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.


To Browse this Collection

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


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.

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.

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.

What Can this Collection 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

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know at least one of the following:

  • The name of the bride or groom.
  • The approximate marriage date or place.
  • The names of family members who may have served as witnesses.

Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information in the list to what you already know about your ancestor to determine if it is the correct family or person. You may need to compare several persons in the list before you find your ancestor.


Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:

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

I Found Who I was Looking For, What Now?

  • Use the age in the record to find an approximate birth year, which will help you find their other records.
  • Use the information in each record to find additional family members.
  • Repeat this process with additional family member’s records to find more generations of the family.

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

  • Try viewing the original record to see if there were errors in the transcription of the name, age, residence, etc. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name. *Collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relations that can be verified by records.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality in an area search.
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name while searching the index or browsing through images.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.

Known Issues with This Collection

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.


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.