How to Find Pennsylvania Marriage RecordsEdit This Page

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

  • Pennsylvania counties have continuously recorded marriages since 1885.
  • In Pennsylvania, copies of marriage certificates 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 of the larger cities may have marriage registers but may be 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 Certificate

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.
Return to top: Choose another marriage year

Marriages 1855 - 1884

State and county marriage records do not exist for this time period. To locate marriage records for this time period start with church records. Some of the larger cities have records for this time period but are incomplete.

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

STEP ONE: Find Marriage Information in Index

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, 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). 476,245


Pennsylvania Marriage Database - Includes INDEX WITH DIGITAL IMAGES
Try:
1885-1950 Pennsylvania, County Marriages

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).

Try 2nd:
1885-1889
Pennsylvania, Marriages at Ancestry.com
$, To obtain a subscription to Ancestry; Ancestry is often available through your local public library for free
Try 3rd:
County Clerk If you do not find your ancestor in the marriage index you may order a marriage record. Contact the 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.
Can't find your ancestor in the online index? Tips for searching online indexes
No marriage record for your ancestor? Search for Gretna Greens-- locations away from the home county where marriage laws were less restrictive.

Other records with marriage information


STEP TWO: Obtain the Certificate

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:


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 county where the marriage occurred.


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.
Return to top: Choose another marriage year
Go Back to the Top: Choose another marriage year

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