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Marriage Records

  • 01 January 2021 9:45 AM
    Reply # 9562434 on 9384811
    Barb

    For my $4 fee, it was actual copies filled out by my grandparents and her guardian with their signatures.  Hardly a fancy copy by a clerk.  As for church records, I have also done that with a donation included in my request.  What I received was copies with no additional info and sometimes the clerk's fingers copied on the documents.  But, I don't give up and the search continues.

  • 31 December 2020 5:30 PM
    Reply # 9546078 on 9385412
    Anonymous wrote:


    4.  you can contact the church where the baptism in 1908 happened and ask them for assistance.   If the marriage did not occur in that church, perhaps they know in which church immigrants got married during that time period.  Usually they went to a church where the priest spoke the same language.


    A word of caution.   Some priests, ministers and rabbis can be really put off by these requests.   Some see themselves as ministers of the faith to their congregation, not a documentation service.    So be kind and polite, and even send a donation.   The personal touch is best, contact the church by mail, not e-mail and explain you are doing this for your family, to document the family history.


    Last modified: 01 January 2021 7:46 AM | Anonymous member
  • 31 December 2020 5:27 PM
    Reply # 9546001 on 9418002
    Barb wrote:

    My grandparents were married in Allegheny County Pa in 1906 and records were not on line.  I contacted the county court house via phone and gave clerk all the info.  For a small fee of $4 I was able to get a copy  of marriage certificate plus my grandmother was 18 years old and needed consent of marriage from a guardian.  Included in the same $4 fee was a copy of that consent which was from the Orphans court of Allegheny County.  This was a couple years ago so it is possible fee has been increased.

    Congratulations Barb!   Just to clarify, what the clerk did was go to her marriage register and find the line where they were married.   

    For the benefit of other readers::

    The clerk then wrote out the marriage details on an official document, signed and stamped it.   This is only needed when you have to prove the legitimacy of the person or your lineage to them (for estates, financial settlements,  etc.).  What you paid for was them making up the fancy document when all you really wanted was the information.   Well, small change and it may have sentimental value, so it is.  

    I say all this because sometimes this is the reason there is a holdup in getting that information or why you may be put off completely.   For others who read this, what you want to ask for is a record that they were married and the particulars.    You don't need to get an official government certificate.   

  • 31 December 2020 5:21 PM
    Reply # 9545914 on 9384811

    Diane Dunleavy

    wrote:

    I have been searching for my grandparent's marriage records for over thirty years and I still am having difficulty locating them. I have been looking through images of marriage indexes on Family Search, but no luck thus far. Would it be possible for them to have gotten married in the church, but possibly never filed in the county?  My grandmother arrived July 1907 and had her first born October 1908, so I am guessing they married soon after she arrived in the U.S. I know Pennsylvania County marriage records began in 1906. Any suggestions on research strategy would be appreciated.

    Diane, it was common for many women to be pregnant when they were married.  You probably need to look back for more detail at the ship manifest.  the  1907 had a lot of data and can provide a lot of clues.   What date of marriage do you have?  How many months is it between their wedding and the birth of their first child?

    First question is, did she arrive married (used married name) or unmarried (used maiden name).  What was her final destination and what was the name of the person's she was going to stay with?    Who was her next of kin listed as and where did they live?    Who else from the village was aboard the ship?   Were they going to the same place?  Immigrants rarely traveled alone.  Look beyond the adjacent entries, sometimes people from the same village get shuffled about and end up on different manifest pages.   Where did those people go to and to see who?

    Second, do you have your grandfather's arrival manifest?  You need it.   Ask exactly the same questions I asked about your grandfather.

    Third, do you know what village they came from?    If you do, you can use www.stevemorse.org to search for people who came from that village.   Have you searched using all the different village names?

    Fourth, What name variations have you used?  Sounds-like?  Looks-like?  Are you familiar with the cursive writing styles of the time?   They are not the same as today.

    Fifth and most important, you should be looking at the hand-written image of the ship manifest pages, NOT the typewritten pages.  There are thousands and thousands of transcription errors.

    Sixth, don't assume anything, especially that they were married in the USA.  Don't assume July 1907 was the date she arrived unless you can see the written manifest yourself.   

    Seventh, what tools and services have you used to look for their marriage records?  Ancestry.com?   

    Eighth, Ancestry has many useful tools.   There were "city directories" during that time that told who lived at what address, married or not.  Depending what state your grandparents moved to, there may be "state census".    There are city vital records of marriage in Ancestry, even if you can't find the church record.   I had to write to the priest of the church I suspected my grandparents were married to.   I sent him some money and he found the record.   He proceeded to write me up an "official" marriage certificate for them, which I didn't need or want, I just wanted the information.   But it was interesting.

    Ninth, For any date that you have recorded, unless you see the actual official document that proves such and such happened on such and such date, don't take it too literally.   Look in a date range of plus or minus 5 years for starters.

    Tenth,   All may not be not as it appears.    My grandmother came to America, married my Grandfather in Scranton, PA.   Shortly after their marriage, she went back to her village of Nova Sedlica and her first baby daughter was born there.   She traveled back two years later to Scranton.   On the manifest, the child's nationality was left blank.   On state and federal census her birthplace was listed as "Nova Sedlica".   Then about 15 years later, all of a sudden, she was listed as born in America and a citizen of the USA.   There was never any naturalization petition or citizenship record.   She just magically became American, got a social security card and collected benefits.   woah, sounds like an "illegal alien", right!

    Eleventh: Record everything.  Never try to "correct" a name.  leave it as is.   Don't trust it completely until it can be verified.


  • 09 December 2020 6:16 PM
    Reply # 9418002 on 9384811
    Barb

    My grandparents were married in Allegheny County Pa in 1906 and records were not on line.  I contacted the county court house via phone and gave clerk all the info.  For a small fee of $4 I was able to get a copy  of marriage certificate plus my grandmother was 18 years old and needed consent of marriage from a guardian.  Included in the same $4 fee was a copy of that consent which was from the Orphans court of Allegheny County.  This was a couple years ago so it is possible fee has been increased.

  • 08 December 2020 4:31 PM
    Reply # 9414662 on 9384811

    Thank you for your suggestions Mary! I have been viewing the scanned images from Pennsylvania counties, but still no success. My grandmother was only 16 or 17 when she married. I was hoping I would find them in a Gretna Green County, but no luck. Could they have gotten married without registering with the state?  Next I will begin trying to narrow down churches.

    Thank you again!

    Diane

  • 24 November 2020 7:48 PM
    Reply # 9385412 on 9384811

    I found marriage records in Pennsylvania by going to the county courthouse and searching manually.  Here are some other suggestions that may be of help beginning with the following websites:

    1.  https://pennsylvania.staterecords.org/vital.php

    2.  https://www.phmc.pa.gov/Archives/Research-Online/Pages/Vital-Statistics.aspx

    3.  are you sure the marriage occurred in the US?

    4.  you can contact the church where the baptism in 1908 happened and ask them for assistance.   If the marriage did not occur in that church, perhaps they know in which church immigrants got married during that time period.  Usually they went to a church where the priest spoke the same language.

    5.  Pennsylvania marriage records are filed in a county courthouse.  You need to know where they lived in 1907 - 1908 to make sure you are searching in the correct county.  Not all counties may have digitized their records so a manual search may need to be done.  The 1910 census may help.  

    6.   As you look through records, be wary of misspellings and other errors.

    Hope this helps.  Good luck with your research.

    Mary

  • 24 November 2020 3:08 PM
    Message # 9384811

    I have been searching for my grandparent's marriage records for over thirty years and I still am having difficulty locating them. I have been looking through images of marriage indexes on Family Search, but no luck thus far. Would it be possible for them to have gotten married in the church, but possibly never filed in the county?  My grandmother arrived July 1907 and had her first born October 1908, so I am guessing they married soon after she arrived in the U.S. I know Pennsylvania County marriage records began in 1906. Any suggestions on research strategy would be appreciated. 

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