Where to Find Marriage Records

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Whether you want to find more about your ancestors or to check if your new partner has been married before, you can search the marriage records which are kept by authorities for legal, statistical and other purposes. The big question is where to find these records. Now you have more sources available to you than ever before. The access to the information which you require is a lot easier than you might think.
Online Databases
Many marriage records have become digitalized and are readily available online. There are plenty of commercial and state databases which you can search directly. In cases when the records have not been digitalized, you can search indexes to identify the existence of the records which you need. The indexes will show you where the physical documents can be found. Since these documents belong to the state, you cannot receive the originals directly.
There are two ways to proceed once you establish the presence of the documents which you are searching for. The first one is simpler and more straightforward. You need to make a request to the respective authority or organization to send you copies of the documents. You can receive digital copies in a matter of hours and even minutes. You can also get hard copies in the mail if you are prepared to wait slightly longer. The alternative option is to visit the place where the records are kept and request to see them and get copies directly. You may not be able to view the actual documents, but you will certainly receive copies.
Traditional Sources
If you decide to skip the online search for marriage records, you can go directly to the institution or organization where they are kept the request to see them. This is an easy option if you know exactly where the documents are kept and the place is near you. This is often not the case, however. It is highly unlikely for everyone in your family to have lived in the same town for many generations. Similarly, as time passes records are moved to different locations. Furthermore, some towns which had many people one hundred or even fifty years ago may not exist today. All of these factors pose challenges and risks to traditional searches.
Overall, you will certainly benefit from using modern technology to search for marriage records. It will save you time and effort for sure. More importantly, you will have higher chances of finding the documents which you are looking for.