|From the collection of Gena Philibert-Ortega|
How do you find marriage records? Well, there are various ways. Consider the following ideas:
- Start your search by utilizing subscription websites. Search by locality to see what marriage records they have available for the place you are researching. Sometimes just searching by surname using the homepage search engine is not enough.
- Use websites that will serve as link finding aids such as Cyndi’s List, Linkpendium, VitalRec.com, GenWed, and Online Birth and Marriage Records for the U.S.
- In some cases you can find marriage records through a state archive or library. To find a list of these see the Directory of State and Territorial Archives and Records Programs.
- Consider your ancestor's religion in your search. What church records might exist? You may find marriage records that are on an ecclesiastical level as well as on the government level. Depending on your ancestor’s religion you might find records located on the local level, at a regional archive, at a church sponsored museum or university, or other repository. Start on the local level and inquire about where archived records may be kept and how you can access them.
In addition to “official” records don’t forget other documentation that may exist as a result of the big day. Newspaper notices or articles, both for the wedding and the engagement, and home sources such as invitations, photos, thank-you notes and guest registers may hold important clues.