Indiana, Marriage Records (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: Indiana Marriages, 1811-1959 .
This collection was indexed in partnership with the Indiana Genealogical Society. It consists of a name index of marriages recorded in the Indiana Territory and in the State of Indiana between 1811 and 1959.
This collection includes searchable index data for marriage returns and licenses from the following counties:
Microfilm copies of original records are available at the Family History Library and at family history centers. Currently this collection is 58% complete. Additional records will be added as they are completed.
Early county marriage records were handwritten into bound books with multiple entries to a page. Preprinted register books began to be used about 1850. By 1905, the printed format included only one entry on each page.
Genealogical facts in county marriage entries before 1882 are:
- Marriage date
- Marriage place
- Names of the bride and groom
Marriage records from 1882 to 1905 may give the additional information:
- Age, birthplace and residence of bride and groom
- Names of parents of bride and groom, including mothers' maiden name
- Race, color and nationality of bride and groom
- Occupation of bride and groom
- Number of the marriage for bride and for groom
Marriage records after 1905 may contain the additional information:
- Birth date of the bride and groom (instead of the age)
- Birthplace and residence of parents of bride and groom
- Occupation, color and nationality are no longer given.
How to Use the Record
To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:
- Names of the bride and groom
- Approximate marriage date
- Place of the event
Search the Collection
Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. Look at the list of entries created by your search. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestor to determine which entry is the marriage record for your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor. Click on the name for your ancestor. This will take you to the full index entry which includes a Family History Library film number. You can then search the film for your ancestor's marriage record.
Using the Information
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. For example:
- 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 place of residence to search for other records, such as church and land records, that may have information on parents and siblings.
Tips to Keep in Mind
- Compiling the marriage entries for every person who has the same surname as the bride or groom is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual. This may also help you to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the bride and groom who may have married in the same county or nearby.
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
- 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.
- If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, check for variant spellings of the surnames.
Clerks of the Circuit Court recorded marriages performed by religious or civil authorities. Records consisted of licenses, marriage returns and marriage entries. The state of Indiana began collecting marriages from the counties in 1958.
Why the Record Was Created
Counties in Indiana recorded marriages to legalize marital relationships and to safeguard the interests of wives.
The marriage date, residence, and other facts that were current at the time the marriage occurred are quite reliable, though there is still a chance of misinformation. Other data such as age or birth place have more chance of error due to the lapse of time between marriage and birth.
Related Wiki Articles
Contributions to This Article
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
- Indiana. Indiana Marriages, 1811-1959, 2009. Digital copies of originals housed in Circuit Court Clerk Offices in various counties throughout Indiana.
Information about creating source citations for FamilySearch Historical Collections is listed in the wiki article Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections.
Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
Citation Example for Records Found in This Collection
"Indiana, Marriages, 1811-1959," database,Family Search (https//:www.familysearch.org: accessed 25 April 2012). Maxim Myers and Catharine Davis, married 9 November 1854; citing Marriage Records, digital folder number 1,311,129, image 000,048; Indiana Marriages, 1811-1959, 2009. Digital copies of originals housed in Circuit Court Clerk Offices in various counties throughout Indiana.
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