Pennsylvania Philadelphia Marriage Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)

From FamilySearch Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

United States Gotoarrow.png Pennsylvania Gotoarrow.png Philadelphia County

Access the Records
Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Indexes, 1885-1951 .
CID1388247
{{{CID2}}}
{{{CID3}}}
{{{CID4}}}
{{{CID5}}}
{{{CID6}}}
{{{CID7}}}
{{{CID8}}}
{{{CID9}}}
This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Pennsylvania flag.png
Flag of Pennsylvania
US Locator Map Pennsylvania Philadelphia.PNG
Location of Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania
US Locator Pennsylvania.png
Location of Pennsylvania
Record Description
Record Type Marriage
Collection years 1885-1951
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What is in the Collection?

The collection consists of marriage indexes from Philadelphia for the years 1885 to 1951. The marriage indexes are arranged by the names of brides and grooms with the year of the marriage and the license number. The surname of the spouse is shown in parentheses. Use the license numbers listed in the index to find copies of the marriage license records. Microfilm containing marriage license records for years 1885-1915 can be located in the FamilySearch "Affidavit of applicant for marriage license (Philadelphia County, Pennsylvania), 1885-1915; index, 1885-1916" collection, and viewed at the Family History Library and Family History Centers. Marriage license records for years 1916-1951 are available at the City Hall in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The city and county of Philadelphia were combined in 1854. In 1860, the city passed a law requiring the Board of Health to register all marriages. In 1885, Pennsylvania authorized the Orphans’ Court in each county to register marriages. By 1885, all marriages were supposed to be licensed in Pennsylvania. The index entries are type written and arranged in columns.

Marriage records validate a spouse’s legal claim to property. Marriage licenses grant permission for a marriage to be performed and replaced the previous requirements to post banns or intentions. The index was created to provide public officials with a quick and easy access to any specific marriage record.

What Can these Records Tell Me?

Information in the marriage index includes:

  • Full name of person making application for license
  • Surname only of spouse
  • Gender of person making application
  • Year of marriage
  • Certificate number

Collection Content

Sample Image

How Do I Search the Collection?

You can search the index or view the images or both. To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The name of your ancestor
  • Name of spouse or date of the event


Search the Index

Search by name by visiting the Collection Page.

  1. Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

View the Images

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page.

  1. Select Year range
  2. Select First letter of surname

How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images.


For more tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

What Do I Do Next?

Whenever possible, view the original records to verify the information and to find additional information that might not be reported. These pieces of information can lead you to additional records and family members.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?

  • Use the information to find other records such as birth, christening, census, land and death records.
  • Use the information to find additional family members.
  • Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family.
  • Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900.

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

  • Try viewing the original record to see if there were errors in the transcription of the name, age, residence, etc. Remember that there may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • Collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you identify possible relations that can be verified by records.
  • If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching records of a nearby locality in an area search.
  • Standard spelling of names typically did not exist during the periods our ancestors lived in. Try variations of your ancestor’s name.
  • Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well.
  • Search the indexes and records of Pennsylvania, United States Genealogy.
  • Search in the Pennsylvania Archives and Libraries.
  • Search in the FamilySearch Catalog

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 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:

"Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Indexes, 1885-1951." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing Clerk of the Orphan's Court. City Hall.

Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Indexes, 1885-1951.

Image citation:

When looking at an image, the citation is found 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 Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Indexes, 1885-1951.


Top of Page

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.