Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, which got me thinking about love and marriage and genealogy.
Marriage records are critical in tracking our ancestors – especially our female ancestors. But all states are different in when they started recording them and what they recorded.
When did my state start recording?
The best answer for this is on the Ancestry Wiki. In the search box, type in state name vital records:
You’ll find a page that tells you when they were recorded and what government agency has them.
Are they online?
More and more vital records are online, although not all. The wiki will point to some and you can also try our Free State Research Guides for more information:
What if there are no marriage records?
Sometimes a marriage record doesn’t exist, but don’t despair. Ancestry has an eight page guide Finding U.S. Vital Records and Alternative Sources that will give you new ideas on where to find information on your ancestors’ marriage.
Also, don’t forget to check the Card Catalog on Ancestry. You can filter by Marriage and Divorce and sort by Date Added and keep track of what is new on Ancestry.
Ancestry may have added just the record you are looking for and that record may hold the solution to that brick wall you’ve been trying to tear down.
About Anne Gillespie Mitchell
Anne Gillespie Mitchell is a Senior Product Manager at Ancestry.com. She is an active blogger on Ancestry.com and writes the Ancestry Anne column. She has been chasing her ancestors through Virginia, North Carolina and South Carolina for many years. Anne holds a certificate from Boston University's Online Genealogical Research Program. You can also find her on Twitter, Facebook and Finding Forgotten Stories.