Indexing Projects: US, Michigan - County Marriages 1820-1956, Part A, Project Instructions

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FamilySearch Record Search This article contains instructions for indexing a collection of records online for FamilySearch.
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Introduction Project Instructions Field Helps Groom Field Helps Bride Updates and Discussion
Vintage wedding
Project Progress

21% completed (estimate)


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Sample Images[edit | edit source]

Michigan Marriage Record 4001630 276.jpg

Marriage License
Marriage Register
Marriage Bond

Characteristics of This Project[edit | edit source]

  • All records are marriage records.
  • When multiple images relate to the same marriage, index each image separately as its own record. Do not mark the successive images as duplicates or no extractable data images.
  • When a single image includes multiple documents that relate to the same marriage, index these as a single record by finding the data for the record on any of the documents on the image.
  • There are up to 20 images per batch.

Description of the Records[edit | edit source]

  • Some of the records were handwritten with no set format, but most are handwritten on preprinted forms.
  • Images may include registers with multiple marriages on each page. Index each separate marriage as a separate record.
  • Images may also include different, individual documents, that relate to the same marriage. These documents may be filed on separate, successive images.When multiple images include information about the same marriage, each image is to be indexed as a separate record, even though the images relate to the same marriage.
  • There are single images that have more than one document related to the same marriage together on that image. In these cases, index the entire image as only one record by finding the information for the fields on any of the documents on the image. Combination images

Overlays, which normally are small handwritten notes, are attached to many records. Click here to see instructions for how to index the overlays.

Basic Indexing How-to's for this or any indexing project:[edit | edit source]

Click here for information to make your indexing easier and more accurate, along with helpful, short, how-to videos.

Helpful videos about how to index this project
[edit | edit source]

Video button.jpg

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Project-Specific Indexing Instructions[edit | edit source]

Many Different Types of Forms

The following links are examples of some of the different types of documents:

Marriage License
Cover Page for Marriage License
Combination Image
Marriage Register
Marriage Bond
Correction to marriage record
  • Index each of these documents, except for registers, as a single, stand-alone record by entering data in as many fields as possible and leaving the remainder of the fields blank.
  • Registers will have multiple records to be indexed. This means you will need to add additional entry lines for these images. (See the following topic for how to do this.)
  • Combination images have more than one type of document on one page, but all relate to the same marriage. Index these as one record by finding the information for the fields on any of the documents on the image.
  • A person's name may be written more than once on a record. Index the most complete version of the name.

Number of Records per Image

  • The data entry area is set at 1 record per image. When you encounter registers or images with more than one record, you will need to add additional entry lines to match the actual number of records on your image. To do this:
  1. On the menu bar, click Tools.
  2. Click Records per Image.
  3. Set the number of records to the actual number of records on the image.
  4. Click OK.


  • Overlays, which normally are small handwritten notes, are attached to many records.
  • Carefully read each overlay. If it contains data pertaining to a marriage, such as ages of the groom and bride or names of parents, index the overlay as a separate record. If it does not contain any data pertaining to the marriage, do not index the overlay.
  • Overlays will often cover other marriage records. In these cases, there is generally a separate image that was taken with the overlay removed. Therefore, do not try to index the information that is covered by the overlay. Click the following links to see an example:
Overlay Sample 1
Overlay Sample 2


  • Because of the many different forms in this project, highlights are not available. You may use the ruler instead to follow a record across an image.

Using the Ruler

  • If you choose to use the ruler, please be aware that the ruler is not anchored to the indexing screen and does not automatically move as you move to a new entry. To see the ruler, follow these steps:
  1. On the menu bar, click View.
  2. Select Show Ruler.

Handwriting Helps

  • Many of these records are handwritten. Handwriting help is now available on the data entry screen.
  • On the toolbar just above the data entry area, click on the Handwriting Help icon (which looks like an inkwell with an orange feather quill).

Indexing the first record of a batch

  • When the first image of a batch begins with a partial record, start indexing at the first complete record.

Indexing the last record of a batch


When the last record on the last image is not complete:

  1. On the menu bar, click View
  2. Click Show Previous/Next Image.
  3. The previous or next image will be the image you see on the right side of the double screen.
  4. Click the Next Image button.
  5. Type the remaining data for the record being indexed.
  6. Return to normal view by clicking View and then Show Previous/Next Image.
  7. Submit the batch.

Additional information[edit | edit source]

Basic indexing guidelines(for all projects)

How to Help with This Project[edit | edit source]

If you have not already done so, you must register as an indexing volunteer. To do this, click here
After you register, once you have downloaded and started the indexing program, click the Download Batch... button, and select this project name from the list. You may need to select Show all projects at the top of the window to see the project name on the list

Next page : Field Helps Groom

Discuss this Project[edit | edit source]

There are several ways to ask questions or discuss this project. Choose your favorite:
  • Click the Discussion tab at top of this page. You will be taken to a page with the Project updates and added information as needed. We welcome your input as you index this project.
  • Go to this project's page on Family Search forums.
Note: you will need a Church account or FamilySearch account to add to these pages, which is the same as the user name and password used for indexing.