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Ohio Marriages - Why can't I find the record?


This page will give you additional guidance and resources to find marriage information for your ancestor. Use this page after first completing the marriage section of the Ohio Guided Research page.


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Tips for finding marriages

Success with marriage records depends on a few key points.

  • Your ancestor's name may misspelled. Try the following search tactics:
  • Try searching using the spouse's name.
  • Try searching spelling variations for your ancestor.
  • Try different spelling variations of the first and last name of your ancestor.
  • Try a given name search (leave out the last names)
  • Expand the date range of the search.
  • Try searching with the state name only instead of by county.
  • If your ancestor's name is common, try adding more information to narrow the search.

Marriage in a different place - Gretna Greens

Cincinnati was an area where the normal restrictions on marriage did not get enforced. It has been called a "Gretna Green".[1] People from Ohio may have married in a different state for similar reasons. (link to United States Guided Research page)


References

1. Maki, Carol L. 2004. Ohio. In Red book: American state, county & town sources, edited by Alice Eicholz. Provo, Utah: Ancestry.




Why the Record May Not Exist

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Known Record Gaps

  • Marriage registration was handled by the counties until 1949, when the state vital records office kept the records.
  • Many Hamilton County (includes Cincinnati) marriage records were destroyed by a courthouse fire in 1884.[1]


Marriage in a different place - Gretna Greens

Cincinnati was an area where the normal restrictions on marriage did not get enforced. It has been called a "Gretna Green".[2] People from Ohio may have married in a different state for similar reasons.


References

1. Moore, Rosemary and Dwight A. Radford, "The Irish in Cincinnati." The Irish At Home and Abroad 1:1 (1993): 9-12.
2. Maki, Carol L. 2004. Ohio. In Red book: American state, county & town sources, edited by Alice Eicholz. Provo, Utah: Ancestry.