United States Marriage Records

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These records are usually stored with the clerk of the town or county where the bride resided, but some particularly early ones may be housed in the state’s archives and more recent ones may be found in the state’s Division of Vital Records.
 
These records are usually stored with the clerk of the town or county where the bride resided, but some particularly early ones may be housed in the state’s archives and more recent ones may be found in the state’s Division of Vital Records.
  
==Marriage banns==
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==Marriage Banns==
 
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banns_of_marriage Marriage banns] are the public announcement of an intended marriage to allow for advance notice to those that might have a reason to protest the marriage. Traditionally the announcement of an impending wedding would be announced in the church for three weeks prior to the event.  
 
[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Banns_of_marriage Marriage banns] are the public announcement of an intended marriage to allow for advance notice to those that might have a reason to protest the marriage. Traditionally the announcement of an impending wedding would be announced in the church for three weeks prior to the event.  
  
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*Whether single, widowed or divorced
 
*Whether single, widowed or divorced
 
 
==How information from marriage records can help research==
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==How Information from Marriage Records can Help Research==
  
 
Marriage records can help you find the following information:
 
Marriage records can help you find the following information:
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*Newspaper announcement
 
*Newspaper announcement
 
*Parents' names (and possibly birth places) to research
 
*Parents' names (and possibly birth places) to research
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==Places to look for Marriage Records==
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*[[United States Church Records|Church records]] of marriages
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*City and County civil registrations
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*[[United States Bible Records|Family Bibles]] and personal histories
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*Google and other web site search sites, and don't forget to search [http://books.google.com/bkshp?hl=en&tab=wp Google Books]
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*[[United States Newspapers|Newspapers]] often listed articles about marriages
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*[[United States Obituaries|Obituaries]]  sometimes give marriage dates
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*Online records sites like [http://www.ancestry.com/Default.aspx Ancestry], [http://www.footnote.com/ Footnote], [http://www.worldvitalrecords.com/contentlisting.aspx?sb=c&p=usa&title=Marriage&let=a World Vital Records], [http://www.heritagequestonline.com/hqoweb/library/do/index Heritage Quest]...
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*[[United States Archives and Libraries|State Archives]] 
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*Submitted genealogies posted by others [http://www.usgenweb.org/ UsGenWeb], [http://www.genealogylinks.net/usa/ Genealogy links], [http://www.gengateway.com  Gengateway], [http://www.usgennet.org/ Usgennet], [http://www.famgen.net FamGen], [http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/ Rootsweb], [http://genealogy.com/ Genealogy.com], [http://www.kindredkonnections.com/ Kindred Konnections], [http://www.ancestry.com/ Ancestry].......
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== Places to Search for a Maiden Name ==
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*[[United States Bible Records|Family Bibles]] and personal histories
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*[[United States Cemeteries|Cemetery records]] burial, saxton, purchase and maintenance of plot, headstone
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*[[United States Census|Census records]] Federal and State
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*[[United States Church Records|Church records]] death, marriage and christening, membership
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*[[United States Death Records|Death records]], certificates (Church and Civil)
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*[[Portal:United States Land and Property|Land records]] deeds, morgages
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*Marriage records application, license, certificate (Church and Civil)
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*[[United States Military Records|Military records]] service and pension, enlistment
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*Naming patterns are names passed on as a given or middle name, name multi generational
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*[[United States Newspapers|Newspapers]] birth, marriage and death announcements, society pages
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*[[United States Probate Records|Probate records]] and wills
  
 
==Websites==
 
==Websites==

Revision as of 03:24, 8 June 2009

United States  >   U.S. Vital Records >  United States Marriage Records

Contents

Marriage Records

A valuable source for genealogists is the Marriage Record. Churches and governments often kept marriage records before they documented other life events. Whether a civil or church authority performed the ceremony, local laws usually required that the marriage be recorded in civil records. Marriage has always been a very public covenant, recorded in a variety of ways.

These records are usually stored with the clerk of the town or county where the bride resided, but some particularly early ones may be housed in the state’s archives and more recent ones may be found in the state’s Division of Vital Records.

Marriage Banns

Marriage banns are the public announcement of an intended marriage to allow for advance notice to those that might have a reason to protest the marriage. Traditionally the announcement of an impending wedding would be announced in the church for three weeks prior to the event.

Things you may find in a Marriage Records

  • Age at time of marriage
  • Church of marriage ceremony
  • County where the marriage took place
  • Date and/or place of birth for bride and groom
  • Date of the marriage
  • Full names of bride and groom
  • Name of minister or priest
  • Names and birthplaces of the bride’s and groom’s parents
  • Names of the witnesses to the marriage, often relatives
  • Occupation
  • Residence of the parties
  • Whether single, widowed or divorced

How Information from Marriage Records can Help Research

Marriage records can help you find the following information:

  • Addresses to assist in researching deeds or city directories, locate on maps, or narrow your search in an un-indexed census
  • Birth date and/or place to research for the bride and groom
  • Church records for the marriage
  • Determine which children belong to which mother in the case of multiple marriages
  • Information about previous marriages
  • Maiden name for a woman
  • Newspaper announcement
  • Parents' names (and possibly birth places) to research

Places to look for Marriage Records

Places to Search for a Maiden Name

Websites

  • GenWeb is a free genealogical research database for marriage records and a directory to other marriage records online for the United States.
  • Vitalrec.com is a comprehensive resource for locating vital records.

Sources