Michigan Marriage Records - FamilySearch Historical Records
|Access the Records|
Michigan Marriages, 1868-1925
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Flag of Michigan|
|Location of Michigan|
|Michigan Health and Human Services|
- 1 What is in This Collection?
- 2 What Can These Records Tell Me?
- 3 Collection Content
- 4 How Do I Search This Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 Known Issues
- 7 Citing This Collection
What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]
This collection includes marriage records from 1868 to 1925. Most of this collection consists of marriage licenses, applications, records, registers, and certificates. The records are arranged by county, then by volume and year range. The form type varies between register style and certificate style. County clerks usually used the same printed form during the same time periods. Marriage records were generally well preserved, although fires, floods, or other disasters may have destroyed some records. The earliest marriage bonds and licenses were usually handwritten on loose papers that were later bound into lettered volumes. Some marriage records had multiple entries on each page, while others had single records per page.
An 1805 law required registration of marriages with the clerk of the local district court. In 1867 an additional law required the counties to send copies of the records to the Office of the State Registrar. A very high percentage of marriages that took place in Michigan were recorded by civil authorities.
Marriages were usually recorded by the clerk of the district court for each county from the time the county was formed. Persons desiring to marry obtained a license that they presented to the minister or other person authorized to marry, such as a justice of the peace. Once the marriage was performed, the officiator sent a return to the clerk confirming that the marriage had occurred.
Counties in Michigan recorded marriages to legalize marital relationships and to protect the interests of the wife and other heirs to legal claims on property.
The marriage date, place, residence of the bride and groom, and occupations are relatively reliable. Other information, such as age or birthplace, is dependent on the knowledge, memory, and accuracy of the informants, usually the bride and groom.
Image Visibility[edit | edit source]
Whenever possible FamilySearch makes images and indexes available for all users. However, rights to view these data are limited by contract and subject to change. Because of this there may be limitations on where and how images and indexes are available or who can see them. Please be aware some collections consist only of partial information indexed from the records and do not contain any images.
For additional information about image restrictions see Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections.
What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]
The following information may be found in these records:
- Full names of the bride and groom
- Date of marriage license
- Date and place of marriage
- Age of bride and groom
- Race of bride and groom
- Residence of bride and groom
- Birthplace of bride and groom
- Occupation of bride and groom
- Full names of parents of bride and groom
- If bride or groom have been married previously
- Maiden name of bride and groom’s mother
- Name of person performing the marriage
- Witnesses to the marriage
- Residence of witnesses
Collection Content[edit | edit source]
Sample Image[edit | edit source]
Coverage Table[edit | edit source]
This table shows the number of record in this collection for each county. To search a specific county click the link in the Search column.
|Grand Traverse||32,612||Search Grand Traverse|
|Presque Isle||9,277||Search Presque Isle|
|St. Clair||26,256||Search St. Clair|
|St. Joseph||10,666||Search St. Joseph|
|Van Buren||9,756||Search Van Buren|
Digital Folder Number List[edit | edit source]This collection was published as a DGS browse collection. The list does not contain any description of the DGS folder's content. A table listing each DGS number and its contents can be found at Michigan Marriage Records Digital Folder Number List.
How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]
Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:
- The name of your ancestor
- The approximate date of marriage
- The place where the marriage occurred
- The name of the intended spouse
Search the Index[edit | edit source]Search by name on the Collection Details Page.
- Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
- Click Search to show possible matches
View the Images[edit | edit source]To view images in this collection:
- Look at the Michigan Marriage Records Digital Folder Number List article to determine the folder/film number for the images you want to see
- Go to the Browse Page
- Select the Film number to view the images
|More images are available in the FamilySearch Catalog Michigan, Marriages, 1868-1925. Some catalog records link to multiple references. In this case, click on a reference to find a camera icon to see images.|
How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]
Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.
What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]
I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]
- Search for the family in census records
- Occupations listed can lead you to employment records or other types of records such as military records
- Continue to search the marriage records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the bride and groom who may have married in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family
- Search the county where the marriage occurred for other records such as church, land, and probate
I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]
- Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names
- Search the indexes and records of nearby counties
Research Helps[edit | edit source]
The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of Michigan.
Known Issues[edit | edit source]
Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]
Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.