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Marriage/Divorce Records


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Having access to wedlock documents, licenses, and certifications can help find loved ones or build your genealogy tree. Whether you're looking to discover a far-off relative or trying to uncover more about your family's history, finding these documents can provide important insight. Data provided by this search, such as first and last names, maiden names, birthdays, ages, addresses, can be a significant step in progress towards completing your family history or finally engaging with a long-lost loved one.

The Contrasts between Marriage Licenses, Marriage Certificates, and Marriage Records, and How to Locate All Of Them

The terms "license," "certificate," and "record" are often used reciprocally, but they don't always share the same purpose. Here are some of the differences.

Marriage License

A marriage license is documentation you need before the marriage service. It does not imply that you and your notable other are lawfully married once this form is intact — it merely means that you have the intentions to tie the knot soon. Think of it similarly to an "application" for marriage: It can be affirmed or denied, based on a couple's circumstances and where they reside.

The marriage license necessitates to be signed by both parties and submitted by the ceremony's officiant to the applicable county. At this point, a marriage license goes into public records. Once the officiant signs it on the day of the ceremony, the commitment is final. Nevertheless, it does not confirm that two people are wedded.

Marriage Certificate

The marriage certificate varies from the marriage license in that it is a complete legal certificate that proves that you and your vital other are effectively married. It is a necessary contract sanctioned by the government.

Marriage Records

Marriage records are the consolidated information and reports available through both the government and some religious organizations. You can hunt for them by going through the house of worship records and city and county civil filings. You can still look at numerous other places, such as scrapbooks, almanacs, keepsakes, and faith-based items belonging to a family, which may reveal the time and place.

Asking relatives for information and getting their individual histories can also help search for more data about marriages in your family. When scanning for marriage records, newspapers can also be worthwhile, as birth and marriage announcements and obituaries can verify wedding dates and maiden names.

Using Marriage Records Data In Your Search

Marriage records often provide essential data about the individuals being married. Besides the place and time of the wedlock, the names (including maiden names), birthplaces, birthdates, ages at the time of marriage, and the individuals' genders are a part of this record's information. In a handful of states, blood tests must occur for couples planning to marry.

Reports about people other than the people who are getting betrothed may also be available in a marriage record. The first and last names of the ceremony officiant and witnesses get put in marriage documents too.

Paying attention to the details of these records, whether they are handwritten or online, can assist you in your research for that long-lost or distant relative — and may even allow you to discover family members you did not know you had.

Some people choose to put a bride's maiden name on marriage documents, helping you piece together your family tree.

Whether these documents are available through the government or a religious organization, documents may reveal previous marriage data. In such a situation, they can help resolve which children belong to which parent even within various matrimonies.

Addresses, birthdays and places, and other data listed can help narrow your search using an online people finder service. Addresses are beneficial when looking for deeds or city/town directories.

Past newspapers can bolster your search for marriage records and or documents. When you have any form of data from licenses, certificates, and other documentation, you can look for associated engagement and marriage announcements in local publications. These articles will often have additional personal details about the couple, which can refine your quest to find a far-off relative.

Possible Barriers When Searching For Marriage Records

Anyone searching for wedding records can encounter barriers, depending on the place and year the marriage in question took place. In some states, these documents are not usually available to everyone. Though, if they are 50 years or older and both couples are deceased, the form is considered a genealogical one and is typically open to the public. If you are an entity to a marriage or have a legal reason for obtaining the record, you may request access to it.

Some records that were initially handwritten may present issues that can significantly impede your search for a relative. These documents can be inaccurate due to spelling errors, misinterpretations, or factual errors. If someone scanned the marriage records, there's a possibility for character recognition errors. Finally, documents created in the late 1800s may not contain as much information as desired.

Getting marriage records, licenses, and certificates can be complicated, depending on the marriage details you are looking into. Still, if you get access to such elements, they can present a wealth of information that may simplify searching for a relative.

Here is our coverage for Marriage and Divorce Records:


 

State/County

Status

Coverage Start

Coverage End

California (Statewide)

Historical

1/12/60

12/31/85

California – Riverside

Historical

1/05/76

12/30/76

Colorado (Statewide)

Historical

1/01/75

12/31/02

Connecticut (Statewide)

Updating

1/01/59

Current

Florida (Statewide)

Updating

1/01/70

Current

Florida – Alachua

Updating

1/04/73

Current

Florida – Baker

Historical

7/07/03

3/12/10

Florida – Brevard

Historical

3/02/82

12/15/95

Florida – Citrus

Updating

1/12/99

Current

Florida – Flagler

Updating

6/20/01

Current

Florida – Indian River

Updating

1/02/98

Current

Florida – Lake

Updating

1/05/99

Current

Florida – Marion

Updating

1/06/99

Current

Florida – Orange

Updating

3/05/98

Current

Florida – Polk

Updating

4/07/00

Current

Florida – St. Lucie

Historical

5/04/99

10/7/04

Florida – Volusia

Updating

4/04/88

Current

Georgia (Statewide)

Historical

1/01/64

12/31/99

Kentucky (Statewide)

Historical

1/02/69

12/23/06

Maine (Statewide)

Historical

1/01/00

7/6/96

Michigan – Grand Traverse

Historical

9/23/05

12/25/06

Nevada (Statewide)

Historical

5/01/19

12/31/05

North Carolina (Statewide)

Updating

1/01/98

Current

Ohio (Statewide)

Historical

1/01/86

12/31/15

Oklahoma (Statewide)

Historical

1/02/97

3/11/05

Texas (Statewide)

Updating

1/01/57

Current