Search Massachusetts Marriage Records
Searching for marriage records in Essex County in the state of Massachusetts
Like most of our personal records, such as birth and death certificates, details about marriages in Essex County are maintained and kept by the County Clerk or the Registrar Recorder. Their archives of marriages in the area go back decades, even into the 19th century in some cases, making these documents an ideal resource for those who are researching their family history. Older marriage records are unlikely to have any restrictions on them either, unlike their more modern counterparts which are only completely open to those who have a right to the information – relatives and legal representatives of those named on the marriage certificate, for example. Marriage records in Essex County and throughout the state of Massachusetts contain important personal information such as the full names of those getting married, where they were born or were they are living at the time of the wedding, and in some cases details about their own parents. Unfortunately, these older documents might not yet have been transferred to computer systems, which could make searching through them much difficult, but the archives will be well ordered and indexed, and the staff over there is expert in searching. If you feel overwhelmed and don’t know where to start, they will be able to give you help and advice. If you are interested in marriage records in Essex County, but live outside of the state of Massachusetts, staff at the archives may be able to carry out a search on your behalf if you make a request by mail or email. This will cost you a set fee and you can expect to wait a while for the results – after all, the staff has other things to do aswell!
Searching on more recent marriage records is much easier, as most of them have either been put into computer systems at the time or transferred in recent years, however, there are more likely to be restrictions on what information the public can or cannot see. People living in Essex County in the state of Massachusetts might be interested in checking marriage records to investigate the background of their new partner; perhaps they are not convinced that they are who they say they are, or they are suspicious about what they have been told concerning the new partner’s relationship history. A search of the archives at the Essex County Clerk or Registrar Recorder’s office or a check on their websites can confirm these suspicions or put their mind at rest, provided that their new partner has lived in Essex County or the state of Massachusetts all their lives.
Luckily, there are commercial search sites that collect together information on marriage records from different sources and from all over the US, not just the state of Massachusetts or Essex County. Although you may carry out your initial search on local marriage records, if you get no “hits” on the name and decide that you are still unsatisfied, you can always widen the net and search the whole state of Massachusetts or even the whole country to see if they have ever been married. These sites will charge you a fee, unlike the local archives which you can search for free, but you can be sure that you have carried out the most comprehensive search possible and not missed any important information by using these nationwide search facilities. If there are no hits on the name you are looking for, the sites often charge you nothing, and only ask for the full fee if you want to see all the information associated with the marriage records that are of interest for you.
Local newspapers in Essex County can also be a good source of information on marriages; many families are happy to place notices and announcements of happy events like marriages and births and if you find an article on a recent marriage, you might actually get more information from the press than you do from the official documents! Even the smallest newspapers in Essex County tend to have their own websites which are searchable, making it easy to track the person you are looking for, while archived copies of older editions are often kept at local libraries or at the newspaper offices themselves.