Minnesota County 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: Minnesota County Marriages, 1860-1949 .
Most of this collection consists of marriage licenses, applications, records, registers, and certificates. The records are arranged by county, then by volume and year range. The form type varies between register style and certificate style. County clerks usually used the same printed form during the same time periods. Marriage records were generally well preserved, although fires, floods, or other disasters may have destroyed some records.
The earliest marriage bonds and licenses were usually handwritten on loose papers that were later bound into lettered volumes. Some marriage records had multiple entries on each page, while others had single records per page.
The dates covered by this collection are 1860 to 1949.
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.
The marriage date, place, residence of the bride and groom, and occupations are relatively reliable. Other information, such as age or birthplace, is dependent on the knowledge, memory, and accuracy of the informants, usually the bride and groom.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Records collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.
- Court Clerks throughout Minnesota. Minnesota, County Marriages. Minnesota County courts throughout Minnesota.
Genealogical facts found in these marriage records include the following:
- Name of the groom
- Name of the bride, often including the maiden name of the bride
- Names of the officiator and witnesses
- Names of the parents or guardians of the bride and groom
- Date of the marriage
- Birthplaces of the bride and groom
- Residences of the bride and groom
- Age and races of the bride and groom
- Marital status of the bride and groom
How to Use the Record
To use these records it is helpful to know the following:
- The name of the person at the time of marriage
- The name of the intended spouse
- Other identifying information such as the approximate marriage date and place
Search the Collection
Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. 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. Next, click on your ancestor's name. This will take you to a descriptive page with a link to the image.
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 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.
Tips to Keep in Mind
- 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.
- 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.
- Search for the marriage record of the marriage partner if known.
For a summary of this information see the wiki article: United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records).
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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
"Minnesota, County Marriages, 1860-1949." database and digital images, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org/: accessed 27 March 2012), entry for Samuel T Kilpatrick and Sophia Alford, married 17 May 1909; citing Marriage Records. FHL microfilm 1,315,837; Freeborn County Courthouse, Albert Lea, Minnesota,FHL microfilm, 420 reels. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.