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Genealogy How-To
 Getting Started
 Getting Organized
 Developing Your Research Skills
 Sharing Your Family's Story
 Reference Guide
 Biography Assistant
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 Beginning Genealogy
 Internet Genealogy
 Tracing Immigrant Origins

Family Finder
First Name:
* Finding a marriage place with vital records

An individual's marriage certificate is the best place to look for a marriage place because it is a primary source for that information. Marriage certificates are available from either the county or the state where the marriage took place, depending on the year of the marriage. If a marriage certificate is not available, you may want to check for marriage intentions, marriage applications, marriage bonds, marriage licenses, marriage contracts or settlements, and marriage returns. If they exist, these records should also be available from the county or state where the marriage took place. In addition, you usually can find an individual's marriage date on divorce certificates. These are also available from either the county or the state where the event took place. To get the address where you must write to obtain any of these vital records, see the topic Resources by state.

When looking for marriage records, many people use computerized marriage records indexes to help them find the record that they need. Some libraries have computerized marriage records indexes and you can also purchase Family Archives containing marriage records from, Inc.

The FamilyFinder Index, a feature of Family Tree Maker software and also available for searching at, is an index of over 220 million names from census records, marriage records, Social Security death records, actual family trees, and more. This feature can help you by telling you if your ancestor's name is actually listed on one of the marriage CDs sells. Using the FamilyFinder Index couldn't be easier -- all you need to do is enter the names of your ancestors right into your own computer. If the FamilyFinder Index tells you that your ancestors are listed, then it's simple to locate your ancestor's record. For more information about FamilyFinder, or for information about purchasing CD-ROM indexes, see the topic All about FamilyFinder.

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