Kentucky, County Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Kentucky County Marriages, 1797-1954 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Kentucky, United States
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Flag of Kentucky
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Location of Kentucky
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Record Description
Record Type Marriages
Collection years 1797 - 1954
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Madison County Courthouse, Richmond


Collection Contents

The Coverage Table shows the counties and time periods covered in the indexed records for this collection. 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.
Be aware that indexing for this collection is not complete. This table only shows what has been completed up to November 2014.

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

County Years Covered in Index
Adair 1801-1916; 1919; 1946; 1958; 1967
Anderson 1803; 1837-1858; 1860-1866; 1868; 1893; 1939
Ballard 1908-1911; 1913-1914
Bath 1803; 1810-1839; 1842-1849; 1851-1862; 1867; 1951
Bourbon 1737; 1789; 1786-1895; 1897; 1901; 1919
Boyd 1860-1868
Bracken 1795; 1797-1876; 1878-1880; 1889; 1895-1899; 1910
Harrison 1695; 1794-1869; 1880; 1886; 1888-1890; 1894; 1896-1897; 1904; 1936;-1938; 1955
Madison 1786-1830; 1832-1866; 1869; 1871-1872; 1879; 1887; 1928; 1936; 1962; 1865
Magoffin 1800-1802; 1806;1809; 1822; 1826; 1830; 1835; 1841;1844; 1847l 1853,-1854; 1860-1952; 1954; 1957
Marion 1867; 1868-1901
Martin 1914-1917
Mason 1796-1797; 1818; 1821; 1826-1828; 1830; 1833-1851; 1855-1859; 1881; 1944; 1946
Meade 1808; 1821; 1824-1913; 1917; 1933; 1946; 1954
Menifee 1869-1881; 1883
Mercer 1709; 1777; 1780; 1786-1895; 1902-1909; 1918; 1937; 1952; 1958
Metcalfe 1857; 1867-1884; 1888
Monroe 1868-1870; 1885-1901
Muhlenberg 1839; 1857-1905; 1907; 1909; 1962
Nelson 1705-1706; 1734; 1739; 1765;1769; 1776; 1778; 1782-1951; 1955

What is in this Collection?

This collection includes records from 1797 to 1954 and include bonds, licenses, certificates, and returns.

Most of this collection consists of marriage licenses and certificates, including a few marriage declarations, birth records, and death records.

The records are arranged by county, then by volume and year range. The form type varies between register style and certificate style. County clerks usually used the same printed form during the same time periods. Marriage records were generally well preserved, although fires, floods, or other disasters may have destroyed some records.

The earliest marriage bonds and licenses were usually handwritten on loose papers that were later bound into lettered volumes. Some marriage records had multiple entries on each page, while others had single records per page. Later they were recorded as handwritten entries in preprinted volumes.

Marriages were recorded by the clerk of the County 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 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.

Sample Images

Marriage records usually include the following:

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Groom's name
  • Bride's name including her maiden name
  • Names of the officiator and witnesses
  • Names of the parents or guardians of the bride and groom
  • Groom's place of birth
  • Bride's place of birth
  • Residences of the bride and groom
  • Bride and Groom's age
  • Bride and Groom's race
  • Marital status of the bride and groom


How do I Search the Collection?

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page.

View Images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page.

Search the collection by 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.

What Do I Do Next?

I Found Who I was Looking for, Now What?

  • Make sure you look at the original record if it is available. They often contain more information than what was indexed.
  • Use the marriage date and place as the basis for compiling a new family group or for verifying existing information.
  • Use the age to calculate an approximate birth date.
  • 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.

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

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
  • 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 that may be your ancestor.

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 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.

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:

"Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797-1954." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing Clerk of the County Court. Madison County Courthouse, Richmond.

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 Kentucky County Marriages, 1797-1954.

Image Citation:

The image citation will be available once the collection is published.

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.