Today I would like to do a tutorial on finding marriage records on Ancestry. Putting in an ancestor’s name in the general search doesn’t always give me the answers I need. Many of you may search this way, but for those who don’t, let’s go through the process. Please excuse the photos – I took screen shots with my phone.
Go to www.ancestry.com and sign into you account.
Click on the Search button, then click on Birth, Marriage & Death.
Click on Marriage & Divorce on the right side, under Narrow by Category.
On the Marriage and Divorce page is a browse catalog in the upper right-hand corner. Click on USA.
Notice at the bottom left side of the page there are files by state. Scroll down and click on Kentucky (for our purposes, you could click on any other state you need records to see what they have.).
Towards the bottom of the page we see the file Kentucky, County Marriage Records, 1783-1965. Click on the link.
The nice feature of this database is you can click on a county and see what years of marriage records are available.
Let’s put in Cleeton Taylor under First and Last Names and Mercer County, Kentucky, for location.
As you can see there are two records for this gentleman. In 1791 Cleeton married Rebeckah Peters. Click on View Record.
The first is the original 1791 marriage bond between Cleeton Taylor and Rebeckah Peters, with John Swinney as bondsman. Notice we are still a part of Virginia as of this date, the sum of fifty pounds current money to be paid to his Excellency, Beverly Randolph, Esquire, Governor of Virginia. Kentucky became a state the next year.
To download to your computer and save to your records click the tools symbol (hammer and wrench) and click download.
A similar box will appear and you can choose where to save your files – just remember where they are saved! As you can see under pictures I have a genealogy file that is subdivided into each Kentucky county name, and further subdivided into cemeteries we’ve visited. You can save your file under the last names of the bride and groom such as ‘Taylor Peters marriage’, or whatever suits your needs best. I save some photos and documents in a ‘Families’ file that is subdivided into my individual family names.
The second is a consent by Richard Peters, father of Rebeckah. ‘Sir, as there is a contract of marriage between Cleeton Taylor and Rebekah Peters by consent of parents, pleased to grant unto the said Taylor a license of marriage, and you will oblige your humble servant, Richard Peters.’ It is addressed to Mr. Allin, clerk of Mercer County Court, and signed by Charles Ison and William Peters.
This is a very handy tool You can put in any last name and any county. If you know names for bride and groom try both. If you can’t find your groom or bride, just put in the last name and see what comes up. Spelling can be very unusual at times. Notice how Rebeckah Peters name was spelled.
Let me know if this has helped in your search for marriages – or if you use this method. If it helps we will have other tutorials on census records, deaths, etc.