Indiana Marriage Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at
Access the records: Indiana, Marriages, 1811-1959 .

Record Description

This collection was indexed in partnership with the Indiana Genealogical Society. It consists of a name index of marriages recorded in the Indiana Territory and in the State of Indiana between 1811 and 1959.

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for Indiana, Marriages, 1811-1959.

Coverage Table

This collection includes searchable index data for marriage returns and licenses from the following counties:

Adams Allen Bartholomew Benton
Blackford Boone Brown Carroll
Clark Clay Daviess Dearborn
Decatur De Kalb Delaware Dubois
Elkhart Fayette Floyd Fountain
Franklin Fulton Gibson Hamilton
Harrison Hendricks Henry Huntington
Jackson Jay Jefferson Kosciusko
LaGrange Lake Lawrence Marshall
Martin Morgan Noble Ohio
Owen Randolph Rush Scott
Shelby Spencer St. Joseph Starke
Steuben Sullivan Tipton Vermillion
Vigo Wabash Warrick Washington
Wayne Whitley

Microfilm copies of original records are available at the Family History Library and at family history centers. FamilySearch has limited rights, granted by the record custodians, to publish these images for viewing online. Images for this collection are only available for viewing with an "Unofficial Record" watermark in place to keep the page from being printed as an original to comply with the record custodian restrictions. Currently this collection is 82% complete. Additional records will be added as they are completed. 

Early county marriage records were handwritten into bound books with multiple entries to a page. Preprinted register books began to be used about 1850. By 1905, the printed format included only one entry on each page.

Record Content

Marriage records before 1882 usually contain the following information:

  • Marriage date
  • Marriage place
  • Names of the bride and groom

Marriage records from 1882 to 1905 may give the additional information:

  • Age, birthplace and residence of bride and groom
  • Names of parents of bride and groom, including mothers' maiden name
  • Race, color and nationality of bride and groom
  • Occupation of bride and groom
  • Number of the marriage for bride and for groom

Marriage records after 1905 may contain the additional information:

  • Birth date of the bride and groom (instead of the age)
  • Birthplace and residence of parents of bride and groom
  • Occupation, color and nationality are no longer given.

How to Use the Record

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

  • Names of the bride and groom
  • Approximate marriage date
  • Place of the event

Search the Collection

To search the collection by name fill in your ancestor’s name in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about those in the list to what you already know about your own ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person.

If you did not find the person you were looking for, you may need to search the collection by image.
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the appropriate "County of Event - License or Marriage"
⇒Select the appropriate "Volume and Year Range" which takes you to the images.

Look at each image. Again you will need to compare the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine which one is your ancestor.

Be aware that with either search you may need to compare the information about more than one person 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 video at FamilySearch Search Tips.

Using the Information

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 place of residence to search for other records, such as church and land records, that may have information on parents and siblings.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • Compiling the marriage entries for every person who has the same surname as the bride or groom is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual. This may also help you to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the bride and groom who may have married in the same county or nearby.
  • 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.
  • If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, check for variant spellings of the surnames.

General Information About Marriage Records

Clerks of the Circuit Court recorded marriages performed by religious or civil authorities. Records consisted of licenses, marriage returns and marriage entries. The state of Indiana began collecting marriages from the counties in 1958.

The marriage date, residence, and other facts that were current at the time the marriage occurred are quite reliable, though there is still a chance of misinformation. Other data such as age or birth place have more chance of error due to the lapse of time between marriage and birth. 

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Don't overlook FHL Place United States, Indiana items or FHL Keyword Indiana items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see Indiana Archives and Libraries.

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 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.

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Contributions to This Article

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.

Citation for This Collection

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 Indiana, Marriages, 1811-1959.

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in Historical Records collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.

"Indiana, Marriages, 1811-1959." Index and Images. FamilySearch. : accessed 2013. Citing County Clerk Offices, state-wide, Indiana.