Louisiana, Parish Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)
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Louisiana, Parish Marriages, 1837-1957 .
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Louisiana, United States|
|Flag of Louisiana|
|Location of Louisiana|
|Record Type||Marriage Records|
- 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 Citing this Collection
- 7 How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
What is in the Collection?
The collection consists of marriage licenses and certificates, including a few marriage declarations and marriage stubs for the years 1837 to 1957.
General Information About These 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.
Marriages were usually recorded by the clerk of the district court for each parish (county) from the time the parish 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.
The form type varies between register style and certificate style. 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.
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.
|You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Louisiana, Parish Marriages, 1837-1957.|
To see a coverage map of FamilySearch's holdings of Louisianna marriages, click here.
What Can this Collection Tell Me?
Information found in these marriage records include the following:
- Date and place of marriage
- Name of groom
- Groom's birth date and place of birth
- Groom's current residence, occupation and race
- Names of groom's parents, including mother's maiden name
- Birthplace of groom's parents
- Name of bride
- Bride's birth date and place of birth
- Bride's current residence, occupation and race
- Names of bride's parents, including mother's maiden name
- Birthplace of bride's parents
- Number of previous marriages, if any
- Court where legal proceedings of any divorce were finalized
- Name of officiator
- Names of witnesses
|Many marriages recorded in the South, are separated by race in volumes, books, or registers. Be sure to check to determine if you have the right set of marriage records.|
How Do I Search the Collection?
To begin your search it is helpful to know:
- The name of your ancestor.
- The approximate date of marriage.
- The place where the marriage occurred.
- The name of the intended spouse.
Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in the requested information 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.
For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search 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 parents’ birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
- Occupations listed can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as 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 parish 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.
- Look for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
- 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 that may be your ancestor.
|Don't overlook FHL Keyword Louisiana, Marriage Records items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog.|
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.
- "Louisiana, Parish Marriages, 1837-1957." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Parish Courthouses, Louisiana.
Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):
How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
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