Kentucky, County Marriages - FamilySearch Historical Records

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Kentucky, County Marriages, 1797-1954
This article describes a collection of records at
United States
Flag of Kentucky
US Locator Kentucky.png
Location of Kentucky
Record Description
Record Type Marriages
Collection years 1797-1954
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Madison County Courthouse, Richmond

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

This collection includes marriage records from 1797 to 1954 and include bonds, licenses, certificates, and returns.

Most of this collection consists of marriage licenses and certificates, including a few marriage declarations, birth records, and death records.

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. Later they were recorded as handwritten entries in preprinted volumes.

Marriages were recorded by the clerk of the County 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 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:

  • Date and place of marriage
  • Groom's name
  • Bride's name including her maiden name
  • Names of the officiator and witnesses
  • Names of the parents or guardians of the bride and groom

  • Groom's place of birth
  • Bride's place of birth
  • Residences of the bride and groom
  • Bride and Groom's age
  • Bride and Groom's race

  • Marital status of the bride and groom

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample Images[edit | edit source]

Coverage Table[edit | edit source]

The coverage table shows the counties and time periods covered in the indexed records for this collection. Most of the records in the collection are from the time periods listed in the table; however, the collection may have a few records from before or after the time period.

Be aware that indexing for this collection is not complete. This table only shows what has been completed up to November 2014.

County Years Covered in Index
Adair 1801-1916; 1919; 1946; 1958; 1967
Anderson 1803; 1837-1858; 1860-1866; 1868; 1893; 1939
Ballard 1908-1911; 1913-1914
Bath 1803; 1810-1839; 1842-1849; 1851-1862; 1867; 1951
Bourbon 1737; 1789; 1786-1895; 1897; 1901; 1919
Boyd 1860-1868
Bracken 1795; 1797-1876; 1878-1880; 1889; 1895-1899; 1910
Harrison 1695; 1794-1869; 1880; 1886; 1888-1890; 1894; 1896-1897; 1904; 1936;-1938; 1955
Madison 1786-1830; 1832-1866; 1869; 1871-1872; 1879; 1887; 1928; 1936; 1962; 1865
Magoffin 1800-1802; 1806;1809; 1822; 1826; 1830; 1835; 1841;1844; 1847l 1853,-1854; 1860-1952; 1954; 1957
Marion 1867; 1868-1901
Martin 1914-1917
Mason 1796-1797; 1818; 1821; 1826-1828; 1830; 1833-1851; 1855-1859; 1881; 1944; 1946
Meade 1808; 1821; 1824-1913; 1917; 1933; 1946; 1954
Menifee 1869-1881; 1883
Mercer 1709; 1777; 1780; 1786-1895; 1902-1909; 1918; 1937; 1952; 1958
Metcalfe 1857; 1867-1884; 1888
Monroe 1868-1870; 1885-1901
Muhlenberg 1839; 1857-1905; 1907; 1909; 1962
Nelson 1705-1706; 1734; 1739; 1765;1769; 1776; 1778; 1782-1951; 1955

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 Kentucky, County Marriages Digital Folder Number List.

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

Before searching the 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 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

View the Images[edit | edit source]

To view images in this collection:
  1. Look at the Kentucky, County Marriages Digital Folder Number List article to determine the folder/film number for the images you want to see
  2. Go to the Browse Page
  3. Select the Film number to view the 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
  • Make sure you look at the original record if it is available. They often contain more information than what was indexed
  • Use the age to calculate an approximate birth date
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records
  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records

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 marriage 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 Kentucky.

Known Issues[edit | edit source]

Click here for a list of known issues with this collection.

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.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

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

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