Alaska

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Alaskan Marriage Records

Marriage records become public records 50 years after the event.

Alaska Marriage license applications are open to the public and more information is usually found on the marriage license application or the marriage register. The marriage application may be obtained from the closest courthouse to where the couple was married.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. When did Alaska start recording marriages?
A.
1913 is the first year Alaska began officially recording birth, death and marriage records. Marriages earlier than 1913 may be found in church records which have been microfilmed by the Bureau of Vital Statistics.

Q. How do I verify a marriage took place in Alaska?
A.
All vital records are collected and Certificate copies are issued by the:

Alaskan Bureau of Vital Statistics
Dept of Health and Social Services
5441 Commercial Blvd.
Juneau, AK 99801
(907) 465-3391
Fax: (907) 465-3618

A copy of the request form and instructions can be found here, or walk-ins are also an option at the Juneau Office or the Anchorage Office.

Q. Are there restrictions on getting copies of Alaskan marriage records?
A.
Yes there are restrictions:
Under Alaska law, all vital records are strictly confidential until they become public records (except for marriage license applications which are open to the public). Marriage records (and divorce records) become public records 50 years after the event. During this time access is restricted only the persons named on the record, their legal representatives, and persons who can prove they are legally entitled to copies of certificates.

Q. How is Alaska different than other states?
A.
Alaska has no counties. The land is split up into Municipalities, Boroughs, Divisions and Alaska Native Claims Settlement Act Corporations.

Q. Why are Alaskan ancestors marriages different than other states?
A.
Have you ever heard the saying, "Tougher in Alaska"? Our Alaskan ancestors faced living conditions in a harsh environment that few of us today can even imagine. Frigid artic temperatures, tundra, permafrost, glaciers, active earthquake zones, and hardly any inland communities is what the greatest influx of settlers faced during the gold rush of the 1890's. There they found the Athabaskans, Aleuts, Inuit, Yupik, Tlingit and Haida native populations and many learned to survive the way the "Indians and Eskimo's" did, by trapping, hunting, fishing and building native shelters. If you have Alaskan ancestors in your family tree, you are related to some very hardy individuals.

Q. How do I get married in Alaska?
A.
First, a marriage license application must be completed and submitted along with the fee of $60.00 to
ALASKA BUREAU OF VITAL STATISTICS
P.O. BOX 110675, JUNEAU, AK 99811-0675
or a local Alaska Court before a marriage license is issued. The license will be issued and picked up at the place it was submitted.

Both parties must be at least 18 years of age or have a consent form signed by both parents to get a marriage license in Alaska.

Residency is not required but the license is valid only for marriages performed in Alaska or in Alaskan State waters.

Alaska does not require a blood test or physical although there is a three business day waiting period starting from when the application is received by the issuing office.

The approved marriage license is valid for three months from date of issue.
More detailed information about applying for an Alaskan marriage license can be found here.

Alaska Marriage Database:
Free public records of Alaskan marriages.

Surname:

Also try the contributed records database.

Genealogy Resources for the Boroughs of Alaska:

Aleutians

Cities in Aleutians East Borough:
Adak, Akutan, Cold Bay, False Pass, King Cove, Sand Point, Nelson Lagoon

Cities in Aleutians West Census Area:
Adak, Amchitka, Atka, Nikolski, Saint George, Saint Paul, Shemya Station, Unalaska

Aleutian Islands Borough Genealogy Resources:

Anchorage

Formed in 1975, County Seat: Anchorage

Cities in Anchorage Borough where your ancestors may have lived:
Anchorage, Chugiak, Eagle River, Fort Richardson, Girdwood, Indian.

Anchorage Borough Genealogy Resources:

Bristol Bay

Formed in 1962, County Seat: Naknek

Bristol Bay Borough has no incorporated cities but is instead comprised of three census-designated places corresponding to the borough's three population centers which contain 100 percent of the borough's population:

  • King Salmon
  • Naknek
  • South Naknek

Bristol Bay Borough Genealogy Resources:

Denali

Formed in 1990, County Seat: Healy

Cities in the Denali Borough where your ancestors may have lived:
Anderson, Healy, Cantwell, Clear, Kantishna, Suntrana, Usibelli

Denali Borough Genealogy Resources:

  • Denali Borough AKGenWeb contains  death records, obituaries, biogrophies, bibliographies, and boat and aircraft ownership. Also includes useful background information on the areas
  • Denali Borough -Linkpendium
  • Denali Borough population demographics-US Census Bureau.

Fairbanks / North Star

Formed in 1964, County Seat: Fairbanks

Cities in Fairbanks Borough where your ancestors may have lived:
Badger, Coldfoot, Ester, Fairbanks, Fort Wainwright, North Pole, Salcha, Steese, Two Rivers

Bureau of Vital Statistics
Fairbanks Office
615 23rd Avenue, Suite 300
Fairbanks, Alaska 99701
Information: (907) 452-4863

Fairbanks-North Star Borough Genealogy Resources:

Fairbanks Borough Products and Subscriptions at Ancestry.com:

Haines

Formed in 1964, County Seat: Haines

Cities in Haines Borough where your ancestors may have lived:
Covenant Life, Excursion Inlet, Haines, Lutak, Mosquito Lake, Mud Bay

Haines Borough Genealogy Resources:

Juneau

Formed in 1970, County Seat: Juneau

Cities in Juneau Borough where your ancestors may have lived:
Auke Bay, Douglas, Juneau

Juneau Borough Genealogy Resources:

Kenai Peninsula

Formed in 1964, County Seat: Soldotna

Cities in Kenai Peninsula Borough where your ancestors may have lived:
Anchor Point, Clam Gulch, Cooper Landing, English Bay, Fritz Creek, Halibut Cove, Homer, Kachemak, Hope, Kasilof, Kenai, Moose Pass, Nanwalek, Nikishka, Nikiski, Nikolaevsk, Ninilchik, Port Graham, Seldovia, Seward, Soldotna, Sterling, Tyonek

Kenai Peninsula Borough Genealogy Resources:

Ketchikan Gateway

Formed in 1963, County Seat: Ketchikan

Cities in Ketchikan Gateway Borough where your ancestors may have lived:
Kasaan, Ketchikan, Saxman, Edna Bay, Naukati Bay, Ward Cove

Ketchikan Borough Genealogy Resources:

Kodiak Island

Formed in 1963, County Seat: Kodiak

Cities in Kodiak Island Borough where your ancestors may have lived:
Akhiok, Chiniak, Karluk, Kodiak, Larsen Bay, Old Harbor, Ouzinkie, Port Lions

Kodiak Island Borough Genealogy Resources:

Lake And Peninsula

Formed in 1989, County Seat: King Salmon

Cities in Lake & Peninsula Borough where your ancestors may have lived:
Chignik, Egegik, Igiugig, Iliamna, King Salmon, Kokhanok, Kokhonak, Levelock, Newhalen, Nondalton, Pedro Bay, Perryville, Pilot Point, Port Alsworth, Port Heiden

Lake & Peninsula Borough Genealogy Resources:

Matanuska-Susitna

Formed in 1964, County Seat: Palmer

Cities in Matanuska-Susitna Borough where your ancestors may have lived:
Big Lake, Chickaloon, Houston, Meadow Lake, Palmer, Skwentna, Sutton, Talkeetna, Trapper Creek, Wasilla, Willow

Matanuska-Susitna Borough Genealogy Resources:

North Slope

Formed in 1972, County Seat: Barrow

Cities in North Slope Borough where your ancestors may have lived:
Anaktuvuk, Atqasuk, Barrow, Kaktovik, Nuiqsut, Point Hope, Point Lay, Prudhoe Bay, Wainwright

North Slope Borough Genealogy Resources:

Northwest Artic

Formed in 1986, County Seat: Kotzebue

Cities in Northwest Arctic Borough where your ancestors may have lived:
Ambler, Buckland, Deering, Kiana, Kivalina, Kobuk, Kotzebue, Noatak, Noorvik, Selawik, Shungnak

Northwest Arctic Borough Genealogy Resources:

Sitka

Sitka Borough Genealogy Resources:

Yakutat

Formed in 1992, County Seat: Yakutat.
(Yakutat was incorporated as a unified city-borough on September 22, 1992. Until this time, it had been part of the Skagway-Yakutat-Angoon Census Area.)

Yakutat Borough Genealogy Resources:

Alaskan Statewide Genealogy Resources