Getting Started | Marriage records
Marriage records are primary source records because they are created at or close to the time of the marriage by someone who was there. The person who conducted the marriage is generally the one who signs the marriage certificate. They are especially useful to family historians since they demonstrate that your ancestors were lawfully married and frequently give the maiden name of your female ancestors.
There are three primary types of civil marriage records:
Marriage License – A bride and groom received a marriage license by submitting an application to the relevant civil authorities. These documents often contain a lot of valuable information, such as the couple’s names, ages, residence and occupations.
Marriage Register – The names of the couple, the date and location of the marriage, and the name of the person who conducted the marriage were often included in the marriage register.
Marriage Certificate – The quantity of information on a marriage certificate varied, but it always included the couple’s names, wedding date, and place.
Marriage records usually record:
They may also contain:
One thing to note while looking through marriage records is that a marriage license is not proof of marriage. A couple may have applied for a marriage license but then never had the ceremony.