California County Marriages, 1843-1918 - FamilySearch Historical Records

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This article describes a collection of records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.
California, 
United States
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Flag of California
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Location of California
Record Description
Record Type Marriage Records
Collection years 1843-1918
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites


What is in the Collection?[edit | edit source]

This collection is an index to selected marriage records in California for the years from 1843-1918. Most of the entries are for Napa County. Due to privacy restrictions, the images associated with these indexes are unavailable at this time.


Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Coverage Map[edit | edit source]

To see a coverage map of FamilySearch's holdings of California county marriage records, click here.

What Can this Collection Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

Marriage records may contain the following information for both bride and groom:

  • Name
  • Age
  • Birth year
  • Birth place
  • Parents’ names
  • Marriage date
  • Marriage place
  • Marital status
  • Race
  • Previous spouse
  • Title
  • DGS number
  • File number
  • Page/Volume/Entry/Certificate number

How Do I Search the Collection?[edit | edit source]

To begin your search it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the bride and groom
  • The approximate marriage date

Search by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in the requested information on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor. Keep in mind:

  • There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
  • You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
  • Your ancestor may have used different names, or variations of their name, throughout their life.
  • If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
  • Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

When you have located your ancestor’s marriage record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.

I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Use the marriage date and place as the basis for compiling a new family group or for verifying existing information.
  • Use the residence to locate church and land records.
  • The name of the officiator is a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county. However, ministers may have reported marriages performed in other counties.
  • Compile the marriage entries for every person who has the same surname as the bride or groom; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the marriage records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the bride and groom who may have married in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
  • Use the marriage number to identify previous marriages.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • The information in marriage records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
  • Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one marriage record to another record.

I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby localities.
  • Try alternative search methods such as filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then do the search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You can then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.
  • A boundary change could have occurred and the record of your ancestor is now in a neighboring locality.


Citing this Collection[edit | edit source]

Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.

Collection Citation:

Collection Citation:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details Page in the section Citing this Collection.



Record Citation (or citation for the index entry):

The citation for a record will be available with each record once the collection is published.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?[edit | edit source]

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Historical Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.