Finding the minimum information for a vital record
To get a copy of a vital record, you must at least know the full married name of one of the spouses for a divorce certificate or the full name of the groom and/or the full maiden name of the bride for a marriage certificate. You must also know the approximate year of the event, and the state or county where the event took place. If you do not have the minimum information to find a vital 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 an individual's marital status, or
read the paragraphs below for a few additional tips.
Finding vital records
Even if you don't have the minimum information required to find the original records, you're not completely out of luck. Indexes to vital records have been made for some states and counties. These indexes provide you with the information you need to access the original record. Check with libraries and genealogy societies in the area -- they may know if any indexes exist for the records that you need.
Genealogy.com, Inc. also has Family Archives containing marriage records. The FamilyFinder Index, a feature of Family Tree Maker software and also available for searching at FamilyTreeMaker.com, is an index of over 220 million names from census records, marriage records, Social Security death records, actual family trees, and more. This feature can help you by telling you if your ancestor's name is actually listed on one of the marriage CDs Genealogy.com sells. Using the FamilyFinder Index couldn't be easier -- all you need to do is enter the names of your ancestors right into your own computer. If the FamilyFinder Index tells you that your ancestors are listed, then it's simple to locate your ancestor's record. For more information about FamilyFinder, or for information about purchasing CD-ROM indexes, see the topic All about FamilyFinder.
Finding a divorce or marital status
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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