MO State Vital Statistics Office
Three Pieces of Important Information You Can Find in Missouri Marriage Records
Someone who has never been married is often shocked to discover that they have to fill out a great deal of information before they are given a marriage license. Marriage licenses have been required since the 1400's as an easy way to prove whether people were legally joined or not. Now they serve the exact same purpose, and while we're no longer trading goats or horses for a bride, we still need to have a marriage license. What type of information can you find if you were to look up Missouri marriage records?
One of the first things you'll notice on Missouri marriage records is that it shows the full name of both the bride and the groom, and not only does it show the full name of the bride, it also shows her maiden name as well. This is something that tends to get lost over time in the oral family history, especially when you're talking about decades going past before someone goes snooping for the information to fill in a family tree. Make sure, if you're going to apply for a marriage license, that you have your birth certificate with you and that it shows your entire full name, as you'll definitely need it and someone decades from now may find that information was just what they were looking for.
Another thing you'll find on Missouri marriage records are the names of the parents of the bride and groom. This custom was initiated many years ago as a way to make sure that the parents of each were in agreement with the couple marrying. While it didn't really matter if the man got married without parental consent, many young women eloped as a means of escaping from the arranged marriages their parents had set up. This practice of including parental names on the marriage license was instituted to stop elopements of this type. This information is still required today.
It is actually a positive inclusion from the viewpoint of genealogists. It is useful when putting together a family tree! If you're looking up the history of one person in your family, for instance, and you get stumped, the marriage record may give you enough information to help you to get to the next branch of your family tree!
Finally, a Missouri marriage record shows where the couple was married, which can actually be a huge help if you're looking to fill out a family tree. Often, people stay in the area where they were married, so you'll know exactly where to start looking to find more of the Missouri marriage records that you need!
There are all sorts of interesting things you can find in Missouri marriage records, from the legal names of the bride and groom to the name of their parents. Older marriage records even show the location the bride and groom chose to wed as well, which can be a great deal of fun to read, especially if you're pulling together a family tree!
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