Thursday, April 3, 2014

Understanding and classifying Indiana marriage records

Have you squeezed out all possible information about your ancestors' Indiana marriages? Probably not if you haven't checked for sources beyond the license and return.

Beginning in the early 1880s, Indiana marriage records provided increasing amounts of information. They also caused increasing confusion, because both the information and the forms it was recorded on changed and were inconsistently named. At times different records were called by the same name, and the same records were called by different names.

Records were created under the auspices of the state Board of Health decades before the informative marriage applications were made mandatory in 1905. Some counties cooperated in creating these earlier records; some have preserved them; some continued to use them even after 1905, giving lucky genealogists a chance to glean additional information by comparing the records. The story is spelled out in my new article in the Indiana Historical Society's twice-yearly The Hoosier Genealogist: Connections.

If you have Indiana people, you need this magazine.

Harold Henderson, "How Hoosiers Got Hitched," The Hoosier Genealogist: Connections vol. 53, no. 2 (Fall/Winter 2013), 13-24.

Harold Henderson, "Understanding and classifying Indiana marriage records," Midwestern Microhistory: A Genealogy Blog, posted 3 April 2014 ( : viewed [date]). [Please feel free to link to the specific post if you prefer.]

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