Illinois, County Marriages - FamilySearch Historical Records
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Illinois, County Marriages, 1810-1940
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Flag of Illinois|
|Location of Illinois|
|Record Type||Marriage Index|
|Multiple county offices, Illinois|
- 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 Citing this Collection
What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]
The collection consists of an index to county marriages from the state of Illinois for the years 1810 to 1940. By the mid-1800s the counties had pre-printed register books. Starting in 1877, marriage register books provided columns for ages, residences, birth places, and sometimes the names of the parents or guardians of the bride and groom.
Marriage returns were reported by the minister or Justice of the Peace who performed the marriage. County histories can be checked to learn which religion and congregation a minister served. Ministers’ returns may reveal that the marriage took place in a private residence, often the home of a parent or relative.
The county clerk usually kept marriage records from the time the county was organized. The counties continue to record marriages to the present day and only county clerks can issue certified copies of the marriage certificate. A statewide register of marriages began in 1962 as county clerks forwarded marriage information to the Illinois Department of Health. If you do not know the county where a couple married after 1962, the Division of Vital Records may provide the marriage date and county.
Counties in Illinois recorded marriages to legalize marital relationships and to safeguard the interests of wives. The marriage date, residence, and other facts that were current at the time the marriage occurred are quite reliable, though there is still a chance of misinformation. Other data such as age or birth place have more chance of error due to the lapse of time between marriage and birth.
Illinois marriage records included marriage registers and marriage licenses. Sometimes only one type of marriage record was preserved. Early county marriage records were handwritten into bound books with multiple entries to a page. These records provided little more than the date of marriage, names of the bride and groom, and the person who performed the marriage.
Image Visibility[edit | edit source]
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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:
Collection Content[edit | edit source]
Sample Images[edit | edit source]
Coverage Table[edit | edit source]
A coverage table showing the year ranges for each county this collection is available in the wiki article Illinois, County Marriages Coverage Table - FamilySearch Historical Records.
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 county 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
|More images are available in the FamilySearch Catalog Illinois, County Marriages, 1810-1934. 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]
When you have located your ancestor’s marriage record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors.
I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]
- Add any new information to your records
- Search for other vital records, such as birth and death
- Use the information found in the marriage record to search for the family in census records
- Search the county for church, land, and probate records
I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]
- Check for variant spellings of the surnames
- If the marriage record is not found, search in nearby counties
- Look for other family members in the marriage records
Research Helps[edit | edit source]
The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of Illinois.
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.