Georgia, County Marriages (Family Search Historical Records)
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Georgia County Marriages, 1785-1950 .
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Georgia, United States|
|Flag of Georgia|
|Location of Georgia|
- 1 What is in the Collection?
- 2 Collection Content
- 3 What Can this Collection Tell Me?
- 4 How Do I Search the Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 General Information About These Records
- 7 Known Issues with This Collection
- 8 Citing this Collection
- 9 How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
What is in the Collection?
The collection consists of an index and images of marriages recorded in Georgia counties for the years 1785 to 1950. Due to privacy laws, recent records may not be displayed. The year range represents most of the records, although a few counties may have records from earlier or later.
To see a coverage map of FamilySearch's holdings of Georgia marriages, click here.
Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However, ultimate rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians. Some (not all) of the images in this collection are only available for viewing online by members of the supporting organization, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
For additional information about image restrictions, please see the Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections page.
What Can this Collection Tell Me?
Marriage records usually include the following:
- Name of the groom
- Name of the bride, often including the maiden name of the bride
- Names of the officiator and witnesses
- Marriage date
- Marriage place
Later marriage records also include:
- Names of the parents or guardians of the bride and groom
- 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
- Names of the bride and groom
- Identifying information such as the approximate marriage date and place
Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in the requested information in the boxes on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals 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.
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.
- If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
- Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.
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 parents’ birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
- 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.
- Use the marriage number to identify previous marriages.
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
- 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 1800s.
- There is also some variation in the information given from one marriage record to another record.
I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?
- Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.
- Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals with the same family number.
|Don't overlook FHL Keyword Georgia, Vital Recordes items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see the wiki article Georgia Archives and Libraries.|
General Information About These Records
Marriages were recorded by the clerk of the district court for each county from the time the county was formed. Persons desiring to marry obtained a license that they presented to the minister or other person authorized to marry, such as a justice of the peace. Once the marriage was performed, the officiator sent a return to the clerk confirming that the marriage had occurred. Civil marriage records were created to legalize marital relationships and to protect the interests of the wife and other heirs to legal claims on property.
The records are arranged by county, then by volume and year range. Marriage records were generally well preserved, although fires, floods, or other disasters may have destroyed some. The earliest records were usually handwritten on loose papers and later bound into lettered volumes. Some marriage records had multiple entries on each page while others had single records per page.
The marriage date, place, residence of the bride and groom, and occupations are relatively reliable. Other information, such as age or birthplace, is dependent on the knowledge, memory, and accuracy of the informants, usually the bride and groom.
For a summary of this information see the wiki article: United States, How to Use the Records Summary.
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 firstname.lastname@example.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.
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.
- “Georgia County Marriages, 1785-1950. ” Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. County Courthouses, Georgia.
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 Georgia, County Marriages, 1785-1950.|
|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 Georgia County Marriages, 1785-1950.|
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.