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Family Finder
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* Marriage date

An individual's marriage date can usually be found on any of the documents listed below. If you have the minimum information required to find one of these documents, select the name of that document. The items in the list are ordered from most to least important. If you do not have the minimum information required, read the paragraph below this list.

Vital records

To find an individual's marriage date on a vital record, such as a marriage or divorce certificate, you must at least know the groom's full name and/or the bride's maiden name, the approximate year of the marriage, and the state or county of the marriage, depending on when the marriage took place.

Church records

To find an individual's marriage date in church marriage records, you must at least know the individual's name, and either the name of the church where the ceremony was performed or the name of the clergyman that appears on the certificate.

Newspapers

To find an individual's marriage date in a wedding announcement, you must at least know the approximate date of marriage, the full name of the groom and/or the maiden name of the bride, and the state and city or town where the marriage took place (or where the announcement was likely to have been published).

Census records

From 1850-1880, the census recorded whether or not a couple had been married within the past year. Beginning in 1900, the census recorded the number of years that a couple had been married. From this, you can estimate the date of marriage. To find a census record, you must at least know the name of one of the spouses, the state, and the county in which the couple lived when the census was taken. If you are using census records for 1870 or earlier, you can probably use an index that only requires the state and surname.

Family histories and biographies

Both family histories and biographies may list marriage dates. To get a copy of a family history or biography that's not in the family's possession, you must at least know the individual's full name, and the approximate area (state or county) in which the individual may have lived.

International Genealogical Index

To find an individual's marriage date in the International Genealogical Index (IGI), you must at least know the individual's name. An approximate birth date or birthplace will help you narrow down your search.

Bible records

To find an individual's marriage date in Bible records that are no longer in the family's possession, you must at least know the individual's full married name or maiden name, as well as the state and county in which the individual lived.

Military records

To find an individual's marriage date in a military pension record, you must at least know the veteran's name, the branch of service, such as Army, Navy, or Marine Corps, the state from which the veteran entered the service, and the war in which the veteran served. If the period of service was after 1916, you must also know entry and release dates, military ID number, Social Security number, whether an officer or enlisted, and date of birth.

For a description of any of the records listed above, see the topic Genealogy dictionary.

To get help finding the minimum information required to locate any of the records listed above, select one of the following items:

Finding the minimum information for vital records

Finding the minimum information for church records

Finding the minimum information for newspapers

Finding the minimum information for census records

Finding the minimum information for family histories and biographies

Finding the minimum information for the International Genealogical Index

Finding the minimum information for Bible records

Finding the minimum information for military records

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