Pennsylvania, County Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)

From FamilySearch Wiki

(Difference between revisions)
(updated content)
(Record Content update)
(13 intermediate revisions by 10 users not shown)
Line 1: Line 1:
{{Record_Search_articles
+
{{FamilySearch Collection
 
|CID=CID1589502
 
|CID=CID1589502
 
|title=Pennsylvania County Marriages, 1885-1950
 
|title=Pennsylvania County Marriages, 1885-1950
|location=United States}} <br>
+
|location=United States}} <br>  
  
 
== Record Description  ==
 
== Record Description  ==
  
Most of the records consist of marriage licenses, certificates, applications, docket books, and affidavits. Most are in bound volumes but there are some loose records. Marriages were recorded to legalize marital relationships and to safeguard the interests of the wife and other heirs.  
+
This Collection will include records from 1885 to 1950.  
  
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.  
+
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.  
  
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 Probably due to lack of compliance, the law was repealed in 1855.&nbsp;
+
As of 2009, no marriage records are included for the following counties:  
 
+
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;
+
 
+
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;
+
 
+
Counties in the state generally achieved 90 percent compliance by 1915.&nbsp;
+
 
+
As of 2009, no marriage records are included for the following counties:&nbsp;
+
  
*Centre&nbsp;
+
*Centre  
*Lycoming&nbsp;
+
*Lycoming  
*Mifflin&nbsp;
+
*Mifflin  
*Monroe&nbsp;
+
*Monroe  
*Pike&nbsp;
+
*Pike  
*Union counties&nbsp;
+
*Union counties  
 
*Lackawanna (before 1926)
 
*Lackawanna (before 1926)
  
Line 32: Line 24:
 
=== Citation for This Collection  ===
 
=== Citation for This Collection  ===
  
The following citation refers to the original source of the data and images published on FamilySearch.org Historical Records. It may include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.  
+
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.  
  
 
{{Collection citation | text =<!--bibdescbegin-->County Clerks. Pennsylvania County Marriages. County courthouses in Pennsylvania.<!--bibdescend-->}}  
 
{{Collection citation | text =<!--bibdescbegin-->County Clerks. Pennsylvania County Marriages. County courthouses in Pennsylvania.<!--bibdescend-->}}  
  
Information about creating source citations for FamilySearch Historical Collections is listed in the wiki article [[Help:How to Create Source Citations For FamilySearch Historical Records Collections]].
+
[[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.]]  
  
=== Record Content  ===
+
== Record Content  ==
  
 
The following information may be found on a marriage license that was recorded between 1885 and 1913:  
 
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  
*Birth dates and places of the bride and groom  
+
*Date and place of marriage
*Occupations
+
*Current residence(s) of the bride and groom
*Current residence
+
*Age, race, occupation and nativity of bride and groom
*Previous marriage
+
*Notes of a previous marriage
*Whether or not the parties are related
+
*Names of parents
 +
*Notes of parental consent, if required
 
*Date of the license
 
*Date of the license
 +
*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:  
 
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:  
  
*Race
+
*Maiden name of mothers
*Name of the father and mother
+
 
*Birthplaces of the father and mother  
 
*Birthplaces of the father and mother  
*Mother’s maiden name
 
 
If the duplicate marriage certificate has been returned, it will include the following:
 
 
*Names of the bride and groom
 
*Date and place of the marriage
 
*Signatures of the witnesses
 
*Name of official or minister performing the ceremony
 
  
 
== How to Use the Record  ==
 
== How to Use the Record  ==
Line 70: Line 55:
 
*The county where the marriage occurred  
 
*The county where the marriage occurred  
 
*The names of the bride and groom at the time of marriage  
 
*The names of the bride and groom at the time of marriage  
*The approximate marriage date and place  
+
*The approximate marriage date and place
  
==== Search the Collection ====
+
==== 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.
+
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.  
  
For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line video at  
+
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].  
[http://broadcast.lds.org/familysearch/2011-12-03-familysearch-search-tips-1000k-eng.mp4 FamilySearch Search Tips].
+
  
==== Using the Information ====
+
==== 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 93: Line 77:
 
*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 ====
+
==== 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 105: Line 89:
 
*Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.  
 
*Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.  
 
*Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
 
*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.&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.&nbsp;
 +
 +
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;
 +
 +
Counties in the state generally achieved 90 percent compliance by 1915.&nbsp;
  
 
== Known Issues with This Collection  ==
 
== Known Issues with This Collection  ==
Line 112: Line 108:
 
== Related Websites  ==
 
== Related Websites  ==
  
''This section of the article is incomplete. You can help FamilySearch Wiki by supplying links to related websites here.''
+
{{Incomplete Section}}
  
 
== Related Wiki Articles  ==
 
== Related Wiki Articles  ==
  
[[Pennsylvania Vital Records]]  
+
*[[Pennsylvania|Pennsylvania]]<br>
 +
*[[Pennsylvania Vital Records]]
  
== Contributor Invite ==
+
== Contributions To This Article ==
  
 
{{Contributor_invite}}  
 
{{Contributor_invite}}  
 
<br>
 
  
 
== Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections  ==
 
== Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections  ==
Line 128: Line 123:
 
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.  
 
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.  
  
=== Citation Example for Records Found In This Collection  ===
+
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article: [[Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections]].
  
“Pennsylvania County Marriages Records, 1885-1950,” idex 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.
+
=== Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection  ===
  
A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the Wiki Article: [[Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections]].
+
“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.

Revision as of 21:00, 10 December 2012

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

Contents

Record Description

This Collection will include records from 1885 to 1950.

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:

  • 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. 

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 Clerks. Pennsylvania County Marriages. County courthouses in Pennsylvania.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

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
Pennsylvania County Marriages 1885-1950 (09-0015) DGS 004411327 00506.jpg
the following:
  • Maiden name of mothers
  • Birthplaces of the father and mother

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.

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.
  • 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

Contributions To This Article

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. Guidelines are available to help you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide. If you would like to get more involved join the WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

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 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

“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.