Washington, County Marriages - FamilySearch Historical Records
|Access the Records|
Washington, County Marriages, 1855-2008
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Flag of Washington|
|Location of Washington|
|State Archives, Olympia, Washington|
- 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]
This collection contains marriage returns, certificates and a few affidavits depending on the county. Most of the records are pre-printed forms filled in by hand or typewritten. Some of the certificates are handwritten entries recorded in registers. The time period covered by this collection includes the years 1855 to 2008.
County officials began recording marriages in 1853 or soon after the counties were organized. Information was filled in by the minister, priest, or official performing the marriage ceremony and then returned to the county auditor of the county in which the marriage took place. Statewide registration of marriages began in 1968.
Marriage records legalize marital relationships and validate a wife’s legal claim to property.
County marriage records are considered a reliable source in family history research because they contain a record of an event usually registered very near the time the event occurred. The reliability, of course, depends on the accuracy of the informant.
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.
To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]
|You can browse through images in this collection using the waypoints on the Collection Browse Page for Washington, County Marriages, 1855-2008.|
What Can These Records tell Me?[edit | edit source]
The following information may be found in these records:
- Date and place of marriage
- Names, ages and races of bride and groom
- Residences and occupation of bride and groom
- Number of groom's marriages
- Number of bride's marriages
- Birthplaces of bride and groom
- Names of bride and groom's parents
- Maiden names of bride and groom's mothers
- Names of witnesses
- Name of person performing the marriage
Collection Content[edit | edit source]
Sample Image[edit | edit source]
How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]
Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:
- Name of the person
- The location or date of the event
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]
View images in this collection by visiting the
- Select County
- Select Record type, volumes and year range
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]
If these are indexes, the original records may contain additional information than was not indexed, or the information might have been indexed incorrectly. You may want to search for the original record at the National Archives.
I Found the Person I was Looking for, What Now?[edit | edit source]
- Use the age or estimated birth date to find other county or Washington Vital Records such as birth, baptism, marriage, and death records
- Search for death or burial information in Washington Cemeteries and Washington Newspapers
- Use the information found in the record to find Washington Land and Property records
- Use the information found in the record to find Washington Probate Records
- Use the information found in the record to find Washington Emigration and Immigration records
- Use the information found in the record to find additional family members in the Washington Census records. Witnesses were usually family members
- Repeat this process with additional family members found, to find more generations of the family
- Church Records often were kept years before government records were required and are a good source for finding ancestors before 1900
I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]
- If your ancestor does not have a common name, collect entries for every person who has the same surname. This list can help you find possible relatives
- If you cannot locate your ancestor in the locality in which you believe they lived, then try searching a nearby locality Oregon Vital Records
- Try different spellings of your ancestor’s name
- Remember that sometimes individuals went by nicknames or alternated between using first and middle names. Try searching for these names as well
- Check the info box above for additional FamilySearch websites and related websites that may assist you in finding similar records
Research Helps[edit | edit source]
The following articles will help you in your research for your family in the state of Washington.
- Washington Guided Research
- Washington Record Finder
- Research Tips and Strategies
- Step-by-Step Research: 1850-1907 | 1907-Present
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.