Marriage records are created and maintained by Ohio county probate courts. They are recorded from the date of the county’s creation and typically provide the names of the bride and groom, the date and place of the marriage and the name of the officiating authority. Occasionally marriage records also include place of residence and birth, age, and/or names of parents. Marriage records prior to 1895 generally do not give the names of couple's parents.
Marriage records are publicly available. The Ohio History Connection has probate court records from several Ohio counties. Please note that the time periods that our marriage record collections cover vary depending on the county. Records that have been archived with the Ohio History Connection can be viewed at the Ohio History Center Archives/Library, or you can submit a search request.
How you search for records depends on the county of the marriage and the time period of that marriage. It is helpful to know the person’s residence and the approximate date of marriage. There is no statewide index for marriage records prior to September 1949.
- If you don’t know where the marriage occurred, check the U.S. Federal Census to see where the couple lived prior to their marriage. The couple may have been married in that county.
- It is important to be aware of the date of the county’s creation. For instance, Mahoning County was formed from Trumbull and Columbiana Counties in 1846. If you are looking for a marriage record from 1834 for a couple who lived in what is now Mahoning County, you may need to check both the Columbiana and Trumbull County Probate Court marriage records.
For pre-1830 marriages, 2 helpful resources are:
- Ohio Marriages Recorded in County Courts through 1820: an Index by the Ohio Genealogical Society. (call#: R 929.3771 Oh33 1996)
- Ohio Marriages Recorded in County Courts 1 Jan 1821-31 Dec 1830: an Index (2 vols.) by the Ohio Genealogical Society. (call#: R 929.3771 Oh33 2003).
SEARCHING FOR ITEMS:
- To determine if we have a certain county’s probate court records, do a Keyword General search in the Online Collection Catalog. For example, search: Knox County Probate Marriage*.
- For marriage records not in our collection, check the Online Collection Catalog for indexes done by county genealogical and historical societies. Having the index citation will help you when contacting the county's probate court to request the record.
WORKING WITH THE ITEMS:
- Some of these marriage record collections have indexes and others do not. The indexes are typically arranged by gender and then by last name. The Franklin County Probate Court, for example, has the Female Index to Marriages, 1803-1969 (call#: State Archives Series 3834) and the Male Index to Marriages, 1803-1969 (call#: State Archives Series 3835). These indexes will provide the volume and page number needed to find the actual marriage record in the collection of Franklin County Marriage Records, 1803-November 1968 (call#: State Archives Series 3836).
CAN’T FIND WHAT YOU’RE LOOKING FOR?:
- If you can’t find a person’s name in the index, that doesn’t mean that his/her record will not be in the actual record book. If you have a general idea of the year in which the person was married, you may consider reviewing all of the records from that year or group of years.
- The marriage record license should have been reported to the court by the groom prior to the marriage and the return submitted by the Justice of the Peace or the minister after the marriage was performed. If you cannot find the record you want, the couple may have been married in a different county or at a different time, the officiant many have neglected to submit the marriage return to the court, the records may have been affected by a destructive event in the probate court's history (fire, flood, etc.), or the couple may not have been legally married.
- If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 614.297.2510.
Requesting Ohio Marriage Record Copies
If you have an exact place and year of marriage, you can submit an Indexed Public Records Copy Request. The exact citation to the event should have the following:
- Full Name of the person(s) documented by the record
- Type of record being requested (for example: marriage record)
- Year or Date that the marriage occurred
- City or County in Ohio where the marriage occurred
Information about cost and the form for submitting the request is available at the link below.
Indexed Public Record Copy Request Form
Requesting Ohio Marriage Record Research
If you know that a person was married in Ohio, but you do not have the exact year of marriage, you can request research for a record of marriage during a ten year time frame. It is necessary to know the county or city in Ohio where the person was married. The citation to the event must include the following:
- Full name of the person documented by the record
- The type of record being researched (for example: marriage record)
- The county or city in Ohio where the marriage happened
- The approximate year of the marriage (must be within a 10 year time span).
Information about cost and the forms for submitting the request are available at the links below.
Research Request Form