Before embarking on a marriage records search, be sure you have some basic information available. You’ll need the bride and groom’s full names, along with other pertinent data that you might know such as the date and place where the marriage was performed. If you request a state-based search, you may also need to know the county or parish where the event took place. Some states only keep vital record information within a county while others have a central repository for the records. The Internet might yield even more information because they have more far-reaching databases and their search engines are immensely more powerful so they can find volumes of data in a small amount of time.
Most states charge a small fee for searching through records, but you may be able to find the data you need by submitting some information on an Internet site. If you need more data on the marriage, you may want to find a fee-based Internet service. Professionals who run these sites know how to find the information you may need and can usually find in-depth data, such as the maiden name of the bride and other marriages that the bride or groom may have experienced.
Courthouses, churches and synagogues are the usual places to search for vital records, but you might also find records you need through newspaper announcements. The Internet sites usually have many resources that can be used to find the data you need and can quickly deliver the results to your private email address.
Some states and counties only keep certain vital records on file for 100 years. If that’s the case in your search, you may have to use the state archives to locate the one you want. The Internet can help you find almost any vital record – from current to ancient – because of the methods they use to search, so if you’re looking for a record that’s over a century old, you may want to consider an Internet search over a state-based search.
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You should also know that some states may not reveal certain information on a vital record that is considered private because of the rules and regulations of the state. Even though the Freedom of Information Act made it possible for private citizens to search through some records, a state may deem that children’s information or legal issues listed on the record are private.
States may also require that you submit copies of photo identification and state a reason why you want or need the record. Other states may only release information contained in vital records to the person or persons listed in the record, immediate family members or legal representatives of the person. So, before you begin a state search through vital records, be aware that you might run into some of these obstacles.
Searching through vital records has become much easier since the advent of the Internet. You no longer have to visit or request a record by mail through the city or town where an event took place. With a minimum amount of data about the people involved in the event, you can quickly find other elements in the record for whatever issue you have.
Public marriage records might reveal information you need to complete a family tree or answer some questions that would solve a legal issue you’re involved in. Whatever the reason, see what you’re options are by checking out some reputable Internet search sites.