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The Definitive Guide to Findmypast's Marriage Records

Picture of Niall Cullen - Content Marketing Lead
Niall Cullen
3 January 2023

First comes love...

Marriage records are not just nostalgic keepsakes that remind you of the joining of two branches of your family tree. They also hold some of the most important information to help you build it.

At Findmypast, our collection of marriage records from around the globe gives you ample chances of finding details of your ancestors' nuptials.

What's more, you can start finding your family's love stories in a matter of moments with record hints on your Findmypast family tree. Simply start by adding who and what you already know and we'll automatically suggest marriage records and more that match the details.

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At a minimum, a marriage record will usually tell you your ancestor's:

  • Name
  • Spouse's name
  • Year and location of marriage

Some records also contain more valuable details like residence, parents' (usually fathers') and witnesses' names and the couple's ages.

Let's take a closer look at what's available to search in our marriage resources.

North American Collections

United States Marriages will be the largest online collection of its kind when complete. It currently contains over 167 million records, many exclusive to Findmypast.

US states that we hold exclusive marriage records for

US states that we hold exclusive marriage records for

For Canada, there are some smaller niche collections to explore like marriage registers from specific Reverends and Justices of the Peace.

United Kingdom Collections

England & Wales Marriages 1837-2008 should be your starting point when it comes to exploring British matrimonial records. This record set contains the indexes to marriage certificates dating back to when civil registration began. You'll find all the information you need to order a copy of the original certificate from the General Register Office.

Parish Registers tend to date back earlier than the civil registration records and are usually held on a county-by-county basis. Findmypast has the largest collection of UK parish records online, including exclusives from Leicestershire, Devon, Staffordshire and more.

Irish Collections

Irish Marriages 1845-1958 is Ireland's index to civil marriage certificates. Registration began later in Ireland than in the UK (1845 for non-catholics, 1864 for all others). Like the British indexes, these records provide you with the information you need to order the original certificate from the General Register Office of Ireland or Northern Ireland.

Ireland Roman Catholic Parish Marriages will help you take your Irish research into the early 19th century and beyond. There are over 3 million records covering the entire island.

If you are hitting a brick wall when using the two above record sets, try searching Ireland Marriages 1619-1898, Ireland, Non-Conformist Marriages or our exclusive Ireland, Society Of Friends (Quaker) Marriages.

Australia and New Zealand Collections

Findmypast holds marriage records for all six Australian states - New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and Northern Territory, as well as Australian Capital Territory Marriages 1930-1938.

If you've got New Zealand ancestors, try finding their vows in our New Zealand Marriage Index.

How to Search Marriage Records

Now you know what records we've got, here's how to explore them like a pro.

1. Category Search

From the top blue menu bar on the site click 'Search' and you'll be presented with a drop-down menu of record categories. Select 'Birth, marriage & death (parish registers)' to concentrate your search on that category.

Findmypast search

You'll be taken to the Birth, Marriage & Death (Parish Registers) category search page. To focus on marriage records select 'Marriages & Divorces' from the filters on the left-hand side. Make sure you have selected which country you want to concentrate your search on at the top of the filter list.

marriage records

Enter any criteria you know about your ancestor and press search. The category search should be used when you want to broadly search a wide range of marriage records.

2. Record Set Search

When you know exactly what marriage collection you want to search you can select it from our A-Z of records. Type in 'marriage' in the search bar at the top of the page and you'll see a list of what's available. You can also filter this by country on the left-hand side.

record set search

Once you've chosen a record set, you'll be taken to it's dedicated search page which usually contains search fields unique to that collection.

marriage-records-guide-image

Endless discoveries await within our extensive marriage records.

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Begin building your family tree today. You never know what you might find out.