California, County Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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California, County Marriages, 1850-1952 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
California, United States
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Flag of California
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Location of California
Record Description
Record Type Marriages
Collection years 1850-1952
FamilySearch Resources


What Is in the Collection?

This collection consists of an index of county marriages acquired from local courthouses for the years 1850 to 1952. Coverage years will vary by county.

The county marriage records consist of a number of different type of documents including, licenses, certificates, registers, applications, affidavits, and stubs. These records are often in bound volumes but may also have some loose papers.

Image Visibility

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However, ultimate rights make it so that some of these images must be viewed at the Family History Library or a family history center near you.

For additional information about image restrictions, please see the Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections page.

To Browse This Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for California, County Marriages, 1850-1952.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

Information usually found in the marriage records includes the following:

  • Name of the groom
  • Name of the bride, often including the maiden name of the bride
  • Names of the officiator and witnesses
  • Names of the parents or guardians of the bride and groom
  • Date of the marriage
  • Birthplaces of the bride and groom
  • Residences of the bride and groom
  • Age and races of the bride and groom
  • Marital status of the bride and groom


Collection Content

Coverage Table and Map

A table and map showing the number of records per county is available at here. This page also includes a chart showing the number of records per year. Most of the records in the collection are from the time periods listed in the table; however, the collection may have a few records from before or after the time period. Records where the exact county could not be easily identified due to incomplete information in the index as listed in the table as California (State), but are not graphed on the map.

To see a coverage map of FamilySearch's holdings of California county marriage records, click here.

Digital Folder List

This collection was published as a DGS browse collection. These collections do not include any human-readable waypoint data making them difficult to use. A table showing each DGS number and its contents can be found in California, County Marriages Digital Folder Number List. The list can be sorted by DGS number, GS number, author, title, and county.

How Do I Search the Collection?

You can search the index or view the images or both. Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • Name of the person
  • The name of a parent or date of the event

Search the Index

Search by name by visiting the Collection Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have
  2. Click Search to show possible matches


View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page. br>

How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images.

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

What Do I Do Next

Indexes and transcriptions may not include all the data found in the original records. Look at the actual image of the record, if you can, to verify the information and to find additional information.

I Found Who I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Copy the citation below, in case you need to find this record again later.
  • Use the age or estimated birth date to find other church and vital records such as birth, baptism, and death records.
  • Use the information found in the record to find land, probate and immigration records.
  • Use the information found in the record to find additional family members in censuses. Witnesses were usually family members.
  • Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family.
  • Church Records were kept years before counties began keeping records. They are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.


I Can’t Find Who I’m Looking For, What Now?

  • If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you find possible relatives.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby town or county.
  • Try different spellings of your ancestor’s name.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Check the info box above for additional FamilySearch websites and related websites that may assist you in finding similar records.

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.

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.

Citing 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:

"California, County Marriages, 1850-1952." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing County courthouses, California.

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 California, County Marriages, 1850-1952.


Image Citation:

The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for California, County Marriages, 1850-1952.


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How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

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.