Washington, Pierce County Marriage Returns - FamilySearch Historical Records
|This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.|
Access the records: Washington, Pierce County Marriage Returns, 1891-1950 .
Record Description[edit | edit source]
This collection includes marriage records recorded within Pierce County for the years 1891 to 1950. 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.
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.
|You can browse through images in this collection using the waypoints on the Collection Browse Page for Washington, Pierce County Marriage Returns, 1891-1950.|
Record Content[edit | edit source]
These marriage records usually contain the following information:
- Date of license
- Date and place of marriage
- Name and age of groom
- Number or marriages for groom
- Race, residence and occupation of groom
- Birthplace of groom
- Name of groom's parents, including maiden name of mother
- Name and age of bride
- Number of marriages for bride
- Race, residence and occupation of bride
- Birthplace of bride
- Names or bride's parents, including maiden name of mother
- Name and title of person performing ceremony
- Names of witnesses and their residence(s)
How to Use the Records[edit | edit source]
To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:
- The name of the person at the time of marriage
- Other identifying information such as the approximate date and place where the marriage occurred and the name of the intended spouse
Search the Collection[edit | edit source]
To search the collection:
⇒ Select the "Browse" link in the initial collection page
⇒ Select the "County" category
⇒ Select the "Record Type, Date Range and Volume" category which takes you to the images.
Look at each image comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination. Keep in mind:
- There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
- You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
- Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.
Using the Information[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. Add this new information to your records of each family. For example:
- Use the marriage date and place as the basis for compiling a new family group or for verifying existing information.
- Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth of each partner to find a couple's birth records and parents' names.
- 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.
- Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
Tips to Keep in Mind[edit | edit source]
- The name of the officiator is a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county. However, ministers may have reported marriages performed in other counties.
- Compile the marriage entries for every person who has the same surname as the bride or groom; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
- Continue to search the marriage records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the bride and groom who may have married in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
- Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
- Use the marriage number to identify previous marriages.
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
- The information in marriage records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
- Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1900.
- There is also some variation in the information given from one marriage record to another record.
Unable to Find Your Ancestor?[edit | edit source]
- Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
- Search for the marriage record of the marriage partner if known.
- Look for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.
|Don't overlook FHL Keyword Washington, Pierce items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see the wiki article Washington Archives and Libraries. For additional information about this county see the wiki article Pierce County, Washington Genealogy.|
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Contributions to This Article[edit | edit source]
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Citations for This Collection[edit | edit source]
When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information; that is, cite your sources. This will help people find the record again and evaluate the reliability of the source. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records. Citations are available for the collection as a whole and each record or image individually.
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.
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