California Marriage Records Database Search
Enter your ancestor's name below and we'll search California marriage records to help you learn more.
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California Marriage Records
California marriage records are one of the single most valuable resources for researching your family tree. Genealogy enthusiasts can uncover a massive amount of information about their families by looking up California marriage records online.
At GenealogyBank, we have digitized more than 330 years’ worth of newspapers featuring marriage records and marriage notices published in California. With just a last name, you can scour our California marriage database in seconds, with 95% of records not being available anywhere else.
It may be difficult to perform a California marriage license search. However, with our database you may be able to:
- Uncover maiden names.
- Find out where your ancestors got married.
- Discover the name and hometown of the bride/groom’s parents.
- Find where the newlyweds lived.
- Many records included a picture of the bride.
California marriage license records may be hard to find, but our newspaper announcements may include some biographical information, which can help you find out more about where you came from.
But how can you search this treasure trove of historical information?
How to Search for California Marriage Records Online
How should you begin your search of the GenealogyBank database of California marriage records?
It’s as simple as entering your ancestor’s last name and clicking the “Search” button within our marriage records database. While this is the easiest way to get started, accuracy can be a problem. After all, thousands of other records could bear your last name.
Finding a specific ancestor requires more advanced search techniques to narrow down your results once you’ve started with your family surname. Here’s how to narrow down your search of California public marriage records in five easy steps:
- Step One – Enter first, middle, and last names. Remember to add in the maiden names of any female ancestors. This will ensure closer matches.
- Step Two – Add in keywords. For example, public marriage records in California often included information about the groom’s parents. Hometowns, parental names, and church names were often included. For the family historian, these are pieces of information that can narrow down your search results.
- Step Three – Exclude certain keywords to avoid unrelated historical figures from being included in your search results.
- Step Four – Unsure of the exact dates of the marriage? Enter a year range or US Census Records to expand your search and make it more likely that you’ll find the right record.
- Step Five – Try changing the search order from best match to oldest and newest. Sometimes, this can uncover previously overlooked marriage records.
For additional advanced search techniques, download GenealogyBank’s “Tips for Searching Newspapers” for free.
Tips for a Successful California Marriage Records Search
Although Genealogy Bank does not have official California marriage license records, we do have marriage notices, engagement announcements, etc. Looking for California marriage records online to uncover a specific ancestor? Mistakes were common, and many couples didn’t provide anything more than the basics when filling out their records.
High levels of illiteracy meant that many records might have been incorrect, which is compounded by the fact records were often taken orally by a clerk. Here are some top tips for a California marriage announcement search:
- Try maiden names rather than married names.
- Reverse the order of a person’s first and last names. Name changes like this were common and were rarely registered officially.
- Search church newsletters and announcements if you can’t find a public record in the newspaper.
- Military records can serve as an alternative record of a marriage.
Older records tend to be more difficult to search through as standards for good recordkeeping were much lower than in the modern age.
You should also double-check records against other databases when you believe you’ve found a new ancestor. This can stop you from mistakenly adding someone unrelated to your family tree.
The Value of Our California Marriage Database
Why should you take the time to search through our database of California marriage records?
GenealogyBank covers more than 330 years of U.S. history. Our commitment to digitizing older records has enabled amateur family researchers to uncover their backgrounds at the click of a button.
Plus, our database of newspaper records is largely unavailable elsewhere, with 95% of records being exclusive to GenealogyBank.
Marriage records tend to include a wealth of information that’s impossible to find anywhere else. When compared to birth and death records, marriage records provide an abundance of information, including:
- Addresses for where couples lived.
- Names of parents.
- Full names, including middle names.
- The exact location where a couple got married.
- Photos. In many cases, these pictures may be the only visual record of someone at the age they got married.
While public marriage records in California tend to be official and lack color, newspaper records were the primary means of communication for most communities across the country.
Newspaper records were not standardized, and couples were free to include as much or as little information as they wanted. GenealogyBank’s digitized newspaper records are an easy way of discovering where you came from from the comfort of your own home.