What Can You Learn From a Marriage Record?

Article summary: A marriage record contains useful information about a person. These vital records can easily be found online.

A person’s wedding day may be one of the happiest days of their lives. And while pictures and videos document the day, the law says an official marriage record must be filed with the county where the couple was married. This vital record serves as another witness to the couple’s happy day.

The marriage record contains useful information about the happy couple. Genealogists have used marriage records for decades to trace their heritage. What does the marriage record contain?

  • The full name of the bride and groom. Some people choose to go by a middle name or a nickname but these are usually not published on a vital record.

  • The birthplace of the bride and groom. This has helped many people searching their family trees. Some people even find they have relatives in a part of a country they have never visited! This can lead to the discovery of new relatives they did not know existed.

  • The parents of the bride and groom. You know your grandfather’s name, but you don’t know your great-grandfather’s name. You can find his marriage record to your grandmother and find out who there parents were.

  • The age of the bride and groom. In most states, a person cannot marry before the age of 18 without a parent’s consent. In rare case, a 14-year-old may be allowed to marry is she is pregnant. And while many “ceremonies” between teenagers may be held, these may not be legal and a marriage record is not filed.

  • A person’s occupation at the time of the marriage. This may not be as detailed on the marriage record to list the actual place of employment, but will include what they do, such as “writer” or “teacher.” Some people have found their relatives have had unusual occupations in the past!

  • The name of the person who officiated the ceremony is listed. This could be a justice of the peace or a pastor in a local church. A religious officiate has to have license to perform wedding to make the marriage record official.

  • The date of the marriage. This can be important to husband’s wanting to remember anniversaries each year!

Your curiosity is piqued and you want to find out more about a relative or friend’s marriage. Where can you find a record of the ceremony? Your best bet is to use an online company that stores vital records. These companies list records from all 50 states so you don’t have to wonder what county the marriage record is listed. You can simply type in the information you know about the marriage. You will be directed to a screen that will show the name and possible a list because more often than not, someone else may have the same name. You choose the match and see the details!

The best thing about searching vital records online is that it is not expensive. Most searches cost less than $10 for one search and less than $100 for multiple searches. And you don’t have to leave your home to conduct your search!


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