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 over 379 million marriage records from around the globe gives you ample chances of finding details of your ancestors' nuptials.
At a minimum, a marriage record will usually tell you your ancestor's:
- Their spouse's name
- The year of the marriage
- Where the marriage took place or was registered
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.
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.
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 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.
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
For Canada, there are some smaller niche collections to explore like marriage registers from specific Reverends and Justices of the Peace.
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 'Life events (BDMs)' to concentrate your search on that category.
You'll be taken to the Life Events (BDMs) 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.
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.
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.