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 .
Collection Time Period
The dates covered by this collection are 1908 through 1935.
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.
When it was first posted on January 26, 2011, this record collection included marriages from the following counties: Broome, Cattaraugus, Chemung, Delaware, Fulton, Jefferson, Monroe, Niagara, Oneida, Ontario, Orange, Oswego, Putnam, St. Lawrence, Tioga and Warren. The collection does not include New York City or its boroughs.
- Names of the bride and groom
- Date and place of marriage
- Name of the official who performed the marriage
- Birthplaces and dates
- Names of the parents
- Current residences
- Sometimes the witnesses’ names (they may be relatives or close friends)
How to Use the Record
Begin your search by finding your ancestors in the index. Name indexes to marriages make it possible to access a specific marriage record quickly. Remember that these indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
When searching the index it is helpful to know the following:
- The county where the marriage occurred.
- The name of the person at the time of marriage.
- The approximate marriage date.
- The marriage place.
- The name of the intended spouse.
Use the locator information found in the index (such as page, entry, or certificate number) to locate your ancestors in the marriage records. 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.
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.
- 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.
- Use the marriage number to identify previous marriages.
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
Keep in mind:
- 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, try the following:
- 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.
For a summary of this information see the wiki article: United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)
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.
The collection does not include New York City or its boroughs.
Why This Record Was Created
Civil marriage records were created to legalize marital relationships and to protect the interests of the wife and other heirs.
The marriage date, marriage 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.
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Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
When you copy information from a record, you should also 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 citing FamilySearch Historical Collections, including how to cite individual archives is found in the following link: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections
Examples of Source Citations for a Record in This Collection:
"New York, County Marriages, 1908-1935." index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org); accessed 31 March 2011). entry for John Degroat and Bertha Johnson, married 30 October 1910; citing Marriage Records, FHL microfilm 829,654; New York State Department of Health, Vital Records Section, Albany, New York.
Sources of Information for This Collection
"New York Marriage Certificates and licenses, 1908-1935," index and images, FamilySearch (https://www.familysearch.org); citing New York State Department of Health, Vital Records Section, Albany. FHL microfilm. Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.