California Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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California Marriages,1850-1945 .
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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 1850-1945
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City


What is in the Collection?

This collection includes marriage records from 1850 to 1945.

This index is not complete for any particular place, region or time period. This collection may include information previously published in the International Genealogical Index or Vital Records Index collections.

For over 30 years, volunteer indexers extracted this information from microfilm copies of the original records. In 1998, a few of the entries were published on 7 CDs by the Family History Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints as the "North America Vital Records Index." This index is an index of the births, marriages, and deaths throughout California. The index is not necessarily complete for any particular place or region.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints sponsored the indexing to accomplish its program of identifying the ancestry of mankind.

Church records and civil registration were official sources and are some of the most reliable sources of information available on those who were born, married, or died in California.


Collection Content

Coverage Table and Map

A coverage table for this collection is available is the wiki article California Marriages, Coverage Table (FamilySearch Historical Records)

To see a coverage map of FamilySearch's holdings of California marriages, click here.

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

The information found in marriage index entries may include:

  • Name of the bride and groom
  • Names of the parents
  • Marriage date
  • Marriage place
  • Family History Library Microfilm and item numbers for the source materials

How Do I Search the Collection?

To search this collection it is helpful to know:

  • The names of the bride and groom.
  • The date of marriage.
  • The place of marriage.
  • The names of relatives who may have served as witnesses.


Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
To 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.

Each entry in this index has a source listed which includes a batch number. You will need to trace the batch number for the individual entry to learn its source. Please see the following wiki articles for more information on batch numbers:

What Do I Do Next?

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.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • 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.
  • Use the parent’s birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • Use the marriage number to identify previous marriages.
  • Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military 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.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

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

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 Marriages,1850-1945." Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City.

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 Marriages,1850-1945.


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.