The definitive guide to Findmypast's marriage records
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 extensive 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:
- 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.
UK marriage records
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.
Irish marriage records
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.
North American marriage records
United States Marriages will be the largest online collection of its kind when complete, with many of it's records exclusive to Findmypast.
For Canada, there are some smaller niche collections to explore like marriage registers from specific Reverends and Justices of the Peace.
Australia and New Zealand marriage records
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 when logged into the site, select 'Search' and you'll be presented with a drop-down menu of record categories. Select 'Birth, marriage, death & parish records' to concentrate your search on that category.
You'll be taken to the Birth, Marriage, Death & Parish Records category search page. To focus on marriage records select either 'Civil Marriage & Divorce' or 'Parish Marriages' from the available filters. Make sure you have selected the country you want to concentrate your search on at the top of the filter list.
Enter any criteria you know about your ancestor and hit 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.