Main » Marriage Records Search

Marriage Records Search

Tracing your family tree or ancestry has become a popular hobby. One of the easiest ways to start this journey of discovery is conducting a free marriage records search. Unlike birth and death certificates, marriage certificates are subject to the public domain. So conducting a marriage records search can be a very effective way to find more information about your family and relatives.

Prior to 1900, registering a marriage was not mandatory. In fact, the vast majority of the populations of the United States in the late 19th century were immigrants. Verifying their vital statistics was impossible, especially as they migrated across the continent. These settlements were fluid and growing fast and there was no need for official documents yet, since the infrastructure of the country did not yet exist. Generally, any information from this time regarding marriages, deaths and baptisms are more likely to be found in church registries instead of county offices. Birth certificates were virtually unheard of. The infant mortality rate was high and many babies would have died before they had chance to be registered, even when the registration of births became normal.

These documents were originally created in order to figure out how much money each town, city, state or country would need in order to fulfill its obligations to its people, namely providing water, sewage, education and health services.  As the country grew and established itself, it was necessary to know who lived where and what their needs were in terms of state or local provision. These services have to be paid for in taxes or charges of some sort, so it is necessary to know who you have and how many of them can pay in order to set the charges.  This is still done today and is overseen by the General Accounting Office.

One of the reasons a free marriage records search is a good place to start your search is that a marriage record holds more information than the names of the bride and groom.  Both of their parents should also be named, along with where each of them lived at the time, dates of birth and the occupations of both the groom and the fathers of the bride and groom. Obviously, in more recent years, if the bride had a remunerative occupation it would also appear on the form.

This information can be invaluable in tracing back another generation and finding brothers and sisters of your immediate relatives.  Knowing where your relative lived can open up other avenues of research since both the bride and groom likely lived with their parents before getting married. Moving away from home before marriage was highly unusual, particularly for women, until the latter half of the last century.

The kind of specialized information you can find with a free marriage search can shed a great deal of light in terms of who married who and where they came from. While it is interesting to know that your great-great-grandfather was called John Williams, it is just a name.  Once you know where he lived and what he did for a living, the long-dead relative begins to take form in your mind as a real person. This is what people are looking for when they start to trace their family tree. They want to know what kind of people their ancestors really were. That is where a free marriage records search can simplify your search.

Finding marriage records is a simple task. The first step is to get together all the vital information about the person you want to locate. The search is free, but accessing marriage records, even if you are directly related, will be restricted and may even be subject to a fee (usually somewhere between $10 to $30). The search is as simple as typing in the name of the person in question.

There are also free sources of obtaining marriage records. You can find free marriage records only from cases filed by the courts. You may need specific details in order to conduct an accurate search. Such details include the specific location of the marriage (county or circuit court where the marriage occurred, full name of the groom or bride, the date of the marriage and other personal particulars).

With the speed of the Internet and exchange of information that is available today we can accomplish what used to be months of work in seconds.  A marriage search now takes minutes with the help of the Internet. Before, the only way to get a copy of a marriage license was by visiting the county office where the marriage took place and looking through all the records.  If you do not know the exact date then you would have had to look through every record manually.

Alternately, you could write to the county office and provide them with the name of the bride and groom together with the date or year and someone would find the records on your behalf.  This could take weeks to process, and if the marriage did not take place in the County you thought then you had to start over again.

Conducting a free marriage records search online only takes a minutes.  Because of the way Search Engines are set up, they can look at the County, the names and the date to find the license you are looking for. If your information is incorrect or incomplete, they can give you possible matches to choose from if they can't give you an absolute match.

You can filter your search criteria using a number data points. Full or partial names, social security numbers, and even addresses can all be used to hone a search. An effective marriage records search can retrieve the records you need. They will be automatically dispatched as soon as possible. Finding the best site on which to do your research is essential.