questionsany tips for finding marriage records/vital…


Full-time hobby doesn't give enough merit to my time invested in this area.

Have you tried simply googling or binging (or any other process) to try and narrow down the search to city, county, date, etc.?

Normally getting the records ain't a problem if you've got plastic and access to the state website or phone number.


There once was a Dr. Chops
The "ranch" girls all called him "Pops"
He so loved to "play"
He overbooked one day
And couldn't find his Vitamin E drops.

(Best dirty limerick I could come up with quickly... and, well, Nevada made me think along that theme...)


@mtm2: Yeah, I guess I probably should have mentioned that heh..

Yeah, I've Googled and Binged (heh) the bejeezus out of it. I've also ponied up for a "paid" database search that returned squat. It was $3.95, and it literally returned NOTHING. It said it'd give me marriage records along with a bunch of other stuff - what actually came back was about the same amount of info as I put in to the search lol - basically a phone book entry.

The biggest problem I'm having is there are TONS of different websites that cater to this stuff; the only issue is, they ALL LINK TO THE SAME DAMN SITES. There are probably 3 or 4 main websites all of these other "front" websites link back to.. and the ones that don't link to those still kind of scare me - it's hard to know who's scamming.

I've also searched a bunch of NV county databases.. But if you know of any government/state DB's that might be helpful I'll try anything


@drchops: If the marriage isn't fairly recent, a lot of governments won't have them online. In order to get older records, you may need to show up in person at the records office, or you may be able to have them research and print records for you (for a fee, I think).

vote-for6vote-against has some records available. Check your city library or a close university library if they have the database available at no cost.


@psaux: lol I'll take it - it helps ease the pain of failure.


@drchops: What was the year? Are either or both parties still living? I strongly recommend getting an account directly on the lds church site (and I apologize, but the URL escapes me, and I don't have it handy). is okay, but they're getting most of the records from the church.

Records from more than 50-75 years ago are actually easier, since it becomes likely that those concerned are now deceased (so less invasion of privacy issues, for example).

I'll be back, later. I'm still focused on other things, but I do have some vague expertise in this area.


@drchops: Crap. Missed the edit window by that much.

also (that should take you to the older version of the site, I hope)


Some states allow you to send in a written request for old records, simply look for the state vital statistics website for details and costs.

However, most of the time you need to narrow the search down for them to help. For instance, if you narrowed it down to 2 counties and a 3 year period.

I use ALL the time and occasionally hit as well if I'm not getting any traction elsewhere.

Been doing this for over 10 years. Not always successful but keep trying.


I know our counties Clerk of Courts carries that information. Just by going to some counties websites in Nevada, it looks as though it is pretty consistent. I Googled "all counties in Nevada" and looks like there are only 17. That really wouldn't take long to go to each counties site, put in one of the names and search under marriage records. I realize some might not have that option but you can at least eliminate the majority and then call/email on the rest to request information. Just a thought. Good Luck!


I appreciate the info - I tried literally all of it :) (well, almost literally all of it heh)..

Going through counties one at a time is kindof what I started doing earlier.. Nevada actually seems to have a good setup for county DB searches - so far all of the counties have online searchable databases. They just don't all work heh.. One of them actually was down because they had "reached their bandwidth limit for the month" which is an error I haven't seen since like 1997..


I actually had a county to start in that they were almost positive was the county they were married in - but they had no record of the marriage or record of SELLING a license.. that combined with the fact that I can't find even a trace of record seemingly anywhere kinda has me wondering if maybe it didn't get filed or something like that.

@shrdlu @mtm2 @discountlingeriedeals @chris12345 @anybodylesewhomightknow

They need proof of marriage for "legal stuff" (insurance) What would one do in the case of losing a marriage certificate?
That also brings up a whole new set of questions like "Were they even technically married for the past several decades?" heh..

It's for insurance eligibility... so would they be able to maybe refile locally and have it qualify? I know this is a little out of the realm of "vital records searches" but I'm starting to think I may not find it.


@drchops: When you get married, you have to change your social security information and they take a copy of it. They also usually take a copy of it when you change your drivers license (last name). The thing is, you said several decades for being married so I am not sure if that is applicable. If you think it might be, that might be a place to check into at the local social security office (if one) and the DMV. It is obviously something you cannot personally do because they will only speak to the actual person but maybe you can accompany them.


Check all counties connected to the one in which they lived even the ones across state lines.

What year? Statewide registration for Nevada started in 1911. Anything prior to that will probably be in the county.

Here's info from the NV Archives & Library

Search by first names. Sometimes the last names are misspelled.


@drchops: For insurance purposes, it may be sufficient to have notorized statements from people that have know them a long time.


@drchops, in this case, there are some states where you can file for common law marriage, and just go forward from there. Even the social security name change can be done with no actual proof of marriage (although that may have changed in the past ten+ years).

I'm a bit puzzled that they don't remember the city they were married in; seems like something you'd remember. I'm also puzzled that they don't have a copy of the certificate. It may be that they didn't actually get married (I know, I know, but you have to consider this).

California has a well defined process for common law marriage, specifically for people who have been living as man and wife, and there's no blood test required, or other fancy things. There are other states that also do this. Some states still recognize common law marriage (the notarized statements that TT mentioned). I recommend pursuing this instead.


@thunderthighs @shrdlu @discountlingeriedeals: I actually wrote a big message to you guys last night.. I was running on E though so I fell asleep before I could decide whether or not it was coherent enough for you guys to understand :)

@thunderthighs: Thanks for that link and the info, I was actually having trouble finding a website with centralized NV info (county contact info etc).. I have a knack for unlucky coincidences for some reason though, so it turns out that pretty much everything is on record since 1911, with the one exception of Marriages. Which weren't indexed until 1968 lol - I needed '64 :)

@shrdlu: That was one of the first thing I checked heh.. turns out Oregon doesn't grant them.. although they DO recognize them if you're from a state that does grant them (kinda strange right?)

As far as remembering the city.. you got me. I called the place they said they were married.. the clerk actually broke out the microfilm for me - no record at all.


@shrdlu: They said that's where it was, but when I said "are you sure?" There was an inkling of doubt.. So now I'm faced with several possibilities, near the top of this list being: A) They're right and for whatever reason the county just doesn't have it..(clerk pocketed their money and never filed it?) B) They're wrong and it's in another county/state(?) *Or* like you mentioned.. maybe they never actually filed at all.

It's kind of got me curious about quite a few things though: like what if a courthouse burned down/flooded? How would someone go about proving marriage in that case? There's no way I'm the first person to face this kind of problem so I'm sure there's some kind of procedure (at least I would think, but then again it is the US government heh)

Oh also I forgot the info I'm working with:

They were married in Nevada
They lived (and still live) in Oregon.
It was in 1963.
+ All of their personal info

I'm actually kind of wondering if they may have done the license here..


@drchops: When did they move to Oregon? If it was about the time they married, I'd check every county between NV and OR.

Courthouse fires or other catastrophic loss of records are pretty well documented for genealogists. I didn't see any record of that but more info would help verify that.

It's possible that they got the license but didn't return it to be recorded after their marriage.

As to a substitute, as I mentioned earlier, I bet you can get notarized statements from individuals that have known them since the 1960s to verify that they have been living as man and wife since that time. I've seen this done. It may need to be done through a lawyer or a paralegal.

Is there any other family or friends that would have attended the wedding? Was it a courthouse or church wedding?

I do some genealogy and am willing to give it a go if you trust me with the personal info. You can PM it to me.


@shrdlu @thunderthighs That idea about notarized statements is good.

They've been with this insurance company for at least the past decade or two. From what I understand their policy has just changed hands and the new company wants proof..
So I think I'll try calling them tomorrow and asking them if the statements would suffice. They probably have internal records of them having policies from a long time ago, so I may be able to just use some logic-fu and avoid the paperwork all together! (a boy can dream right? :D)

Thanks for all of the help too.. I needed it. Time for bed. (Probably food first though)


@thunderthighs: That's funny.. I had no idea until right now that you responded to me before I posted that last comment lol.. good timing.

They were living in OR at the time, I think she was actually born there.

As for the fire/flood thing, I'm pretty sure nothing like that actually happened and definitely not in the county they thought they originally said they were married (I checked :D)

I worded it kind of odd the first time heh..what I meant was I'm sure that other people have lost their marriage records in fires/floods in the past, so there might be some kind of procedure set up for that scenario - in cases where people lose/destroy the hardcopy of their license.

Thanks for the offer; I may actually have to take you up on that :). I still have a few things left to try, so I wouldn't feel right about putting my work on you, but if it doesn't pan out I might have to call for backup.

Also, I think it's still a good possibility that the statement route is the way we end up going.


@shrdlu: I forgot that I never told you.. (and @discountlingeriedeals for that matter..)

I FOUND IT! Whoop whoop!

I searched ALL (but 3 counties) in NV. Actually a pretty long story considering how simple of a task I thought it'd be..

I also searched what the website linked to as the marriage "online record database" lol.. I didn't find anything. (But I think I was actually searching some kind of land database).
I seriously invite you to check this thing out lol... most convoluted, overly complicated and poorly setup system imaginable:
(oh yeah there's a Name/PASSWORD too.. it' Public Public I think)

Anyways, long story short: I called Humboldt recorders a bunch of times and the phone just rang (for a few days), then finally I got ahold of 'em. Lo and behold, I just got the RIGHT marriage certificate in the mail today.

I can't even explain how happy I was to find this thing - honestly thought it was lost. Thanks again for the help :)


@drchops: Thank you very much for letting us know that there was a happy ending. You've improved my day, more than you can know.

Belated congratulations to the "newlyweds" and to you, too, Mr Investigator Extraordinaire. :-D


@drchops: Glad you found it! I was just checking on here actually to see if you had an update. Who knew it would be that hard?!?! At least you will have a story to tell :)