Minnesota, County Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Minnesota County Marriages, 1860-1949 .
This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Minnesota, United States
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Flag of Minnesota
US Locator Minnesota.png
Location of Minnesota
Record Description
Record Type Marriage Records
Collection years 1860-1949
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites

What is in the Collection?

This collection consists of a name index and images of county marriage records for Minnesota. It covers the years 1860 to 1949.

Most of this collection consists of marriage licenses, applications, records, registers, and certificates. 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.

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.

Collection Contents

The table shows the number of records for each county in this collection as of 18 June 2016. To see a coverage map of FamilySearch's holdings of Minnesota marriages, click here.

County Records
Aitkin 0
Anoka 28,387
Becker 0
Beltrami 0
Benton 0
Big Stone 0
Blue Earth 28,448
Brown 26,822
Carlton 0
Carver 31,579
Cass 0
Chippewa 0
Chisago 4
Clay 0
Clearwater 0
Cook 0
Cottonwood 4,311
Crow Wing 0
Dakota 14
Dodge 6,166
Douglas 1
Faribault 32,857
Fillmore 17,192
Freeborn 16,182
Goodhue 12,838
Grant 0
Hennepin 192,510
Houston 6,099
Hubbard 0
Isanti 2
Itasca 0
Jackson 3,626
Kanabec 5,046
Kandiyohi 5
Kittson 0
Koochiching 0
Lac qui Parle 0
Lake 0
Lake of the Woods 0
Le Sueur 7,406
Lincoln 2,535
Lyon 4,354
McLeod 2
Mahnomen 0
Marshall 0
Martin 55,318
Meeker 1
Mille Lacs 0
Morrison 2
Mower 18,249
Murray 0
Nicollet 5,312
Nobles 3,774
Norman 0
Olmsted 20,292
Otter Tail 0
Pennington 0
Pine 0
Pipestone 3,353
Polk 0
Pope 0
Ramsey 71,204
Red Lake 0
Redwood 4,887
Renville 0
Rice 12,308
Rock 17,066
Roseau 0
St. Louis 0
Scott 13,336
Sherburne 0
Sibley 51,929
Stearns 13,666
Steele 38,112
Stevens 0
Swift 0
Todd 0
Traverse 0
Wabasha 8,058
Wadena 9,575
Waseca 28,393
Washington 61,609
Watonwan 15,323
Wilkin 0
Winona 17,154
Wright 14
Yellow Medicine 0

Collection Content

Sample Images

Marriage records may include the following information:

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Name and residence of groom
  • Name and residence of bride
  • Names of witnesses
  • Name of person officiating at marriage

How Do I Search the Collection?

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
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.

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.
  • 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.
  • Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
  • 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.

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

  • 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.
  • Don't forget to check all variations of the ancestor's name.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

Known Issues with This Collection

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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:

"Minnesota, County Marriages, 1860-1949." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing County Offices throughout Minnesota.

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 Minnesota County Marriages, 1860-1949.

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 Minnesota County Marriages, 1860-1949.

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