New York, County Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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New York, County Marriages, 1847-1848; 1908-1936 .
This article describes a collection of records at
New York, United States
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Location of New York
Record Description
Record Type Marriage Records
Collection years 1847-1936
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites

What is in the Collection?

The collection consists of an index and images of county marriage records or marriage licenses for the state of New York. The collection includes marriage records for 45 counties and marriage licenses for 34 counties. It does not include New York City or its boroughs. The indexing of images is in process for this collection and will be added as it is completed. The collection covers the years 1847 to 1848 and 1908 to 1936.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for New York, County Marriages, 1847-1848; 1908-1936.

Coverage Table and Map

A coverage table for this collection is available in the wiki article New York County Marriages Coverage Table (FamilySearch Historical Records).

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

Collection Content

Sample Images

Marriages and licenses usually contain the following:

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Name and age of groom
  • Groom's occupation and residence
  • Birthplace of groom
  • Names of groom's parents
  • Name and age of bride
  • Bride's residence
  • Birthplace of bride
  • Names of bride's parents
  • Names of witnesses
  • Name of officiant who performed marriage

General Information About These Records

The records are arranged by county, then by volume and year range. The form varies between register style and certificate style. County clerks usually used the same printed form during the same time periods.

New York began statewide registration of births, marriages, and deaths in 1880-81 under the supervision of the state and local boards of health. Compliance with the law was incomplete until 1900 or even later; therefore, certificates are lacking for many events.

New York State began requiring marriage records for each county in 1908. For the period of 1908 through 1935, marriages were recorded with the county clerk, with copies sent to Albany, although some counties do not have marriage records for all of this time period.

Marriage records are kept by the clerks of the town or county where the marriage occurred, usually where the bride lived.

How Do I Search the Collection?

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

  • The county where the marriage occurred
  • The names of the bride and groom at the time of marriage
  • 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.

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:
To search the collection by image, you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒ Select the "County" category
⇒ Select the "Record Type, Year Range, and Volume or License Numbers category which takes you to the images.

You may need to look at the information on several individuals comparing the information about them to your ancestors to make this determination. 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.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

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. For example:

  • 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.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Obtaining a license when one or both parties were under this age required the consent of a parent or guardian. In that case, a separate form was filed which gave permission for the minor to marry.

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

  • Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
  • Search for the marriage record of the marriage partner if known.
  • Check for a different index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.

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 Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to 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:

"New York, County Marriages, 1847-1848; 1908-1936." Database with Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2016. Citing County Clerk Offices, state-wide, New York.

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 New York, County Marriages, 1847-1848; 1908-1936.

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 New York, County Marriages, 1847-1848; 1908-1936.

How You Can Contribute

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.