Oregon County Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Oregon, County Marriages, 1851-1975 .
This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Oregon, United States
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Flag of Oregon
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Location of Oregon
Record Description
Record Type Marriages
Collection years 1851-1975
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites

What is in the Collection?

The collection consists of an index and images of marriage records from counties in Oregon. These records include licenses and marriage certificates and are arranged by county, volume, and date. The dates covered by this collection are 1851 to 1975. Currently this collection is 49% complete. Additional records will be added as they are completed.

Collection Content

Coverage Table and Map

The Coverage Table shows the places 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.

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

County Years Covered in Index
Baker 1847-1848, 1862-1951
Benton 1826, 1838, 1845, 1848, 1850-1953, 1955
Polk 1840, 1846, 1849-1890, 1925, 1929-1930, 1945-1961
Yamhill 1037, 1821, 1848, 1853, 1856-1961

Sample Images

The type of form used 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 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.

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 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.

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

Marriage records usually include the following:

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Names of the groom and bride
  • County in which they reside
  • Names of witnesses
  • Name and title of officiator
  • Names of the parents or guardians of the bride and groom
  • Witnesses
  • Birthplaces of the bride and groom
  • Age 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 the following:

  • Names of the bride and groom
  • Identifying information such as the marriage date and place or their ages

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 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.

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.
  • 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?

  • Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
  • 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

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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:

"Oregon, County Marriages, 1851-1975." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing County Courthouses throughout Oregon.

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 Oregon, County Marriages, 1851-1975.

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 Oregon, County Marriages, 1851-1975.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?

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Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.