Marriage records are primary source records because they are completed
at, or close to, the time of the marriage by someone who was present
at the marriage. Marriage records usually show names of the bride
and groom, date and place married, and sometimes other information,
such as ages. Marriage records often record the names and birthplaces
of each individual's parents. In addition they often provide us
with the maiden name of the bride.
Marriage licenses are the most common form of marriage records
in the United States. Locating Marriage Records: During the early
part of the twentieth century, many states began to require that
a record of the marriage be transferred from the county to the state
level. For the years since this procedure came fully into effect,
it may be possible to search a statewide index for a record of marriage.
Prior to the year of a state requirement, a record search should
begin at the county level.