Sunday, February 14, 2010

Church Record Sunday: Valentine's Day Edition


Happy Valentine's Day!
Yes, it's a great day to spend with the one you love but it is also a great day for some genealogical research!  Why not try to find some marriage records today?  Here are some idea for finding them online.

  • Go to WorldVitalRecords or Ancestry and search by locality or record type to see what marriage records they have available.  Sometimes searching just using a name is not enough.  Search through individual collections and you may receive additional results. 
  • Check out the website GenWed for links to online marriage records and indexes for the United States and the UK.
  •  Check out the website for the state archives/state library for the state your ancestor got married in.  Some do have online marriage indexes, including Washington State and Illinois. Utah has a good research guide to marriage records.
If you can't find the marriage records online remember to check the Family History Library Catalog on FamilySearch for the locality your are researching.  You can then look for marriage records.  Those that are on microfilm can be ordered from your local Family History Center.

You can also look for information about where to order vital records from  They provide information about when vital records began and state and county information that you need to order them.  I recommend clicking on the link for the county website and reading about any requirements for requesting vital records like notarized statements or the need for a copy of your driver's license.

Don't forget to also look for church records in the Family History Library catalog.  Churches might be an additional resource or the only resource for finding proof of a marriage. Contact the church where your ancestor attended, a regional archive of the church, a church's museum or archive, or a university affiliated with the church for possible marriage records.

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