Pennsylvania Philadelphia Marriage Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)Edit This Page
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Access the records: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Indexes, 1885-1951 .
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Collection Time Period
This index covers recorded marriages in Philadelphia from 1857 to 1915.
The city and county of Philadelphia were combined in 1854. In 1860, the city passed a law requiring the Board of Health to register all marriages. In 1885, Pennsylvania authorized the Orphans’ Court in each county to register marriages. By 1885, all marriages were supposed to be licensed in Pennsylvania.
Why This Record Was Created
Marriage records validate a spouse’s legal claim to property. Marriage licenses grant permission for a marriage to be performed and replaced the previous requirements to post banns or intentions. The index was created to provide public officials with a quick and easy access to any specific marriage record.
The index is very reliable since it was created from the marriage records. As with any printed index there may be some typographical errors.
The index entries are type written and arranged in columns.
Genealogical facts in the marriage index are:
- Given name (first name)
- Surname of the spouse
- Year of marriage
- Marriage record or certificate number
How to Use the Record
Marriage records are the best source for the identification of a family unit and marriage event details. The records are a great source for the legal names of the bride (including her maiden name) and groom. Other research clues may include the name of the officiator, parent’s names, ages, occupations, birth places, birth dates, residence, and consent statements.
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Sources of This Collection
"Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Indexes, 1885-1951", database, FamilySearch: (http://familysearch.org), from Philadelphia County Pennsylvania Clerk of the Orphans' Court. "Pennsylvania Philadelphia marriage license index, 1885-1951." from Clerk of the Orphans Court, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. FHL microfilm, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.
Citations for an image or index published in FamilySearch Collections
An example of citing these records is: Philadelphia County (Pennsylvania). Clerk of the Orphans' Court. Index entry. From FamilySearch Internet (www.familysearch.org), April 23, 2010. Enos Walter Alderman, bride surname: Sherman, 1901, section or license number 136724.
Instructions for citing this source can be found at: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections