Pennsylvania Philadelphia Marriage Index (FamilySearch Historical Records)

From FamilySearch Wiki
Revision as of 22:12, 22 October 2010 by Joycebevans (talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search
FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at
Access the records: Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Indexes, 1885-1951 .
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.

Collection Time Period

This index covers recorded marriages in Philadelphia from 1857 to 1915. 

Record Description

The index entries are type written and arranged in columns. 

Record Content

Philadelphia Marriage Index.jpg

Genealogical facts in the marriage index are:

  • Surname
  • Given name (first name)
  • Surname of the spouse
  • Year of marriage
  • Sex
  • Marriage record or certificate number

How to Use the Record

Marriage records are the best source for the identification of a family unit and marriage event details. The records are a great source for the legal names of the bride (including her maiden name) and groom. Other research clues may include the name of the officiator, parent’s names, ages, occupations, birth places, birth dates, residence, and consent statements.  

Record History

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.

Why This Record Was Created

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.

Record Reliability

The index is very reliable since it was created from the marriage records. As with any printed index there may be some typographical errors.

Related Web Sites

This section of the article is incomplete. You can help FamilySearch Wiki by supplying links to related websites here. 

Related Wiki Articles

Pennsylvania Vital Records

Sources of This Collection

"Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Marriage Indexes, 1885-1951", database, FamilySearch: (, from Philadelphia County Pennsylvania Clerk of the Orphans' Court. "Pennsylvania Philadelphia marriage license index, 1885-1951." from Clerk of the Orphans Court, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. FHL microfilm, Family History Library, Salt Lake City, Utah.

Citations for an image or index published in FamilySearch Collections

An example of citing these records is: Philadelphia County (Pennsylvania). Clerk of the Orphans' Court. Index entry. From FamilySearch Internet (, April 23, 2010. Enos Walter Alderman, bride surname: Sherman, 1901, section or license number 136724.

Instructions for citing this source can be found at: How to Cite FamilySearch Collections