1em auto"
 
{| width="75%" border="1" style="margin: 1em auto"
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| '''2. Then search'''
 
| '''2. Then search'''
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Michigan Church Records|Church Records]]<br>  
+
| [[Pennsylvania Church Records|Church Records]]<br>  
[[Michigan Newspapers|Newspapers]]<br> [[Michigan Military Records|Military Records]]<br> [[United States Obituaries|Obituaries]]  
+
[[Pennsylvania Newspapers|Newspapers]]<br> [[Pennsylvania Military Records|Military Records]]<br> [[United States Obituaries|Obituaries]]  
  
| [[Michigan Census|Census Records]]  
+
| [[Pennsylvania Census|Census Records]]  
[[Michigan Cemeteries|Cemetery Records]]<br> [[Michigan Vital Records|Death Records]]<br> [[United States Bible Records|Bible Records]]  
+
[[Pennsylvania Cemeteries|Cemetery Records]]<br> [[Pennsylvania Vital Records|Death Records]]<br> [[Pennsylvania Bible Records|Bible Records]]  
  
 
|}
 
|}
<center>[[How to Find Pennsylvania Marriage Records#Finding_Pennsylvania_Marriage_Records|Go Back to the Top: Choose another marriage year]]</center> <center><br></center>  
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<center>[[How to Find Pennsylvania Marriage Records#Next_Step:_When_did_the_marriage_occur.3F|Go Back to the Top: Choose another marriage year]]</center> <center><br></center>  
 
{| width="99%" border="0" align="center"
 
{| width="99%" border="0" align="center"
 
|-
 
|-
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== '''Marriages 1852 - 1854'''  ==
 
== '''Marriages 1852 - 1854'''  ==
  
'''1852-1854''' - grouped by county and record type, then arranged by certificate number, these records of marriage were kept by the Register of Wills for each county with returns sent to the Department of State. These returns are available for 47 of the 64 counties (listed below) existing at that time; however, they are not complete for each county. Digital images of the records along with a search capability are available at [http://search.ancestryinstitution.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2486 www.ancestry.com]. Film copies of the marriage records can also be found at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.  
+
'''1852-1854''' - grouped by county and record type, then arranged by certificate number, these records of marriage were kept by the Register of Wills for each county with returns sent to the Department of State. These returns are available for 47 of the 64 counties (listed below) existing at that time; however, they are not complete for each county. Digital images of the records along with a search capability are available at [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2486 www.ancestry.com]. Film copies of the marriage records can also be found at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.  
  
 
{| width="99%" class="FCK__ShowTableBorders"
 
{| width="99%" class="FCK__ShowTableBorders"
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*[[McKean County, Pennsylvania#Vital_Records|McKean]]&nbsp;  
 
*[[McKean County, Pennsylvania#Vital_Records|McKean]]&nbsp;  
 
*[[Mercer County, Pennsylvania#Vital_Records|Mercer]]&nbsp;
 
*[[Mercer County, Pennsylvania#Vital_Records|Mercer]]&nbsp;
 
<br>
 
  
 
| valign="top" |  
 
| valign="top" |  
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*[[Somerset County, Pennsylvania#Vital_Records|Somerset]]  
 
*[[Somerset County, Pennsylvania#Vital_Records|Somerset]]  
 
*[[Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania#Vital_Records|Susquehanna]]
 
*[[Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania#Vital_Records|Susquehanna]]
 
<br>
 
  
 
| valign="top" |  
 
| valign="top" |  
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|}
 
|}
  
If you cannot locate your ancestor in the databases below try searching for marriage information in [[United States Marriage Records|other records]]. <br>
+
==== '''STEP ONE: Find Marriage Information in Index'''  ====
  
For marriages that exist during the time period, try the following databases.
+
For marriages that exist during the time period, try the following database:
  
{| width="100%" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="6" border="0"
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{| width="100%" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="6" border="1"
 
|-
 
|-
| align="left" colspan="3" | '''Includes Index and Digital Images'''  
+
| colspan="4" | '''Marriage Indexes and Digital Images '''
|
+
|
+
 
|-
 
|-
| width="10%" | ''Try:''  
+
| width="15%" align="left" | '''Database Name - Index and Image'''  
|  
+
| width="70%" align="left" colspan="2" | '''Link or links to access database'''
|  
+
| width="15%" align="center" | # of records
|  
+
 
|-
 
|-
|  
+
| Ancestry, Marriages, 1852-1854
| [http://search.ancestryinstitution.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2486 1852-1854, Pennsylvania, Marriages at Ancestry.com]  
+
| width="35%" align="center" | [http://search.ancestryinstitution.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2486 Free using Ancestryinstitution<br>at FamilySearch Centers]  
|
+
| width="35%" align="center" | [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2486 $, Use your own Ancestry subscription]  
|
+
| align="center" | 9,368
| width="65%" | '''$,''' [http://www.ancestry.com/cs/offers/freetrial?o_iid=48816&o_lid=48816&o_sch=Web+Property To obtain a subscription to Ancestry]; Ancestry is often available through your local public library for free
+
|}
|  
+
 
|  
+
{| width="100%" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="6" border="0"
|  
+
|  
+
 
|-
 
|-
|  
+
| '''''Can't access Ancestry?'''''
|  
+
| Visit your [https://www.familysearch.org/locations local Family History Center] or your local public library.
|
+
|
+
 
|-
 
|-
 +
| width="30%" | '''No marriage record for your ancestor?'''
 
|  
 
|  
|
+
[[Gretna Greens in the United States|Search for Gretna Greens]]-- locations away from the home county where marriage laws were less restrictive. <br> [[Substitute Records for United States Marriage Information|Search other records]] with marriage information.
|
+
 
|
+
|-
+
|
+
|
+
|-
+
|
+
|
+
|
+
|-
+
| align="left" colspan="2" | '''Can't find your ancestor in the index?'''
+
|  
+
|
+
| [[Tips for Searching an Online Index|Tips for searching indexes]]  
+
|
+
|-
+
| align="left" colspan="2" | '''No marriage record for your ancestor?'''
+
|
+
|
+
| [[Substitute Records for United States Marriage Information|Other records with marriage information]]
+
|
+
|
+
|
+
 
|}
 
|}
 +
 +
==== '''STEP TWO: Obtain the Record'''  ====
 +
 +
If you did not find your ancestor in the above database, follow the instructions below:
 +
 +
:*View a copy of a marriage record on microfilm at a Family Search Center:
  
 
'''Marriage Records on Microfilm''' <br> Some county marriage records may be available on microfilm at your local [http://familysearch.org/locations/centerlocator?c= Family Search Center]. If you know the approximate date and county where the marriage took place, use the&nbsp;[http://familysearch.org/catalog-search Family History Library Catalog (FHLC)] to see what is available.  
 
'''Marriage Records on Microfilm''' <br> Some county marriage records may be available on microfilm at your local [http://familysearch.org/locations/centerlocator?c= Family Search Center]. If you know the approximate date and county where the marriage took place, use the&nbsp;[http://familysearch.org/catalog-search Family History Library Catalog (FHLC)] to see what is available.  
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::*Select the topic Vital Records. Look for records authored by the county clerk.  
 
::*Select the topic Vital Records. Look for records authored by the county clerk.  
 
::*For a small fee, [https://familysearch.org/films/ order the microfilm] to view at a local Family Search Center.
 
::*For a small fee, [https://familysearch.org/films/ order the microfilm] to view at a local Family Search Center.
<center>[[How to Find Pennsylvania Marriage Records#Next_Step:When_did_the_marriage_occur.3F|Return to top: Choose another marriage year]]</center>  
+
<center>[[How to Find Pennsylvania Marriage Records#Next_Step:_When_did_the_marriage_occur.3F|Go Back to the Top: Choose another marriage year]]</center> <center><br></center>  
 
{| width="99%" border="0" align="center"
 
{| width="99%" border="0" align="center"
 
|-
 
|-
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== '''Marriages 1855 - 1884'''  ==
 
== '''Marriages 1855 - 1884'''  ==
  
State and county marriage records do not exist for this time period. To locate marriage records for this time period church records should be searched. Some of the larger cities have records for this time period but are complete.  
+
State and county marriage records do not exist for this time period. To locate marriage records during these years, start with church records. Some large cities have marriage registers, but they are often difficult to search.  
  
 
{| width="75%" border="1" style="margin: 1em auto"
 
{| width="75%" border="1" style="margin: 1em auto"
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| '''2. Then search'''
 
| '''2. Then search'''
 
|-
 
|-
| [[Michigan Church Records|Church Records]]<br>  
+
| [[Pennsylvania Church Records|Church Records]]<br>  
[[Michigan Newspapers|Newspapers]]<br> [[Michigan Military Records|Military Records]]<br> [[United States Obituaries|Obituaries]]  
+
[[Pennsylvania Newspapers|Newspapers]]<br> [[Pennsylvania Military Records|Military Records]]<br> [[United States Obituaries|Obituaries]]  
  
| [[Michigan Census|Census Records]]  
+
| [[Pennsylvania Census|Census Records]]  
[[Michigan Cemeteries|Cemetery Records]]<br> [[Michigan Vital Records|Death Records]]<br> [[United States Bible Records|Bible Records]]  
+
[[Pennsylvania Cemeteries|Cemetery Records]]<br> [[Pennsylvania Vital Records|Death Records]]<br> [[Pennsylvania Bible Records|Bible Records]]  
  
 
|}
 
|}
<center>[[How to Find Pennsylvania Marriage Records#Finding_Pennsylvania_Marriage_Records|Go Back to the Top: Choose another marriage year]]</center> <center><br></center>  
+
<center>[[How to Find Pennsylvania Marriage Records#Next_Step:_When_did_the_marriage_occur.3F|Go Back to the Top: Choose another marriage year]]</center> <center><br></center>  
 
{| width="99%" border="0" align="center"
 
{| width="99%" border="0" align="center"
 
|-
 
|-
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|}
 
|}
  
== '''Marriages 1885 - Present'''<br> ==
+
== '''Marriages 1885 - Present'''  ==
  
{| width="100%" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="6" border="0"
+
*Pennsylvania counties have continuously recorded marriages since 1885.
|-
+
*In Pennsylvania, copies of marriage records&nbsp;'''''are not''''' sent to the state.
| align="left" colspan="3" | '''Pennsylvania Marriage Database - Includes INDEX WITH DIGITAL IMAGES'''  
+
|
+
|
+
|-
+
| width="10%" | ''Try:''
+
|-
+
| width="25%" | '''1885-1950''' {{RecordSearch|1589502|Pennsylvania, County Marriages}}
+
| width="65%" |
+
'''Free;''' most counties do not include records to 1950: Free name index with images online at FamilySearch.  
+
  
'''Does not''' include the following counties: Centre, Lycoming, Mifflin, Monroe, Pike, Union counties, Lackawanna (before 1926).
+
==== '''STEP ONE: Find Marriage Information in Index''' ====
  
 +
{| width="100%" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="6" border="1"
 
|-
 
|-
| width="25%" | ''Try 2nd:''  
+
| colspan="4" | '''Marriage Indexes and Digital Images'''
|
+
 
|-
 
|-
| width="25%" | '''1885-1889'''[http://search.ancestryinstitution.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2489 <br>Pennsylvania, Marriages at Ancestry.com]
+
| width="15%" align="left" | '''Database Name-Index Only '''  
| width="65%" | '''$,''' [http://www.ancestry.com/cs/offers/freetrial?o_iid=48816&o_lid=48816&o_sch=Web+Property To obtain a subscription to Ancestry]; Ancestry is often available through your local public library for free
+
| width="70%" align="left" colspan="2" | '''Link or links to access database'''  
 +
| width="15%" align="center" | # of records
 
|-
 
|-
|  
+
| Ancestry, Marriage Records, 1885-1889
|  
+
| width="35%" align="center" | [http://search.ancestryinstitution.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2489 Free using Ancestryinstitution at FamilySearch Centers]
|  
+
| width="35%" align="center" | [http://search.ancestry.com/search/db.aspx?dbid=2489 $, Use your own Ancestry subscription]
 +
| align="center" | 37,562
 
|-
 
|-
| width="10%" | ''Try 3rd:''  
+
| width="30%" | FamilySearch, Marriages, 1885-1950
|  
+
| width="70%" align="left" colspan="2" | {{RecordSearch|1589502|On FamilySearch}}; free; INCOMPLETE for all counties and years; '''does not''' include the following counties: Centre, Lycoming, Mifflin, Monroe, Pike, Union counties, Lackawanna (before 1926).
|  
+
| align="center" | 2,221,287
 
|-
 
|-
| [http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/birth_certificates/14121/birth_and_death_events_prior_to_1906/608673 County Clerk]
+
| width="30%" | FamilySearch, Philadelphia Marriage Index, 1885-1951
| If you do not find your ancestor in the marriage index you may order a marriage record. Contact the [http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/birth_certificates/14121/birth_and_death_events_prior_to_1906/608673 county clerk] where you think the marriage took place. It is usually less expensive to order a marriage record from the county clerk, so begin your search with the county clerk.
+
| width="70%" align="left" colspan="2" | {{RecordSearch|1388247|On FamilySearch}}; free
 +
| align="center" | 1,830,468
 +
|}
 +
 
 +
{| width="100%" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="6" border="0"
 
|-
 
|-
|
+
| '''''Can't access Ancestry?'''''&nbsp;
|
+
| Visit your [https://www.familysearch.org/locations local Family History Center] or your local public library.
|
+
|
+
|-
+
| width="25%" | '''Can't find your ancestor in the online index?'''  
+
| [[Tips for Searching an Online Index|Tips for searching online indexes]]
+
|
+
|
+
|
+
 
|-
 
|-
| width="25%" | '''No marriage record for your ancestor?'''  
+
| width="30%" | '''No marriage record for your ancestor?'''&nbsp;
| [[Gretna Greens in the United States|Search for Gretna Greens]]-- locations away from the home county where marriage laws were less restrictive.  
+
| &nbsp;
[[Marriage Information Substitute Records|Other records with marriage information]]
+
[[Gretna Greens in the United States|Search for Gretna Greens]]-- locations away from the home county where marriage laws were less restrictive. <br> [[Substitute Records for United States Marriage Information|Search other records]] with marriage information.&nbsp;
  
 
|}
 
|}
  
'''Marriage Records on Microfilm'''<br>Some county marriage records may be available on microfilm at your local [http://familysearch.org/locations/centerlocator?c= Family Search Center]. If you know the approximate date and county where the marriage took place, use the&nbsp;[http://familysearch.org/catalog-search Family History Library Catalog (FHLC)] to see what is available.  
+
==== '''STEP TWO: Obtain the Record''' ====
 +
 
 +
If you did not find your ancestor in the above database, follow the instructions below:
 +
 
 +
{{Tip|'''''When ordering Pennsylvania marriage records:''''' Ask for the marriage license or the marriage register, not the marriage certificate. The license or register usually contains more information. Always order from the [http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/birth_certificates/14121/birth_and_death_events_prior_to_1906/608673 county] where the marriage occurred.}}
 +
 
 +
<br> '''PART A: You don't know the exact date or place of marriage'''
 +
 
 +
:*If you know the county of marriage, you can request a search for a fee from the [http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/birth_certificates/14121/birth_and_death_events_prior_to_1906/608673 county clerk].
 +
:*If you don't know the date or county of marriage, you can also try searching for marriage information in [[Substitute Records for United States Marriage Information|other records.]]
 +
 
 +
'''PART B: You know the exact date and place of marriage from your records'''
 +
 
 +
:*Order a copy of a marriage record for a fee from the [http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/birth_certificates/14121/birth_and_death_events_prior_to_1906/608673 county clerk].
 +
 
 +
''OR''
 +
 
 +
:*View a copy of a marriage record on microfilm at a Family Search Center:
 +
 
 +
Some images of county marriage records may be available on microfilm at your local [http://familysearch.org/locations/centerlocator?c= Family Search Center]. If you know the approximate date and county where the marriage took place, use the&nbsp;[http://familysearch.org/catalog-search Family History Library Catalog (FHLC)] to see what is available.  
  
 
::*Search the [http://familysearch.org/catalog-search FHLC] by county.  
 
::*Search the [http://familysearch.org/catalog-search FHLC] by county.  
 
::*Select the topic Vital Records. Look for records authored by the county clerk.  
 
::*Select the topic Vital Records. Look for records authored by the county clerk.  
::*For a small fee, [https://familysearch.org/films/ order the microfilm] to view at a local Family Search Center.
+
::*For a small fee, [https://familysearch.org/films/ order the microfilm] to view at a local FamilySearch Center.
<center>[[How to Find Pennsylvania Marriage Records#Finding_Pennsylvania_Marriage_Records|Go Back to the Top: Choose another marriage year]]</center> <center><br></center>  
+
<center>[[How to Find Texas Marriage Records#Finding_Texas_Marriage_Records|Return to the Top: Choose another marriage year]]</center> <center><br></center>  
 
{| width="99%" border="0" align="center"
 
{| width="99%" border="0" align="center"
 
|-
 
|-
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|}
 
|}
  
== Ordering Marriage Records  ==
 
 
{{Tip|'''''When ordering Pennsylvania marriage records:'''''}}
 
 
Ask for the marriage license or the marriage register, not the marriage certificate. The license or register usually contains more information. Always order from the [http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/birth_certificates/14121/birth_and_death_events_prior_to_1906/608673 county] where the marriage occurred.
 
<center>[[How to Find Pennsylvania Marriage Records#Finding_Pennsylvania_Marriage_Records|Go Back to the Top: Choose another marriage year]]</center> <center><br></center>
 
 
== Wiki Articles  ==
 
== Wiki Articles  ==
  
Line 288: Line 301:
 
:*[[U.S. Vital Records Overview|U.S. Vital Records Overview]]  
 
:*[[U.S. Vital Records Overview|U.S. Vital Records Overview]]  
 
:*[[Locating United States Vital Records|Locating United States Vital Records]]  
 
:*[[Locating United States Vital Records|Locating United States Vital Records]]  
:*[[Pennsylvania County Marriage Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)#Known_Issues_with_This_Collection|Pennsylvania Marriage Records (FamilySearch Historical Records) Known Issues]]
+
:*[[Pennsylvania County Marriage Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)/Known Issues|Pennsylvania Marriage Records (FamilySearch Historical Records) Known Issues]]__NOTOC__
  
[[Category:Pennsylvania]]
+
[[Category:Pennsylvania_Vital_Records]] [[Category:How_to_articles]]

Revision as of 21:08, 30 July 2013

How To Find U.S. Marriage Records go to Pennsylvania Gotoarrow.png Pennsylvania Marriage Records

  • Pennsylvania counties have continuously recorded marriages since 1885.
  • In Pennsylvania, copies of marriage records are not sent to the state.


Next Step: When did the marriage occur?

Marriage Records
Choose a time period:


Learn more about U.S. Marriage Records

Marriages Before 1852

  • Before 1852 marriages were kept on the church level.
  • Some large cities have marriage registers, but they are often difficult to search.
Marriage Indexes
Database Name-Index Only Link or links to access database # of records
Ancestry, Church and Town Records, 1708-1985 Free using Ancestryinstitution at FamilySearch Centers $, Use your own Ancestry subscription 7,542,774
FamilySearch, Marriage Index, 1709-1940 On FamilySearch; free; INCOMPLETE for all counties and years 476,245
Ancestry, Marriage Records, 1700-1821 Free using Ancestryinstitution at FamilySearch Centers $, Use your own Ancestry subscription 78,410
Ancestry, Marriages, To 1810 Free using Ancestryinstitution at FamilySearch Centers $, Use your own Ancestry subscription 34,873
Ancestry, Marriages, To 1790 Free using Ancestryinstitution at FamilySearch Centers $, Use your own Ancestry subscription 15,830

If you cannot locate your ancestor in the databases above, try searching for marriage information in other records.

1. Look first in 2. Then search
Church Records

Newspapers
Military Records
Obituaries

Census Records

Cemetery Records
Death Records
Bible Records

Go Back to the Top: Choose another marriage year

Marriages 1852 - 1854

1852-1854 - grouped by county and record type, then arranged by certificate number, these records of marriage were kept by the Register of Wills for each county with returns sent to the Department of State. These returns are available for 47 of the 64 counties (listed below) existing at that time; however, they are not complete for each county. Digital images of the records along with a search capability are available at www.ancestry.com. Film copies of the marriage records can also be found at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah.

STEP ONE: Find Marriage Information in Index

For marriages that exist during the time period, try the following database:

Marriage Indexes and Digital Images
Database Name - Index and Image Link or links to access database # of records
Ancestry, Marriages, 1852-1854 Free using Ancestryinstitution
at FamilySearch Centers
$, Use your own Ancestry subscription 9,368
Can't access Ancestry? Visit your local Family History Center or your local public library.
No marriage record for your ancestor?

Search for Gretna Greens-- locations away from the home county where marriage laws were less restrictive.
Search other records with marriage information.

STEP TWO: Obtain the Record

If you did not find your ancestor in the above database, follow the instructions below:

  • View a copy of a marriage record on microfilm at a Family Search Center:

Marriage Records on Microfilm
Some county marriage records may be available on microfilm at your local Family Search Center. If you know the approximate date and county where the marriage took place, use the Family History Library Catalog (FHLC) to see what is available.

  • Search the FHLC by county.
  • Select the topic Vital Records. Look for records authored by the county clerk.
  • For a small fee, order the microfilm to view at a local Family Search Center.
Go Back to the Top: Choose another marriage year

Marriages 1855 - 1884

State and county marriage records do not exist for this time period. To locate marriage records during these years, start with church records. Some large cities have marriage registers, but they are often difficult to search.

1. Look first in 2. Then search
Church Records

Newspapers
Military Records
Obituaries

Census Records

Cemetery Records
Death Records
Bible Records

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Marriages 1885 - Present

  • Pennsylvania counties have continuously recorded marriages since 1885.
  • In Pennsylvania, copies of marriage records are not sent to the state.

STEP ONE: Find Marriage Information in Index

Marriage Indexes and Digital Images
Database Name-Index Only Link or links to access database # of records
Ancestry, Marriage Records, 1885-1889 Free using Ancestryinstitution at FamilySearch Centers $, Use your own Ancestry subscription 37,562
FamilySearch, Marriages, 1885-1950 On FamilySearch; free; INCOMPLETE for all counties and years; does not include the following counties: Centre, Lycoming, Mifflin, Monroe, Pike, Union counties, Lackawanna (before 1926). 2,221,287
FamilySearch, Philadelphia Marriage Index, 1885-1951 On FamilySearch; free 1,830,468
Can't access Ancestry?  Visit your local Family History Center or your local public library.
No marriage record for your ancestor?   

Search for Gretna Greens-- locations away from the home county where marriage laws were less restrictive.
Search other records with marriage information. 

STEP TWO: Obtain the Record

If you did not find your ancestor in the above database, follow the instructions below:


PART A: You don't know the exact date or place of marriage

  • If you know the county of marriage, you can request a search for a fee from the county clerk.
  • If you don't know the date or county of marriage, you can also try searching for marriage information in other records.

PART B: You know the exact date and place of marriage from your records

  • Order a copy of a marriage record for a fee from the county clerk.

OR

  • View a copy of a marriage record on microfilm at a Family Search Center:

Some images of county marriage records may be available on microfilm at your local Family Search Center. If you know the approximate date and county where the marriage took place, use the Family History Library Catalog (FHLC) to see what is available.

  • Search the FHLC by county.
  • Select the topic Vital Records. Look for records authored by the county clerk.
  • For a small fee, order the microfilm to view at a local FamilySearch Center.
Return to the Top: Choose another marriage year

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