This database is an index to about 2.3 million individuals who were married in the state of Kentucky between 1973 and 1999. Information that may be found in this database for each entry includes the following:
- Groom's name
- Groom's age
- Groom's county of residence
- Groom's marital status (never married; last marriage ended by death; last marriage ended by divorce; or last marriage ended by annulment)
- Groom's race
- Bride's name
- Bride's age
- Bride's county of residence
- Bride's race
- Marriage date
- Marriage county
- County of marriage license
- Marriage certificate number
- Volume number
- Volume year
Marriage records are great sources for genealogists because they document an individual in a particular place and time as well as provide details about that person's marriage.
It is important that you use the information found in this database to locate your ancestor in the original records that this index references. Usually more information is available in the records themselves than is found in an index. For example, marriage records sometimes provide the birth dates and places of the bride and groom, their parents' names, their addresses, and witnesses' names, in addition to the information listed in this index.
Copies of marriage records are available through the Vital Records branch of the Kentucky Department of Health. They maintain marriage records beginning in June 1958. For information about how to obtain a copy, please visit their website. Records of marriages occurring before 1958 must be obtained from the county clerk of the county in which the marriage license was issued.
Kentucky marriage records usually begin about the time of the respective county's establishment or within a few years of that date. Some counties have marriage records for dates prior to organization. Fayette, Jefferson, and Lincoln counties have marriage records as early as 1785. The respective county clerk has jurisdiction over marriage records. Beginning in 1958 statewide registration was required. Originals are filed in the counties and duplicates are available at the Office of Vital Statistics. The Office of Vital Statistics maintains an index to marriage records from 1958. Licenses and bonds may be filed separately from certificates.
Taken from Wendy Bebout Elliott, "Kentucky," in Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, 3d ed., ed. Alice Eichholz. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004).
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).