Ohio 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: Ohio County Marriages, 1789-1994 .
This Collection will include records from 1790 to 1950.
The collection consists of a name index and images of county marriage records within the state of Ohio, acquired from local courthouses. The records consist of:
- Loose documents
The records are generally arranged by:
- County, volume and date
- License number
- Page number
For a list of records by localities and dates currently published in this collection, select the Browse.
Citation for This Collection
The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Record collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher and archive for the original records.
- County Probate Courts. Ohio, county marriages. County courthouses in Ohio.
County marriage records include the following genealogical information:
- Names of bride and groom
- Marriage date
- Marriage place
- Birthplaces (starting about 1870)
- Ages (use this to calculate an exact birth date; later records listed a day and year of birth)
- Name of parent or guardian if the individual was under the legal age (included in early records)
- Parents’ names, including the maiden name (included in later records, which were on preprinted forms)
- Name of the officiator
- Names of witnesses if any
Later marriage records contain the following additional information:
- Township, county, and state of residence
- Title of the officiator
- Officiator’s residence
How to Use the Record
To begin your search it is helpful to know the name and some other identifying information such as a possible marriage date and place.
Search the Collection by Name
To search the collection by name, fill in your ancestor’s name 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.
For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at FamilySearch Search Tips.
Search the Collection By Browsing the Images
To search the collection using the browse function, follow this series of links:
⇒Select the "Browse" link in the initial search page
⇒Select the county
⇒Select the record type, year range, and volume which takes you to the images
Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to make this determination.
Using the Information
When you have located your ancestor’s record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. Save a copy of the image or transcribe the information. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details such as a title, an occupation, or land ownership. Add this new information to your records of each family. The information may also lead you to other records about your ancestors.
- 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 dates or ages along with the place listed to find the family in other records such as census, church, and land records.
- Use the parent’s birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
Tips to Keep in Mind
- Occupations listed can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as military 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.
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
- 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.
- The facts that were current at the time of the marriage, such as marriage date, residence, and so on, were usually accurate, although some misinformation may have been given. Other facts that relied on a person’s memory, such as age or birthplace, were more likely to have been incorrect.
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 an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local historical and genealogical societies often have indexes to local records.
- Search the 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)
General Information About Marriage Records
County marriage records have been kept from about the time the county was formed to the present. The marriages were recorded by clerks of the various courts. In Ohio the probate court usually recorded marriages, although the court of common pleas also recorded some early marriages. In 1949 the state assumed responsibility for recording marriages.
Most marriages in a county were recorded. However, some religious groups may not have reported church marriages to civil authorities. General compliance with the civil registration process increased after civil registration began in 1949.
Known Issues with This Collection
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Contributions to This Article
Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections
Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection
"Ohio Marriage Records". index and images,FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/X8PQ-8HY : accessed 19 Jul 2012), Robert Anderson and Sarah Jane Hagerman, 11 June 1861; citing Probate Judge of Van Wert County, Marriage records, FHL microfilm 1,015,859, Northwest Ohio-Great Lakes Research Center, Bowling Green.
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections
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