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Marriage Records

Ancestor Marriage Record Finder

copyright Lorine McGinnis Schulze
Olive Tree Genealogy

Can't find your ancestor in Marriage records?

Most genealogists search Marriage records such as Church records and Vital Stats (Marriage Registrations or Certificates). If we don't find our ancestor in one of those Marriage records, we're stuck! Where to search next? My AMF (Ancestor Marriage Finder) can help.

What happens when a couple marry? What events take place around a marriage? What kind of Marriage record paper trail is created at the time of marriage of an individual? The answers to these questions will lead you to other sources of marriage records and hopefully end that brick-wall.

When an ancestor is married, many records leading up to and surrounding that marriage might be created. Let's talk about records kept before an ancestor marriage and those created after a marriage.

Did your ancestor have a formal engagement?

Look for records of your ancestor in

The wedding takes place

There may be a newspaper account of the wedding.

Look for marriage records in

Friends and relatives may be notified

Look for marriage records in
  • Marriage Notice (Search Historical Newspapers) [$]
  • Marriage Announcement Cards were sent out in the 1900s

Family Members Record the Marriage

Wedding Gifts are Bought

Sometimes family or friends buy gifts that memoralize the marriage.


  • Search for travel records - plane, ships passenger list, train records
  • Hotel Ledger Books Search hotel ledger books for records
  • Search small town papers for a mention of honeymoon plans or travel (Search Historical Newspapers) [$]

Separation & Divorce

It was not uncommon, after separation, for an individual to put a notice in a newspaper announcing they were no longer responsible for a spouse's debts
  • Search Debt & other Divorce Notices (Search Historical Newspapers) [$]
  • Search Court records for a divorce

Marriage Date Recorded in Later Years

If your ancestor joined the military as an adult, you might find his marriage date recorded at the time he signed up. Search
  • Military Enlistment Papers (Attestation Papers)

Marriage Date Recorded at Other Life Events

An ancestor's marriage date is often recorded throughout his or her life. Search the following:
  • Death Records such as Tombstone, Cemetery, Obituary, Coffin Plate, Funeral Card
  • Military Record

Marriage Recorded throughout Life

An ancestor's year of marriage is recorded throughout his or her life. If you are really stuck, try to find notation re number of years married in Get Help finding Ancestors with Ancestor Birth Record Finder | Ancestor Marriage Record Finder | Ancestor Death Record Finder


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