Iowa, County Marriages - FamilySearch Historical Records

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Iowa, County Marriages, 1838-1934
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Iowa, 
United States
Iowa flag.png
Flag of Iowa
US Locator Iowa.png
Location of Iowa
Record Description
Record Type Marriage Records
Collection years 1838-1934
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
County courthouses, Iowa


What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

This collection consists of marriage licenses and certificates, including a few marriage declarations and marriage stubs. The records cover the years 1838 to 1934.

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.

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, please see the Restrictions for Viewing Images in FamilySearch Historical Record Collections page.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

The following information may be found in these records:

Marriage

  • Name of the groom
  • Name of the bride, often including the maiden name
  • Name of the officiator
  • Names of the parents or guardians of the bride and groom
  • Date of the marriage
  • Place of marriage
  • Birthplaces of the bride and groom
  • Residences of the bride and groom
  • Ages
  • Marital status or number of marriage
  • Occupation
  • Race
  • Witnesses

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample Image[edit | edit source]

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Before searching the collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the bride or groom
  • The approximate date of marriage
  • The place where the marriage occurred

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name by visiting the Collection Details Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes in the Search Collection section with the information you know
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

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
  • Use the information on the marriage record find the family in census records
  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records
  • Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family
  • The name of the officiator is a clue to their religion and can help you find church records
  • Search for land, probate, and county records

I Can't Find the Person I'm Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Check for variant spellings of the surnames
  • Search marriage record in nearby counties, if the marriage is not where you believe the couple married

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of Iowa.

General Information About These Records[edit | edit source]

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.

Marriages were 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.

Civil marriage records were created to legalize marital relationships and to protect the interests of the wife and other heirs to legal claims on property. The index was created to provide an easy access to specific marriages in the collection. 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.

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.

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation can be viewed by clicking the drop-down arrow next to Document Information.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?[edit | edit source]

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Historical Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.