In the state of Minnesota, registration for vital records began in the year of 1870. Some counties may contain records that have events that began earlier than this year, and other counties may have records that began after this year. Just like in some other states, Minnesota marriage records are held in reserve on a county level, and in order to obtain them, you must do so from the county where the application for the marriage license was submitted. This may be different than the county where the wedding actually took place, so be careful when finding this location.
Before 1979, a law in Minnesota made it so that all marriage applications had to be made in the county that the bride lived in. But, after March of 1979, license applications were able to be made in county in Minnesota. This makes it easier on people who are searching for Minnesota marriage records. By having fewer restrictions, they will be able to find more documents that they can use.
There is an online index that makes finding Minnesota marriage records a breeze. Not only is it free, but it gives researchers access to so much information. The index contains marriages from all of the counties within the state. There are 87 counties, so this online index covers a lot of ground. It is known as the Minnesota Official Marriage System, or MOMS for short. MOMS shows the names of the bride and groom, the year that they were married, and the county which maintains the record. For a small fee, marriage certificates can be ordered. There is another online index that contains vital records from the Minnesota Historical Society. If you have come to find out that you had ancestors that lived in this state, and had children here, then you can infer that they most likely got married here. Marriage records can be the document that starts you off in your journey to discovering the past. You may have known your great-great grandmother under her married name, but what about the history that her maiden name contains?
The first step to finding the marriage record is obtaining clues for the location and date of the marriage. In the past, this task may have been challenging. But, with MOMS, it is easy for anyone to do, since they don't have to search for each county separately. Another step that you can follow is collecting all census listings (federal and state) for the state of Minnesota. After putting the census reports in sequential order, you can find birth information about the couple's child. You can use this information to allow you to make the date range smaller. The census from the years of 1895 until 1905 asked the people surveyed how long they lived in Minnesota. Whereas, the federal census of 1900 divulges which marriage it is for the person in questioning, and how many years the marriage actually lasted. Finding marriage records can actually require an effort on your part, but when you get the information that you were searching for, the process almost seems effortless.
To order a Minnesota marriage certificate, follow the instructions below:
Determine which county in Minnesota the marriage took place.
Go to the Minnesota Center for Health Statistics website for a list of all state registrars.
For more information, you can contact the following agency: Minnesota Department of Health website.
About Minnesota Marriage Records
The State of Minnesota created the Office of the State Registrar in the Department of Health to track, record, and maintain vital records for the state. However, the state of Minnesota does not maintain marriage records at the state level.
Where Minnesota Marriage Records are Maintained
All marriage records in the state of Minnesota are filed and maintained in the county where the marriage took place. Anyone wishing to request a certified copy of a marriage certificate will need to contact the local county registrar.
Marriage Records Online
The Minnesota Association of County Officers has worked together to develop an online database called the Minnesota Official Marriage System. Through this online database, you can search specific names through a range of dates and get instant verification of a marriage, date, county, and the certificate number. You can even order a copy of the certificate for a nominal fee. Note that this database may not be complete for the entire state.