Delaware Marriage Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Delaware, Marriage Records, 1913-1954 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Delaware, United States
Delaware flag.png
Flag of Delaware
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Location of Delaware
Record Description
Record Type Marriage
Collection years 1913-1954
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What is in the Collection?

The collection consists of an index and images of Delaware statewide marriage records. The certificates are arranged by year then by certificate number.

Collection Content

Sample Image

Coverage Map

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

Digital Folder Number List

This collection was published as a DGS browse collection. A table listing each DGS number and its contents can be found at Delaware Marriage Records, 1913-1954 Digital Folder Number List. The list can be sorted by DGS number, record type, and year.

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

Delaware marriage records may include the following:

  • Groom's name and residence
  • Groom's age, race, nativity and occupation
  • Name of groom's father and place of nativity
  • Name of groom's mother and place of nativity
  • Marital status of the bride and groom
  • Bride's name and residence
  • Bride's age, race, and nativity
  • Name of bride's father and place of nativity
  • Name of bride's mother and place of nativity
  • Name of the officiator
  • Witnesses' names and their place of residence

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:;

  • The name of the person at the time of marriage
  • Identifying information such as the approximate marriage date and place

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in your ancestor’s name 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 own 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.

To view images in this collection look at the Delaware Marriage Records, 1913-1954 Digital Folder Number List article to determine the folder number for the images you want to see. Then visit the Browse Page and select the appropriate Film number to go to the images.

Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination.

With either search keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.

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

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.
  • The information in marriage records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1900.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one marriage record to another record.
  • 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?

General Information About These Records

State registration of marriages began in 1847 as the recorder of deeds for each county began to send copies of marriages to the secretary of the State Board of Health. Vital registration was generally complied with after 1913 when the central Bureau of Vital Statistics was established according to state law, which required registration of vital records. Copies of marriage records for the most recent 40 years can be obtained by writing to the Bureau of Vital Statistics, or for earlier records, from the Delaware Public Archives in Dover, Delaware.

Population coverage is nearly 100% after statewide registration began in 1847. Coverage is not as complete for some earlier years.

Counties in Delaware recorded marriages to safeguard the interests of the wife and other legal heirs by documenting marriages and property ownership. Marriage records are considered to be primary source records. Information in these records is usually reliable, including the marriage date and place and residences of the bride and groom.

Originally, marriage records were handwritten. Later they were typed on pre-printed forms with multiple entries on each page. Marriage records were generally well preserved, though fires, floods, or other disasters may have destroyed some records.

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 Citations:

"Delaware Marriage Records, 1913-1954" Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing Bureau of Vital Statistics. Hall of Records, Dover.

Record Citations (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 Delaware Marriage Records, 1913-1954.


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 Delaware Marriage Records, 1913-1954.


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