Documenting Marriages in Georgia
If you do not know the actual marriage date for an ancestor, an index to Georgia marriages is available on FamilySearch.org: Georgia Marriages 1808-1967. Click on “Learn More” to understand more about this collection at FamilySearch.org (See image below). It is possible that not all records will show if they either fall within privacy restrictions or if only partial records have been indexed.
“Learn More” will take you to an article on the Research Wiki which will give you more insight about the following:
- Record types which were indexed
- How to use the marriage record
- What the record contains
- Counties included in the collection, and more!
Searching the Collection on FamilySearch:
If your ancestor may have been married between 1808 and 1967, try to locate the index to the record first. Enter the least amount of information as possible at first. Remember that sometimes an ancestor may not be listed by his or her full given name. You may be more successful searching using only the surnames of the couple.
In the following example, we searched using the surname of the spouses (Jones and Jackson)
This helped us to locate the indexed record of Mitcheal Jones and Tilda Jackson when a search for Mitchell Jones and Matilda Jackson proved unsuccessful.
Locating the Original Record:
It is always best to view the original record once you locate the index. Sometimes you may discover more information or discrepancies. The next step would be to order the microfilm which contains the original record.
Since we now know this marriage occurred in Jasper County, Georgia on 29 December 1872, we can search the Family History Library Catalog for vital records. We entered the search terms: Jasper, Georgia:
Next, we selected Georgia, Jasper - Vital Records (6) from the list of results:
From there, we selected Marriage records, 1808-1901, Georgia. Court of Ordinary (Jasper County):
This collection is contained on microfilm. Since the marriage of Mitcheal and Tilda occurred in 1872 in Jasper County, we would need to order film number 158443 which contains marriage records from 1869-1886.
We would next click on film number 158443 and place our order from home. The film would be sent to the nearest family history center or affiliate library for us to view.
Other Marriage Record Collections Online
This is just one way to find a marriage record with very limited details. Other databases exist. The following can be accessed at Ancestry.com:
- Georgia Marriages, 1699-1944
- Georgia Marriages to 1850
- Georgia Marriages, 1851 to 1900