New York 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: New York County Marriages, 1908-1935 .
The collection consists of an index and images of county marriage records or marriage licenses for the state of New York. The collection includes marriage records for 45 counties and marriage licenses for 34 counties. It does not include New York City or its boroughs. The collection covers the years 1908 through 1935.
For a list of localities currently published in this collection, select the Browse link from the collection landing page.
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.
- "New York, County Marriages, 1908-1935 ." Index and Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2013.
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A coverage table for this collection is available in the wiki article New York County Marriages Coverage Table (FamilySearch Historical Records).
Key genealogical facts found in New York Counties marriages and licenses usually contain the following:
- Date and place of marriage
- Name and age of groom
- Groom's occupation and residence
- Birthplace of groom
- Names of groom's parents
- Name and age of bride
- Bride's residence
- Birthplace of bride
- Names of bride's parents
- Names of witnesses
- Name of officiant who performed marriage
How to Use the Record
To begin your seach it is helpful to know the following:
- The county where the marriage occurred
- The names of the bride and groom at the time of marriage
- The approximate marriage date and place
Search the Collection
Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor. Keep in mind:
- There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
- You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
- Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.
For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at FamilySearch Search Tips.
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.
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.
- Obtaining a license when one or both parties were under this age required the consent of a parent or guardian. In that case, a separate form was filed which gave permission for the minor to marry.
Unable to Find Your Ancestor?
- Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
- Search for the marriage record of the marriage partner if known.
- Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
General Information About These Records
The records are arranged by county, then by volume and year range. The form varies between register style and certificate style. County clerks usually used the same printed form during the same time periods.
New York began statewide registration of births, marriages, and deaths in 1880-81 under the supervision of the state and local boards of health. Compliance with the law was incomplete until 1900 or even later; therefore, certificates are lacking for many events.
New York State began requiring marriage records for each county in 1908. For the period of 1908 through 1935, marriages were recorded with the county clerk, with copies sent to Albany, although some counties do not have marriage records for all of this time period.
Marriage records are kept by the clerks of the town or county where the marriage occurred, usually where the bride lived.
Known Issues with This Collection
For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.
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Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection
"New York, County Marriages, 1908-1935." index and images, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org: accessed 29 August 2012), John Degroat and Bertha Johnson,30 October 1910; citing Marriage Records, FHL microfilm 829,654; New York State Department of Health, Vital Records Section, Albany, New York.
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