What do marriage records tell us asides from the obvious. Marriage records can also dovetail with many other searches to bring about a more holistic picture of an individual. There are a myriad of sources to begin your marriage records search. These include but are not restricted to Church records, newspapers, personal histories and family bibles, online records, state archives, obituaries, other geneology submissions, civil registrations (County and Civil) while not forgetting search engines and Google books. Marriage records can also uncover bigamists and immediate family affiliations and relatives. These family connections brought about by marriage may well be of interest to any one conducting an asset search on a debtor.
The other benefit of marriage records is, of course, uncovering a maiden name. While uncovering a maiden name need not be restricted to licenses or applications other sources may well be census records, land records, military records, probate and cemetery records. There is an abundance of records archives from State to State and some records even go back to the 1600’s (New York Marriage Index (1600-1784)). These marriage records were obtained from the Dutch in the 17th century as New York became one of North America’s most recognised English colonies. These records pre date 1784 and have the date along with both the groom and bride’s name. Many State databases are an excellent tool for finding ancestors prior to the American Revolution. However in 1911 the New York State Capitol Fire sadly ruined 21 of the 40 volumes while leaving the balance of 19 volumes damaged. The database was created from these volumes and the damage has rendered them restricted to use and informational value.