02 April 2014

Wedding Wednesday: A Chester County resource

Chester County (PA) has uploaded several records on its sites that may be of interest if tracing your family there, including marriage records. Chester County kept marriage records from 1852 to 1855 and then again from 1885 to the present.

  1. Go to the "Records, Guides and Indexes" page on the Chester County, PA site at http://www.chesco.org/index.aspx?NID=193. Now to be honest, I have this page bookmarked because I can never find it on the main page and it just frustrates me to no end so if you would like to do the same ... go to the page then add it to your Favorites.
  2. Once there, you have a choice of so many records! But for today - click on the "Birth, Death and Marriage" link on the left side.
  3. Select Marriages.
  4. For the years mentioned above, you can search by groom or bride. Remember if you are searching by the bride to use her maiden name.  

The information that you MAY get from these records include:
  • Groom's last name
  • Groom's first name
  • Groom's middle name
  • Groom's date of birth
  • Groom's age
  • Bride's first name
  • Bride's last name
  • Date of application
  • Date of marriage
  • Place of marriage - usually just a city
  • License number

The image above searched from the Groom's point of view. So for example the line reveals that James Vincent Rice, age 23, married Ruth Smith on 16 October 1915 in Coatesville. Their marriage license number - should I choose to research it further - is # 18753. From there, do the same search using the bride's name. In this case, the record reveals that Ruth was 19 at the time and her middle name is Irene. In either case, now I have a spouse (I knew only her first name before) and a marriage date for James Rice.

Two other sources are provided on the marriage page. They are: "Marriage Contracts, Separations, and Certificates, 1698-1890" and "Divorce Records 1804 - 1902."
Locations listed are located in Pennsylvania (USA), unless otherwise noted in post.