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New York Marriage Index a Boon to Researchers
Marriage Index: New York City, 1600s-1800s
Reviewed by Marthe Arends

If you've ever researched vital records in New York City, you know that they can be found in a good number of places, such as city registrars and county clerk's offices. This CD, created in collaboration with the Genealogical Research Library (GRL) in Ontario, Canada, contains records for "more than 410,000 individuals who were married in or near New York City between 1622 and 1899." The introduction notes that while over 90% of the marriages found on the CD were recorded in New York City, the remainder were recorded elsewhere in New York state. The introduction further notes that 300 of the records are from Connecticut or New Jersey. A quick examination of the dates shows that the majority are for the 19th century, although there are many entries from the 18th century as well.

The CD consists only of an informative introduction, and an index to the marriages. Both bride and groom are listed, and using the Search Expert feature you can search by surname, county, marriage location, marriage date, and marriage ID. Wildcards are allowed in the searches.

I was pleased to see that this marriage index contains references to the source of the information, including (in many cases) marriage certificate numbers, and the Family History Library (FHL) microfilm or fiche number of the actual records. In viewing a random selection of records, I found three basic sources of information: The New York Genealogical and Biographical Record (quarterly), 1932, selected extracts; Marriage Registers, Extracts from Manhattan (1869-1880) and Brooklyn (1895-1897); and Early Settlers of New York State, Their Ancestors and Descendants, Extracts from Vol.2, No.5 (Nov 1935).

Information available for each record includes:

  • Individual's name
  • Spouse
  • Marriage Date
  • Location
  • County
  • State
  • Marriage ID
  • Certificate Number
  • Source Publication
  • Page
  • Publisher
  • Date Published
  • Comments (may include the FHL film number so you can locate the actual certificate)


December 2, 1998

Related Data on CD-ROM
Census Index: New York City, 1870
Early Settlers of New York State, 1760-1942
Family History: Genealogies of Long Island Families, 1600s-1800s
Family History: Mid-Atlantic Genealogies, 1340-1940
Genealogical Records: Index to Upstate New York Source Records, 1685-1910
Genealogical Records: New York
Marriage Index: Selected Areas of New York, 1639-1916
Marriage Index: New York #2, 1740s-1880s
Military Records: New York Revolutionary War

More Articles
How-To Guide: Marriage Date
How-To Guide: Finding a Spouse's Name
Peeling the Big Apple: NYC Research

Helpful Web Sites
New York

On the Message Boards

GenForum: Marriage Records

GenForum: New York

A sample record can be seen below:

Margaret Lonsberry

Spouse: Henry Peterson

Marriage Date: 1866

Location: Manhattan

County: New York

State: New York

Marriage ID: 2220768300

Certificate Number: 3249

Publication: Marriage Registers, Extracts from Manhattan (1869-1880) and Brooklyn (1895-1897)

Page: No page number listed

Publisher: Dept. of Health, Division of Vital Statistics, New York. Published: NY, NY.

Comments: See Family History Library catalog for films 1543971-1562446 (Manhattan) and Film 1653852 (Brooklyn), for actual certificate.


The Marriage ID number was assigned by the GRL, and can be used to locate information on a "missing" spouse; the introduction notes that "due to the nature of some original records, individuals may be listed without a spouse. This does not necessarily mean that the spouse is excluded from this CD..." Using the assigned Marriage ID number, you can search for those cases where an individual's spouse is listed as "???,???."

The inclusion of sources, certificate numbers, and FHL microfilm catalog numbers are a great boon to researchers. Although the information seems to be limited to the three sources listed above, "Marriage Index: New York City, 1600s-1800s" will probably be of use to many researchers who are trying to locating ancestors who resided in New York City during the last century and a half.

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Marriage Index: New York City, 1600s-1800s
(CD 239)

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About the Author

Marthe Arends has been involved in genealogy for 18 years. She has lectured on computers and genealogy to many groups, has been the SysOp of a Fidonet genealogy BBS, has written articles for a variety of genealogy publications, and currently writes fiction. Marthe has also written Genealogy Software Guide and Genealogy on CD-ROM, both published by the Genealogical Publishing Company.
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