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   ERC: Genealogy and Family History: Records

   Vital Records

 
MARRIAGE CERTIFICATES

There are three types of documents associated with a marriage in New York City: An "Affidavit for License to Marry," a "Certificate and Record of Marriage," and the marriage license itself.
Marriage indices can be found in at least two places:
The
New York City Municipal Archives: Here you can first look up the number of the marriage certificate on microfilm and then do the same for the marriage certificate itself. At the Archive you can look at or purchase any marriage certificate (of Affidavit for License to Marry) using their microfilm machines, as long as the marriage occurred prior to 1930. You can request a copy of a marriage record by postal mail by filling out the necessary forms. Visit the NYC Department of Records - Application for a Search and/or Certified Copy of a Marriage Record web page. You can  request a search and certified copy online, or if you already have the certificate number, you can just request the certified copy online.
The Office of the City Clerk: If the marriage occurred in 1930 or at anytime thereafter, you can obtain the documents here. Visit www.nycmarriagebureau.com . Here are the links for requesting marriage records:
Marriage Record Requests in Person
M
arriage Record Requests by Mail


An option for obtaining the certificate number is by using the databases at www.italiangen.org , i.e. the "grooms index" for the years 1866-1936, or the "bride index" for the years, beginning for Kings County in 1891, Bronx County 1899 and Queens County 1904, and ending in 1937.

> What is the significance of all three marriage documents?

According to the New York City Office of the City Clerk:
"Both the prospective bride and groom must appear together in person to apply for a Marriage License. The application must be completed in our offices. The application consists of an affidavit wherein the applicants list various personal details such as their name, address, birth place, date of birth, social security number, and marital history and make a sworn statement that there are no legal impediments to the marriage. Applicants who have been married previously must list all prior marriages on the Marriage License Application. They are required to supply their prior spouse's full name, the date the divorce was granted and the place the divorce was filed and may be asked to produce the final divorce decree. All divorces, annulments, and dissolutions must be finalized before applying for a new Marriage License. If you are a widow or widower, you must provide your deceased spouse's full name and date of death. The Marriage License is generated based on this information. It will be prepared while you wait, and you will take it with you upon your departure. Unless you obtain a judicial waiver, you must wait a full 24 hours before your Marriage Ceremony can be performed," and "A New York State Marriage License is valid for 60 days only and can only be used in the state of New York."
The Certificate of Marriage and Record is filled out by the person who was certified to perform the civil ceremony, whether it be a Rabbi, City Clerk, magistrate, or or some other person.



AFFIDAVIT FOR LICENSE TO MARRY:

Let's compare the information that was entered on three affidavits, roughly twenty-five years apart, filled out and filed between the years of 1910 and 1951:



ABRAM & IDA
19 Nov 1910
New York, New York
 



LOU & FAY
16 Mar 1926
Brooklyn, New York



SAM & FANNIE
11 Dec 1951
Brooklyn, New York


 

MARRIAGE LICENSE:
 

Wedding
cir 1920s


LOU & FAY
16 Mar 1926
Brooklyn, New York
 


SAM & SYLVIA
29 Sep 1946
Brooklyn, New York
 
CERTIFICATE AND RECORD OF MARRIAGE:
 



ABRAM & IDA



LOU & FAY



Front of a Certificate and Record of Marriage
15 Sep 1931
Queens, New York



Example of back of Certificate and Record of Marriage
21 Nov 1936
Brooklyn, New York

On the back side of the forms of the 1920s, it reads:
"We hereby certify that we are the Groom and Bride named in this Certificate, and that the information given therein is correct, to the best of our knowledge and belief." The groom and bride sign underneath this statement, as well as two witnesses. The rest of the form says, "It shall be the duty of the clergymen, magistrates and other persons who perform the marriage ceremony to keep a registry of the marriages celebrated by them...Every person authorized by law to perform the marriage ceremony shall register his or her name and address in the office of the Bureau of Records (Sect. 159?, Sanitary Code)...It shall be the duty of every person required to make or keep any such registry signed by each person...within ten days after the...marriage...which shall thereupon be placed on file in the said Bureau (Section 38 or 151) Sanitary Code...
N.B.--Section133, Chap.532?, Laws of 1905, makes the failure to report within ten days a written copy of the registry of the marriages provided to be registered a misdemeanor, punishable by fine or imprisonment."



 


 



 

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