North Carolina, County Marriage Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
North Carolina, United States
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Flag of North Carolina
US Locator North Carolina.png
Location of North Carolina
Record Description
Record Type Marriage Records
Collection years 1762-1979
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites



What is in the Collection?

The collection consists of an index and images of marriage records from North Carolina county courthouses for the years 1762 to 1979. These records include licenses, marriage applications, marriage bonds, marriage certificates, marriage packets and cohabitation registers. For a list of what is currently contained in this collection see the wiki article North Carolina County Marriage Records Coverage Table (FamilySearch Historical Records).


Collection Content

Image Visibility

Whenever possible, FamilySearch makes images available for all users. However, ultimate rights to view images on our website are granted by the record custodians. Some of the images in this collection are only available for viewing if you are a registered FamilySearch user. You can register for a free FamilySearch account here. For additional information about image restrictions, please see the Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections page.

Coverage Table

A coverage table for this collection is available in the wiki article North Carolina County Marriage Records Coverage Table (FamilySearch Historical Records).

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

What Can this Collection Tell Me?

Bonds usually list the following information:

  • Names of bondsmen (one is usually groom)
  • Name of bride
  • Date of bond
  • Place of residence of bride and groom (normally the bond was supposed to be filed in the county where the bride resided)
  • Parent’s names were occasionally given on bonds from the 1850’s and 1860’s

Indexed register of marriages usually lists the following information:

  • Name of groom
  • Name of bride
  • County of residence
  • Ages of bride and groom
  • Date of license
  • Date of marriage
  • By whom married
  • Place of marriage
  • Witnesses

Licenses usually list the following information:

  • Name of groom
  • Name of bride
  • Names of parents of bride and groom
  • Places of residence of bride and groom
  • Date of license
  • Place where license was issued
  • Date married (if a marriage then took place)
  • Person performing marriage
  • Age of bride and groom (on later licenses after about 1872)
  • Race of bride and groom (on later licenses after about 1872)
  • Date of birth (on later certificates)
  • Whether parents were living (on later certificates)

Cohabitation registers usually list the following information:

  • Name of bride
  • Name of groom
  • Place married
  • Name of person who performed the marriage
  • Date of marriage


How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know :

  • The name of your ancestor.
  • The county where the marriage occurred.
  • The approximate date of marriage.
  • The marriage place.
  • The name of the intended spouse.


Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in the requested information 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 compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.

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

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 wiki 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 locator information found in the index (such as page, entry, or certificate number) to locate your ancestors in the marriage records.
  • 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.
  • Use the parent’s birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • 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.

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

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Look for another index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.
  • 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 with the same family number.



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:

"North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979." Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing Office of Archives and History, Division of Archives and Records. State Archive of North Carolina and various county Register of Deeds.

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 North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979.


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 North Carolina, County Marriages, 1762-1979.


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.