Alabama Marriage Records

The earliest recorded marriages in the area now known as Alabama were at the French settlement of Fort Louis de la Mobile. In 1704 a small group of young women, the "Cassette Girls", traveled from France to become wives of the first French colonists. Some 1704 marriages at Fort Louis de la Mobile. Another group of young brides arrived in 1728.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

Q. When did Alabama start recording marriages?
A.
Marriage licenses have been required since 1799 and were issued by the Clerk of Orphan's Court in the county of the bride. After 1850 this job went to the County Probate Court which still issues and records marriage licenses. The Alabama Center for Health Statistics began recording marriage certificates in 1936.

Q. Are there restrictions on getting copies of Alabama marriage records?
A.
There are no restrictions on Alabama Marriage Records. Unlike Alabama birth and death records, Alabama marriage records are open to the public and are not confidential. Anyone may submit the proper form and fee and obtain an Alabama marriage record.

Q. How do I verify a marriage took place in Alabama?
A.
For copies of an Alabama certificate filed after 1936 you can write to the Alabama Center for Health Statistics::

Alabama Vital Records
P. O. Box 5625
Montgomery, Al 36103-5625

For records earlier than 1936 contact the probate clerk in the county where the certificate was filed and recorded.

Q. What information is found on an Alabama marriage record?
A.
Before 1888 the information on a Marriage Certificate included:

  • Name of Bride
  • Name of Groom
  • Bondsmen names
  • Officiate
  • License bond
  • Marriage Date
  • County of issuance

In 1910 more information was added:

  • Names of Parents
  • Physical description
  • Ages and Occupations of Bride and Groom
  • Number of previous marriages if any
  • Blood relationship if any of Bride and Groom

Q. Where can I find genealogy vital records from Alabama?
A.
Early vital records for Alabama (birth, death, marriage and divorce records) can be found in old letters, Bibles, newspapers, and court records such as guardianship and apprenticeship records and wills. Before 1881 birth and death records were not required to be recorded, so may be hard to find. The first Alabama newspapers were established in 1811 (Centinel), 1812 (Gazette), and 1816 (Alabama Republican) and may have carried announcements of engagements, births, deaths, and local marriages.

Early Divorce Records (until 1865) may be found in legislative records and are published in Senate & House Journals. From 1865, divorce records can be found in the County Chancery Court and after 1918 in the Circuit Court where the divorce was filed.

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