Marriage records are basically the public documents that show you the true married names of two people and other relevant information. In some countries, marriage records are kept for a fixed period of time, usually between the year 1924 and a year before in others they are updated only once a year. These marriage records include the personal information of the couple such as their names, parents’ names, date of birth, civil status etc. Divorce records can also be searched but in this case, you will not be able to obtain any further information regarding the divorce except for the date and place of the divorce.
In India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh the government holds the complete marriage records. The procedure to obtain them is quite simple and can take just a few minutes of your time. The only requirement for obtaining marriage records in these countries is that the names of both the bride and the groom should be written on a piece of paper with a pencil. This is to prove that they were legally married.
The other information included in the marriage records of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh includes the dowry amount, the age at the time of marriage, occupation, place of residence, the religion or belief, and the name of the bride and the groom. This information is vital, since it will help in assigning statistical values to the marriages. For example, marriages of educated women are considered rarer than those of men with a higher education. It also shows that women have more economic power in Hindu society than men. On the other hand, educated boys have a lesser chance of being married by a girl.
In United States of America, marriage records are considered as a vital public record and you can obtain them from the corresponding state’s Vital Statistics Office. But unlike other countries, marriage records are never updated. You can only get the most recent information by going through the courthouses in your area. Each state has its own criteria when it comes to data collection and reporting. Hence, marriage records for men are incomplete while women’s marriage records are almost non-existent.
If you are interested in locating marriage records in your area, the best place to start doing that is with your local city clerk. Every city has its own marriage records department that keeps the files in their custody. All you need to do is to visit their office and fill up an application requesting for marriage records and the relevant information. The clerk may take a few days to respond but rest assured that the process would be quite quick.
If your local city clerk failed to produce the required marriage records for your request, then you could always approach the courts for a legal certification. In most cases, the marriage records are certified on the basis of a sworn statement by a county clerk. However, you still need to personally visit the court in order to obtain a copy of the certificate. If the records are certified by the court, you need to get a marriage certificate in order to prove your relationship with the person being stated in the court order.
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