Missouri Secretary of State Jason Kander announced Thursday, March 28, that the Missouri State Archives is working in conjunction with FamilySearch to create a free index to more than three million of the state’s marriage records, from the territorial period through Dec. 31, 1969.
Volunteers interested in assisting with online indexing of marriages are encouraged to contact the Missouri State Archives volunteer coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or (573) 751-3280. This effort will make the majority of Missouri’s marriage records accessible to researchers around the world. Although the records are now available at the county level and on microfilm at the Missouri State Archives, this project will create the first free, online statewide index. Once accessible through the Missouri Digital Heritage website, the index will link to digital images of the actual records, allowing instant access at no cost.
“Marriage records contain a wealth of information for genealogists and family historians,” Kander said. “The index created by this project will join the Missouri Death Certificates, the Supreme Court of Missouri Historical Records and other very useful collections on Missouri Digital Heritage.”
Marriage records typically include the names of the bride, groom, person officiating the ceremony and witnesses; the location and date; and occasionally ages, parents’ names and other interesting details. They provide a significant amount of information for those trying to learn more about their family history and are particularly important in researching maternal family lines where maiden names are hard to determine without documentation.