This database contains a statewide index to over 4.8 million marriages that were performed in California between 1960 and 1985. Information that may be found in this database includes:
- Bride’s and groom’s names
- Bride’s and groom’s ages
- Marriage county
- Marriage date
Each entry is also linked to an index image. On this image additional information such as the registrar number and state file number, may also be listed.
Where to go From Here:
The information found in this database can be used to locate the original record that this index references. This is important to do because generally more information is available on the original record. For example, marriage records may list the bride’s and groom’s birthplaces, and their parents’ names and birthplaces, in addition to the information provided in this index.
Marriage records can be obtained from the VitalChek website.
About Marriage Records:
Marriage licenses are the most common marriage records in the United States. They are issued by the appropriate authority prior to the marriage ceremony, and they have come to replace the posting of banns and intentions. Marriage licenses, which grant permission for a marriage to be performed, are returned to civil authorities after the ceremony.
Marriage licenses exist in varying forms. A standard form generally asks for the names of the bride and groom, their residence at the time of application, the date the marriage was performed, the date the license was issued, the place of the marriage, and the name of the person performing the marriage ceremony.
Marriage certificates are given to the couple after the ceremony is completed and are thus usually found among family records. There are exceptions, however. [Some] certificates are similar to marriage licenses issued in other places. The bride and groom usually receive a marriage certificate for their family records containing similar historical information, signatures of witnesses, etc.
Taken from Johni Cerny and Sandra H. Luebking, "Research in Marriage and Divorce Records," in The Source: A Guidebook of American Genealogy, ed. Loretto Dennis Szucs and Sandra Hargreaves Luebking (Salt Lake City: Ancestry, 1997).