Finding the minimum information for census records
To estimate an individual's marriage date from census records, 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. If you do not have the minimum information to locate a census record, you can either:
Get help finding some of the minimum information by selecting one of the following items,
click the Back button on your browser to return to the list of other places where you can find marriage dates, or
read the paragraphs below for a few additional tips.
Finding marriage dates
You can approximate a couple's marriage date if you know the birth date of the oldest child. Pregnancies often happened soon after a couple's marriage, so you can estimate the marriage date to be 1-2 years before the birth of the first child. This will at least give you a target range of years in which to search for the records.
You may also want to check the information contained in state and local censuses. Not all states and localities took their own censuses and the contents vary from state to state. However, sometimes the information is quite valuable. Genealogy.com has a selection of state census records on CD-ROM, and you can also contact libraries, state archives, and genealogy societies in the area where your ancestors lived. They should be able to tell you if any exist and where you might find them. The Family History Library of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is another possible source.
Make sure to check photo albums, scrapbooks, diaries, and family Bibles at home. See the topic Finding information at home for more information. Also check for local histories. See the topic Finding previous research.
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