For nearly three decades, the BYU-I (formerly Ricks College) Arthur Porter Special Collections area of the David O. McKay Library in Rexburg, Idaho has been extracting early marriage records from counties in the western part of the United States. This extraction is called the Western States Marriage Index.
Most of the pre-1900 marriages are included in the index for Arizona, Idaho and Nevada. Many counties for those same states have been extracted into the 1930’s and some, much later. A significant number of marriages from selected counties in California, western Colorado, Montana, Oregon, Utah, eastern Washington, and Wyoming are also included. Very early marriages (1700’s) in New Mexico are currently being added. For more details, see "List of Counties by State". As of April 24, 2014, this file contains over 911,443 marriage records with additional entries being added nearly every working day.
At this time, the index is not comprehensive for the time period and/or localities described. However, the goal for this index is to have marriages from all 12 western states at the fingertips of family researchers. In the meantime, the index represents an effort to share results even though the index is incomplete and further proofreading and editing may be needed. Users are invited to notify us when errors are found or corrections needed. Please use the e-mail address below.
Please note that parents of the bride and groom are seldom mentioned in marriage records. As is the case for all indexes, it is recommended that the original marriage records be reviewed for additional information not extracted and for transcription accuracy.
Each entry in the index may contain the following:
- names of the bride and groom
- marriage date and place
- county and state in which the marriage is recorded
- residency of the bride and/or groom
- miscellaneous comments
Anyone interested in adding names to this index, please contact the Idaho Falls Regional Family History Center at the telephone number or email address below. Users are invited to notify us when errors are found or corrections needed. In the "Submitting Names" page, there are guidelines for submitting this information. Please review "Search Tips" for additional suggestions in using the database.
A very special thanks is made to Blaine R. Bake for his vision and thousands of hours of work in creating and building this most valuable index. Special thanks are made to the administrators, staff and student assistants at the McKay Library for their support especially Bruce Bills, Curtis Cheney, Brooks Haderlie, Tom Liau, Mat Miles, Christina Robinson and Gale Reeser. And deep appreciation goes to the many volunteers who have and are currently extracting marriage records for this index. Especially Grant Radmall who submitted several hundred thousand names to the index.