How to Find Pennsylvania Marriage Records

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__NOTOC__
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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'''  
 
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'''[[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'''  
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*Pennsylvania counties have continuously recorded marriages since 1885.  
 
*Pennsylvania counties have continuously recorded marriages since 1885.  
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*Some large cities have marriage registers, but they are often difficult to search.
 
*Some large cities have marriage registers, but they are often difficult to search.
  
{| width="100%" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="6" border="1"
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{| width="100%" border="1" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="6"
 
|-
 
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| colspan="4" | '''Marriage Indexes'''
 
| colspan="4" | '''Marriage Indexes'''
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| [[Pennsylvania Census|Census Records]]  
 
| [[Pennsylvania Census|Census Records]]  
[[Pennsylvania Cemeteries|Cemetery Records]]<br> [[Pennsylvania Vital Records|Death Records]]<br> [[Pennsylvania Bible Records|Bible Records]]  
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[[Pennsylvania Cemeteries|Cemetery Records]]<br> [[Pennsylvania Vital Records#Birth And Death Records|Death Records]]<br> [[Pennsylvania Bible Records|Bible Records]]  
  
 
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==== '''STEP TWO: Obtain the Certificate'''  ====
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==== '''STEP TWO: Obtain the Record'''  ====
  
 
If you did not find your ancestor in the above database, follow the instructions below:  
 
If you did not find your ancestor in the above database, follow the instructions below:  
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| [[Pennsylvania Census|Census Records]]  
 
| [[Pennsylvania Census|Census Records]]  
[[Pennsylvania Cemeteries|Cemetery Records]]<br> [[Pennsylvania Vital Records|Death Records]]<br> [[Pennsylvania Bible Records|Bible Records]]  
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[[Pennsylvania Cemeteries|Cemetery Records]]<br> [[Pennsylvania Vital Records#Birth And Death Records|Death Records]]<br> [[Pennsylvania Bible Records|Bible Records]]  
  
 
|}
 
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==== '''STEP ONE: Find Marriage Information in Index'''  ====
 
==== '''STEP ONE: Find Marriage Information in Index'''  ====
  
{| width="100%" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="6" border="1"
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{| width="100%" border="1" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="6"
 
|-
 
|-
 
| colspan="4" | '''Marriage Indexes and Digital Images'''
 
| colspan="4" | '''Marriage Indexes and Digital Images'''
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| width="30%" | FamilySearch, Marriages, 1885-1950  
 
| 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).  
 
| 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
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| align="center" | 2,246,248
 
|-
 
|-
 
| width="30%" | FamilySearch, Philadelphia Marriage Index, 1885-1951  
 
| width="30%" | FamilySearch, Philadelphia Marriage Index, 1885-1951  
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|}
 
|}
  
{| width="100%" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="6" border="0"
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{| width="100%" border="0" cellspacing="1" cellpadding="6"
 
|-
 
|-
 
| '''''Can't access Ancestry?'''''&nbsp;  
 
| '''''Can't access Ancestry?'''''&nbsp;  
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|}
 
|}
  
==== '''STEP TWO: Obtain the Certificate'''  ====
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==== '''STEP TWO: Obtain the Record'''  ====
  
 
If you did not find your ancestor in the above database, follow the instructions below:  
 
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.}}  
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{{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/marriage_and_divorce_certificates/14126 county] where the marriage occurred.}}  
  
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<br> '''PART A: You don't know the exact date or place of marriage'''
  
'''PART A: You don't know the exact date or place of marriage'''
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:*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/marriage_and_divorce_certificates/14126 county clerk].  
 
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:*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].  
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:*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.]]
 
:*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.]]
  
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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 FamilySearch Center.
 
::*For a small fee, [https://familysearch.org/films/ order the microfilm] to view at a local FamilySearch Center.
<center>[[How to Find Texas Marriage Records#Finding_Texas_Marriage_Records|Return 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"
 
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:*[[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]]
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:*[[Pennsylvania County Marriage Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)/Known Issues|Pennsylvania Marriage Records (FamilySearch Historical Records) Known Issues]]__NOTOC__
  
 
[[Category:Pennsylvania_Vital_Records]] [[Category:How_to_articles]]
 
[[Category:Pennsylvania_Vital_Records]] [[Category:How_to_articles]]

Revision as of 21:49, 10 June 2014

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

Go Back to the Top: Choose another marriage year

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). 2,246,248
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.
Go Back to the Top: Choose another marriage year

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