Pennsylvania, County Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page

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{{FamilySearch Collection
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{{FamilySearch_Collection
|CID=CID1589502
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|CID=CID1589502  
|title=Pennsylvania County Marriages, 1885-1950
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|title=Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950
|location=United States}} <br>  
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|location=Pennsylvania
 +
}}<br>  
  
 
== Record Description  ==
 
== Record Description  ==
  
This Collection will include records from 1885 to 1950.
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This collection includes civil marriage records created in Pennsylvania counties for the years 1885 to 1950. The records include registers, affidavits and marriage licenses. In some instances, divorce records are recorded with marriages.  
 
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This collection includes civil marriage records created in Pennsylvania counties. The records include registers, affidavits and marriage licenses. In some instances, divorce records are recorded with marriages.  
+
  
 
As of 2009, no marriage records are included for the following counties:  
 
As of 2009, no marriage records are included for the following counties:  
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*Lackawanna (before 1926)
 
*Lackawanna (before 1926)
  
No records are included for the city of Philadelphia and Philadelphia County. They are available as a separate collection.&nbsp;
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No records are included for the city of Philadelphia and Philadelphia County. They are available as a separate collection.  
  
=== Citation for This Collection  ===
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=== Coverage Table and Map ===
  
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.
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Coverage tables for this collection are available in the following wiki articles:
  
{{Collection citation | text =<!--bibdescbegin-->County Clerks. Pennsylvania County Marriages. County courthouses in Pennsylvania.<!--bibdescend-->}}
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*[[Pennsylvania County Marriages Coverage Table A-F (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
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*[[Pennsylvania County Marriages Coverage Table G-M (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
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*[[Pennsylvania County Marriages Coverage Table N-R (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
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*[[Pennsylvania County Marriages Coverage Table S-Z (FamilySearch Historical Records)]]
  
[[Pennsylvania County Marriage Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)#Citation_Example_for_a_Record_Found_in_This_Collection|Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.]]
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To see a coverage map of FamilySearch's holdings of Pennsylvania marriages, click [http://www.xmission.com/~jsvare/CM/FusionMap_PA_county_marriages.html here].
  
 
== Record Content  ==
 
== Record Content  ==
  
The following information may be found on a marriage license that was recorded between 1885 and 1913:  
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<gallery>
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Image:Pennsylvania County Marriages 1885-1950 (09-0015) DGS 004411327 00506.jpg|Marriage Record
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</gallery>
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The following information may be found on a '''marriage license that was recorded between 1885 and 1913''':  
  
 
*Full names of the bride and groom  
 
*Full names of the bride and groom  
*Date and place of marriage
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*Date and place of marriage  
*Current residence(s) of the bride and groom
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*Current residence(s) of the bride and groom  
*Age, race, occupation and nativity of bride and groom
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*Age, race, occupation and nativity of bride and groom  
 
*Notes of a previous marriage  
 
*Notes of a previous marriage  
*Names of parents
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*Names of parents  
*Notes of parental consent, if required
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*Notes of parental consent, if required  
*Date of the license
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*Date of the license  
 
*Name of person performing the ceremony
 
*Name of person performing the ceremony
  
In addition to the previous information, marriage licenses after 1913 may also include [[Image:Pennsylvania County Marriages 1885-1950 (09-0015) DGS 004411327 00506.jpg|thumb]]the following:  
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In addition to the previous information, '''marriage licenses after 1913''' may also include the following:  
  
 
*Maiden name of mothers  
 
*Maiden name of mothers  
*Birthplaces of the father and mother  
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*Birthplaces of the father and mother
  
 
== How to Use the Record  ==
 
== How to Use the Record  ==
  
To begin your seach it is helpful to know the following:  
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To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:  
  
 
*The county where the marriage occurred  
 
*The county where the marriage occurred  
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*The approximate marriage date and place
 
*The approximate marriage date and place
  
==== Search the Collection  ====
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=== 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.  
+
To search the collection fill in the requested information in the boxes on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals 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 look at the information on several individuals comparing the information about them to your ancestors to make this determination. Keep in mind:
  
For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at [http://broadcast.lds.org/familysearch/2011-12-03-familysearch-search-tips-1000k-eng.mp4 FamilySearch Search Tips].  
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*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.  
 +
*If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
 +
*Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
  
==== Using the Information  ====
+
For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article [[FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks]].
 +
 
 +
=== 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:  
 
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:  
Line 77: Line 89:
 
*When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
 
*When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  
==== Tips to Keep in Mind  ====
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=== Tips to Keep in Mind  ===
  
 
*The information in marriage records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.  
 
*The information in marriage records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.  
Line 83: Line 95:
 
*There is also some variation in the information given from one marriage record to another record.
 
*There is also some variation in the information given from one marriage record to another record.
  
==== Unable to Find Your Ancestor?  ====
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=== Unable to Find Your Ancestor?  ===
  
 
*Check for variant spellings of the surnames.  
 
*Check for variant spellings of the surnames.  
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*Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
 
*Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
  
==== General Information About These Records  ====
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{{Tip|Don't overlook {{FHL|Pennsylvania, Marriage Records|keywords|disp}} items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see the wiki article [[Pennsylvania Archives and Libraries]]. For additional information about this state see the wiki article [[Pennsylvania Genealogy]].}}
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=== General Information About These Records  ===
  
 
Marriages were recorded to legalize marital relationships and to safeguard the interests of the wife and other heirs. The most reliable information is the date and place of the marriage and license date. Other information is dependent upon the reliability of the informant.  
 
Marriages were recorded to legalize marital relationships and to safeguard the interests of the wife and other heirs. The most reliable information is the date and place of the marriage and license date. Other information is dependent upon the reliability of the informant.  
  
On January 12, 1852, the Pennsylvania Legislature enacted its first statewide law requiring the registration of vital records, including marriages. Probably due to lack of compliance, the law was repealed in 1855.&nbsp;
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On January 12, 1852, the Pennsylvania Legislature enacted its first statewide law requiring the registration of vital records, including marriages. Probably due to lack of compliance, the law was repealed in 1855.  
  
On October 1, 1885, a new law went into effect that made it illegal for any “minister of the gospel, justice of the peace, or other officers, or persons authorized by law to solemnize marriages” to marry any couple who did not first obtain a marriage license. Since then, marriage licenses have been recorded without interruption with the Clerk of the Orphans’ Court within each county.&nbsp;
+
On October 1, 1885, a new law went into effect that made it illegal for any “minister of the gospel, justice of the peace, or other officers, or persons authorized by law to solemnize marriages” to marry any couple who did not first obtain a marriage license. Since then, marriage licenses have been recorded without interruption with the Clerk of the Orphans’ Court within each county.  
  
Before 1885, marriage records created by ministers, justices of the peace, and larger cities may still be kept by the originator, but the bulk of the marriages recorded in Pennsylvania are in this collection.&nbsp;
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Before 1885, marriage records created by ministers, justices of the peace, and larger cities may still be kept by the originator, but the bulk of the marriages recorded in Pennsylvania are in this collection.  
  
Counties in the state generally achieved 90 percent compliance by 1915.&nbsp;
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Counties in the state generally achieved 90 percent compliance by 1915.  
  
 
== Known Issues with This Collection  ==
 
== Known Issues with This Collection  ==
  
{{HR Known Issues}}For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached [[Pennsylvania County Marriage Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)/Known Issues|Wiki article]]. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to [mailto:support@familysearch.org support@familysearch.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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{{HR Known Issues}}For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached [[Pennsylvania, County Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)/Known Issues|Wiki article]]. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to [mailto:support@familysearch.org support@familysearch.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.  
  
 
== Related Websites  ==
 
== Related Websites  ==
  
{{Incomplete Section}}
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*[http://usgwarchives.net/marriages/pennsylvania/pennsylvania.htm US GenWeb Archives]
 +
*[http://www.portal.state.pa.us/portal/server.pt/community/vital_records/8736/pennsylvania_marriage_and_divorce_records Pennsylvania Marriage and Divorce Records]
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*[http://www.alleghenycounty.us/wo/rec.aspx Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, How To Obtain a Marriage Record]
  
 
== Related Wiki Articles  ==
 
== Related Wiki Articles  ==
  
*[[Pennsylvania|Pennsylvania]]<br>
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*[[Pennsylvania Genealogy]]  
 
*[[Pennsylvania Vital Records]]
 
*[[Pennsylvania Vital Records]]
  
== Contributions To This Article ==
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== How You Can Contribute ==
  
{{Contributor_invite}}  
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{{Contributor_invite}}
  
== Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections  ==
+
==Citations for This Collection==
 +
Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.  
  
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.  
+
'''Collection Citation''':<br> {{Collection citation | text= "Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950." Index and Images. <i>FamilySearch</i>. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2015. Citing County courthouses, Pennsylvania.}}<br><br>
  
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article: [[Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections]].
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'''Record Citation''' (or citation for the index entry):<br> {{Record Citation Link
 
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|CID=CID1589502
=== Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection  ===
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|title=Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950
 
+
}}
“Pennsylvania County Marriages Records, 1885-1950,” index and images, ''FamilySearch'' (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/VF96-G11&nbsp;: accessed 21 June 2012), Henry O. Easton, 1890; citing County Clerks. Pennsylvania County Marriages. County courthouses in Pennsylvania.
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Latest revision as of 22:40, 30 June 2015

FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.

Contents

Record Description

This collection includes civil marriage records created in Pennsylvania counties for the years 1885 to 1950. The records include registers, affidavits and marriage licenses. In some instances, divorce records are recorded with marriages.

As of 2009, no marriage records are included for the following counties:

  • Centre
  • Lycoming
  • Mifflin
  • Monroe
  • Pike
  • Union counties
  • Lackawanna (before 1926)

No records are included for the city of Philadelphia and Philadelphia County. They are available as a separate collection.

Coverage Table and Map

Coverage tables for this collection are available in the following wiki articles:

To see a coverage map of FamilySearch's holdings of Pennsylvania marriages, click here.

Record Content

The following information may be found on a marriage license that was recorded between 1885 and 1913:

  • Full names of the bride and groom
  • Date and place of marriage
  • Current residence(s) of the bride and groom
  • Age, race, occupation and nativity of bride and groom
  • Notes of a previous marriage
  • Names of parents
  • Notes of parental consent, if required
  • Date of the license
  • Name of person performing the ceremony

In addition to the previous information, marriage licenses after 1913 may also include the following:

  • Maiden name of mothers
  • Birthplaces of the father and mother

How to Use the Record

To begin your search 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

To search the collection fill in the requested information in the boxes on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals 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 look at the information on several individuals comparing the information about them to your ancestors to make this determination. 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.
  • If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
  • Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

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.
  • 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.

Tips to 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.

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

Marriages were recorded to legalize marital relationships and to safeguard the interests of the wife and other heirs. The most reliable information is the date and place of the marriage and license date. Other information is dependent upon the reliability of the informant.

On January 12, 1852, the Pennsylvania Legislature enacted its first statewide law requiring the registration of vital records, including marriages. Probably due to lack of compliance, the law was repealed in 1855.

On October 1, 1885, a new law went into effect that made it illegal for any “minister of the gospel, justice of the peace, or other officers, or persons authorized by law to solemnize marriages” to marry any couple who did not first obtain a marriage license. Since then, marriage licenses have been recorded without interruption with the Clerk of the Orphans’ Court within each county.

Before 1885, marriage records created by ministers, justices of the peace, and larger cities may still be kept by the originator, but the bulk of the marriages recorded in Pennsylvania are in this collection.

Counties in the state generally achieved 90 percent compliance by 1915.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

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 support@familysearch.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.

Related Websites

Related Wiki Articles

How You Can Contribute

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.


Citations for This Collection

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.  

Collection Citation:

"Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950." Index and Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2015. Citing County courthouses, Pennsylvania.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Pennsylvania, County Marriages, 1885-1950.

 

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  • This page was last modified on 30 June 2015, at 22:40.
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