Are Utah Marriage Records Different?
There are all sorts of different types of religions that you can find around the world, and because the United States is founded by a number of different types of people, there are all sorts of different types of religions in our nation. While some of them are more commonly found, others are less commonly found unless you live in the right area of the country. Take those who follow the teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Also called Mormons, this is a very popular religion and can be found throughout the country, but if you go to the state of Utah you will find that there is a large percentage of the population that practices this religion. This leaves many people to wondering if the Utah marriage records are different from the marriage records you'll find in other states.
Marriage records are an extremely important part of our society. They were created as a way to tell who was married to whom easily. Before the 1400's there were no official marriage records. Families got together and a sort of contract or agreement for the marriage was made between them. Now, however, if you want to get married you need to have a marriage license. A marriage license proves that you are of legal age to get married, that you are getting married of your own volition, and that you are not already married.
That is one thing that is confusing to many about people who follow the Mormon faith, as there are some factions of the religion that believe that polygamy is something that should be legalized. This, alone, leads many to wonder if Utah marriage records are different from other marriage records. But because it is currently illegal for polygamous marriages to exist, many Mormons opt to marry one woman and to live with the others without being legally married. Basically that means that any Utah marriage records that you find will likely look exactly like the marriage records that you're used to seeing.
It's also important to note that not all people who live in Utah believe in polygamy, which means that many of the Utah marriage records you find will be from monogamous partners. These records will look exactly like the records for couples that are practicing polygamy, so how do you know if you're tracing back your family whether or not your ancestor was interested and involved in polygamy?
Honestly the only way that you will be able to determine that is if you find census records. Census records tell who the head of the household is and how many people live in the household, along with their names and ages. But the question, do Utah marriage records look any different than marriage records you'll find in other states, is one that can be easily answered. No, they will not look any different, and yes, they will still give you the same amount of information that you'll find on any other type of marriage records, including information about parents.
UT State Vital Statistics Office
Box Elder County
Salt Lake County
San Juan County
Misc. / Statewide