Thursday, November 8, 2012

Indiana Marriage Images and Statewide (almost) Index

Today FamilySearch added several counties and -- for the first time! -- a large number of images to the Indiana statewide marriage index 1811-1959 on FamilySearch. The following counties have not yet been indexed: Perry, Pike, Porter, Pulaski, Putnam, Scott, Shelby, Spencer, Stark, Switzerland, Tipton, and Vermillion -- but the other 80 have been. Exactly how much of how many county records have images I don't know -- reportedly the total up now is 1.5 million. Check it out and add to the comments if you have more information!

Maybe this will also be an incentive to those of us who have been lounging on our laurels since the 1940 census got done to get back to volunteering . . .

Hmmm . . . also the site appears to be rather busy!

UPDATE: I finally got hold of a sample. Evidently one part of the compromise allowing the images to be published is that they are labeled as unofficial. In this case we learn that the couple married five days after being licensed and that they were married by a Justice of the Peace. Locating him in other records might help locate them if that was a problem; if they had been married by a minister, that might be a clue to where to find further records of them. Some of the other marriages on this page may have been licensed or performed in Starke County. I have not investigated this but it may be of interest to researchers who are missing a Starke county marriage! State law did require the female to have resided in the county of marriage at least 30 days, and I disremember whether a license in one county in 1858 was good in any other county. (And, yes, I did choose this example randomly! Genealogy is just shot through with exceptions.)

Marshall County, Indiana, marriages A-2 (1854-1862), p. 258, M. W. Downey to Sarah T. Miller, license 14 October 1858, married 19 October 1858; digital image 143 of 255, “Indiana, Marriages, 1811-1959," FamilySearch ( : accessed 8 November 2012).

Harold Henderson, "Indiana Marriage Images and Statewide (almost) Index," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 8 November 2012 ( : accessed [access date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]


sf said...

Indiana had some really odd marriage records during some periods that caused indexers great difficulty. If you find a record and image that records only one name -- for instance, the groom but not the bride -- do another search for the bride and you might find a second version that will give you even more information.

Harold said...

Thanks, "sf." Indexes always seem so clear from the outside, but they can lead us to new puzzles in the records, as well as new evidence!