Marriage Record Research Tip
Unlike England and some European countries, the United States does not have a national marriage
registration program. In the U.S. marriage registration is the responsibility of state government.
Prior to mandatory state registration marriage records were kept by churches, ministers, justices of the
peace, the board of health, colonial governors, military personnel, or local governments. Most of the
recent marriage records are centralized in state vital records offices. Prior to the mid 1800s marriage
records were usually found in county courthouses or town halls with copies often in the state library.