Source Information

Ancestry.com. Texas, Marriage Index, 1814-1909 and 1966-2011 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2005.
Original data:

Dodd, Jordan R, et. al. Early American Marriages: Texas to 1850. Bountiful, UT: Precision Indexing Publishers, 19xx.

Hunting For Bears, comp. Texas marriage information taken from county courthouse records. Many of these records were extracted from copies of the original records in microfilm, microfiche, or book format, located at the Family History Library.

Texas Department of State Health Services. Texas Marriage Index, 1966-2011. Texas Department of State Health Services, Texas.

Dodd, Jordan, Liahona Research, comp. (P.O. Box 740, Orem, Utah 84059) from county marriage records on microfilm located at the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah, in published books cataloged by the Library of Congress, or from county courthouse records.

About Texas, Marriage Index, 1814-1909 and 1966-2011

This database is a collection of Texas marriage indexes covering various years and counties. To see specifically what is included in this database (counties and years covered), please see the bottom of this page. This collection is comprised of indexes created by several agencies - Jordan Dodd of Liahona Research, Hunting For Bears, and the Texas Department of State Health Services. Liahona Research and Hunting For Bears extracted information from records at the Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City, Utah and/or from records located at county courthouses. The Texas Department of State Health Services (DOSHS) index was created from actual marriage records and begins in 1966 with the statewide registration of marriages. Information contained in these indexes includes:

  • Spouses' names
  • Ages at time of marriage*
  • Estimated birth year*
  • Gender
  • Marriage date
  • Marriage location (county)
  • File number*
  • Compiler (Liahona Research, Hunting For Bears, or Texas DOSHS)
  • Source (i.e. FHL microfilm number, location of county courthouse, etc.)

Note: Since this collection is compiled from a variety of sources not all records will contain the above listed information. Items marked with an "*" are only included with records originating in the Texas DOSHS index.

The marriage date is usually the date of marriage as given in the original entry. However, when no marriage date is given (e.g., the "marriage return" was not provided to the record keeper), the date of the license is used. Some marriages may be listed more than once in this database. This is to provide you with as much information as possible about a marriage. In a few cases, a marriage will be listed twice, but in two different counties. This most often happened when a couple obtained a license in one county, but were actually married in another. Another reason for multiple listings of the same marriage is different compilers or source information.

About Marriage Records in Texas:

Marriage records prior to 1836, if extant, may be in custody of the Roman Catholic church. Beginning with the date of organization, most counties maintain marriage records. These are presently in the jurisdiction of the respective county clerk where the license was issued. Statewide recording of marriages began in January 1966, but certified copies are not available through the state office. Marriages of blacks were frequently recorded in separate volumes.

Members of the Daughters of the American Revolution have compiled many marriage records for Texas. These are available in the DAR Library in Washington, D.C., and on microfilm through the FHL.

Taken from Wendy Bebout Elliot, "Texas," Red Book, ed. Alice Eichholz (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004).

I Found An Ancestor In This Database….What Now?

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 and establish important family relationships.

It is important that you use the information found in this database to locate your ancestor in the 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.

Finding the Original Marriage Record:

Unfortunately, Liahona Research and Hunting For Bears did not always provide information on the origin of each entry. However, careful researchers who wish to examine the original source will find sufficient information to lead them to that source.

Since marriage applications and certificates are issued by the county, copies of these records may be obtained by contacting the appropriate county. The specific office in a county where marriage records may be kept varies from county clerk to probate clerk. Addresses and phone numbers of local registrars are listed by county on the Texas DOSHS website.

Although marriage records are kept by the county, copies are often located in the state archives, in libraries, or in historical societies. This includes the Family History Library, which has microfilmed copies of many of Texas' marriage records. To find these microfilm copies, begin by checking the Family History Library Catalog (available online at www.familysearch.org) under the heading "Vital Records" for the appropriate locality. Once a possible microfilm source is identified, you will need to order that microfilm to your local LDS Family History Center (more information about Family History Centers available on www.familysearch.org, under the Library tab) in order to search it. For many researchers, it may be easier to check the FHL records first, before contacting the county clerk.

Cautions About this Collection:

There are records that may have been overlooked, misspelled, or not available to the researchers. These are not comprehensive indexes to all marriages occurring in Texas. Therefore, if a marriage is suspected to have occurred, but is not in this collection, further research in additional sources may locate the evidence.