Marriage Records in Allen County, Indiana

Important Dates

  1. 1794, October 22 - Fort Wayne was dedicated.
  2. 1816, December 11 - President James Madison signed an act of Congress admitting Indiana to the Union as the 19th state of the United States. Indiana was the second state, after Ohio, to be created out of what was the Northwest Territory.
  3. 1824, April 1 - Allen County, Indiana was officially founded! Allen County is named for Colonel John Allen, a politician and army officer who was killed in the War of 1812.
  4. 1882 - The Vital Records page at IN.govstates: The State of Indiana did not require births or deaths to be recorded until 1882, and they were not recorded by the state until 1907. For birth and death records between 1882 and 1906, researchers should contact the County Health Office where the birth occurred.

Indiana Marriage Law Timeline

  1. 1818 law prohibited marriage between white and black Hoosiers. See our African-Americans page.
  2. 1852 law made divorce requirements so lax that the state became a nationally known divorce mecca
  3. 1873 law ended easy divorce
  4. 1972 law become one of the first no-fault divorce state
  5. 1997 Defense of Marriage Act banned same-sex marriages
  6. 2004 Indiana general assembly took up a proposed constitutional amendment to prohibit same-sex marriages
  7. 2014, October 6, the United States Supreme Court legalizes gay marriage in Indiana. Read Same-sex marriage ban lifted Justices toss Indiana appeal Wayback version by Niki Kelly published October 7, 2014 in The Journal Gazette newspaper. Other information from Party politics turns personal Indiana both initiates, reflects national trends Wayback version by James H. Madison originally published October 12, 2014 in The Journal Gazette newspaper.

The First Marriage in Fort Wayne was Doctor Edwards to Miss Hunt in 1803 by Hon. J. W. Dawson published in the Daily Sentinel newspaper April 25, 1872 on page 3, column 5-6 reprinted on page 54 in the book: Charcoal sketches of old times in Fort Wayne by Dawson, John W., 1820-1877 shown below:

Charcoal sketches of old times in Fort Wayne by Dawson, John W., 1820-1877 Publication date 1959 on

Indiana Genealogical Society and Allen County Library - FamilySearch Indexing posted February 11, 2011 by FamilySearch on YouTube
Curt Witcher explains how the Indiana Genealogical Society and Allen County Library work with FamilySearch to index Indiana marriage records using FamilySearch Indexing. The project energizes society members and demonstrate how they are helping to preserve and provide online access to local records.

Locating Vital Records in Indiana posted February 17, 2022 by Indiana Archives and Records Administration on YouTube.
This video will help researchers and genealogists discover vital records (birth, death, marriage, and divorce records) in Indiana and at the Indiana State Archives.
See their Vital Records page for more information.

Read our latest blog post on finding original marriage records. #genealogy #marriage #Indiana

Posted by Indiana State Library on Wednesday, February 21, 2024

February 21, 2024 post by the Indiana State Library on Facebook:

Read our latest blog post on finding original marriage records. Finding original marriage records #genealogy #marriage #Indiana

First two paragraphs:

Historically, original marriage records in Indiana were held solely by the county clerk’s office that issued the original record. So, if you need a copy of an original record, your best bet is to contact the county. But, if you’re not sure which county or you just need the information from the record but not the record itself, there are other sources for these records.

Why 1958 was an important year
In 1958, Indiana began to file marriage records at the state level rather than just at the county level.
So, one copy of the record was retained at the county clerk’s office while a second copy was sent to the Indiana Department of Health. This makes it easier to locate more recent marriages, because the Indiana Department of Health can search all 92 counties at the same time.

Indiana Legacy

Indiana Legacy on Inspire website

Indiana Legacy on Inspire website: Birth, marriage, death, divorce information, and more.

Search Indiana Legacy

Indiana Legacy combines existing Indiana State Library databases with the Vital INformation Exchange (VINE), a collaborative statewide database composed of Indiana local history and vital records from Indiana libraries, historical societies, genealogy societies, and related organizations. It is designed to allow participants and users to obtain access to Indiana local history and vital records through searching across all indexes or a single index. The database is searchable by county, event, or through a general surname search of all records. These records are available to the public at no charge and include a host of records such as: birth, marriage, death, divorce, obituaries, court records, newspapers, scrapbooks, yearbooks, military records, and many other record types.

Inspire Marriage records on Indiana Legacy

April 14, 2023 post by INSPIRE on Facebook:

INSPIRE offers access to Indiana Legacy — a FREE statewide collaborative database designed to obtain access to Indiana local history and records.

Learn more at


Search Indiana Legacy

Search Indiana Legacy

Indiana State Births 1907-1940, WPA Death Indexes 1882-1920, Death Certificates 1899-2017 and Marriage Certificates 1960-2005

October 23, 2014 Governor Mike Pence announced the State of Indiana entered into a contract with to digitize and eventually post online more than 13 million birth certificates, death certificates, and marriage records for access by Hoosiers. These online historical records, those older than 75 years, will start to become available in 2015, with the completion date expected by the State’s Bicentennial in 2016. This will be the largest online collection of the State of Indiana’s materials ever digitized. A clarification states The online records will be available free through the State Archives but not initially. There is a three-year embargo so can recoup its costs, the governor’s office said. However, the State Archives will be able to provide public access to the records at its Indianapolis location once the records are digitized. From MILLIONS OF INDIANA VITAL RECORDS BECOME AVAILABLE TO PUBLIC on and Indiana partners with to digitize records by Bill McCleery published October 23, 2014 in the Indy Star newspaper.

A marriage license gives permisison and documents the intention of a couple to marry, that sometimes did not occur. A marriage record documents the actual marriage date and usually has the name of who performed and recorded the marriage.

Some older records marriage and divorce records are found at The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Search their online catalog to find what is there.

Allen County Public Records

At the Allen County Government site states [February 2023]:

Looking for Birth or Death Records? Contact the Allen County Department of Health for those vital records plus affidavit of paternity, medical/vaccination records, health inspection records and Phase I environmental assessments, by clicking Allen County Department of Health Records. Get information on accessing various Health Department public records, as well as important documentation like birth and death records and vaccination and medical records for services performed at our clinics.

Genealogy Requests

Please note: the Department of Health does not have marriage and/or divorce records. These records are recorded and kept in the office of the Allen County Clerk, Allen County Courthouse, Fort Wayne, IN 46802. The phone number is 260.449.7890. Please contact that office for information on their fees and procedures for such records. [February 2023]

Looking for Marriage, Divorce, Wills, or other Family-Court Related Records? Information on these and other court-related records are available only through the Allen County Clerk of Courts. Request them Obtain Copies of Records at the Clerk of the Circuit Court. The Clerk of Courts oversees the maintenance and microfilming of the records of the Court, while adhering to the confidentiality guidelines and retention schedules of the Indiana Supreme Court. The Clerk also responsible for recording and maintaining all marriage records for Allen County as well as issuing certified copies of court records. [February 2023]

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ACGSI Marriage Records

  1. Allen Co. Marriages (1893-1896) members only
  2. Allen Co. Marriages (1940-1943) members only
  3. Allen Co. Marriages (Mar. 31, 1943 through 1957) members only
  4. Allen County Marriage Records from State Indexes 1958-1991, 1993-2004, 2006-2019
  5. Allen County, Indiana Marriage Index  1824-1920. Black marriages. (1867-1892)

Online Marriage Databases

  1. Indiana, Marriage Certificates, 1958-2005 on requires an account or use local public library
  2. Indiana Marriages 1958-2017 at the Indiana State Library. This index is public record compiled and provided to the Indiana State Library by the Indiana Department of Health. There could be some original input errors.
  3. Marriage License Public Lookup (beta) This database contains many—but not all—marriage records from 1993 to the present. This database is updated regularly and includes marriages as recent as two weeks ago.
  4. Indiana Marriages, 1780-1992 at Name index to marriage records from the state of Indiana. Microfilm copies of these records are available at the Family History Library and Family History Centers.
  5. Indiana Marriages, 1811-2019 at Indexed in partnership with the Indiana Genealogical Society. Index and images of marriages recorded in the Indiana Territory and in the state of Indiana between 1811 and 2007.
  6. Information found in the article Real ID and Indiana marriage records published March 28, 2019 on Indiana State Library blog.

Marriage Records at The Genealogy Center

Over 60 results when searching for Marriage Records Allen County, Indiana in the online card catalog at the The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana.

Their webpage: Allen County, Indiana Marriage Records Index, Late 1970s to September 2009 at the The Genealogy Center states:

This database contains more than 79,000 marriages from the late 1970s to September 2009 for Fort Wayne and Allen County, Indiana. The data was indexed from the marriage application records at the Allen County Courthouse.

This database represents a collaborative endeavor of the Genealogy Center of the Allen County Public Library and the Allen County Clerk of Courts Office. The work of compiling this index including updating with new entries is done by John E. Perrey, a long-time department volunteer and member of the Allen County Genealogical Society of Indiana, Inc.

Copies of the marriage applications are available both at the courthouse and in the Genealogy Center.

Several online early marraige records books after 1824-1888 are shown below:

Index to marriage record : Allen County 1824 - 1920 inclusive by United States. Works Progress Administration. Indiana Publication date 1938 ebook at Internet Archive

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Marriage record, Allen county, Indiana, August 8, 1824-December 1, 1834 by Gruse, Ila P. Pooler; Public Library of Fort Wayne and Allen County Publication date 1824 ebook at Internet Archive

Early Marriage Records of Allen County, Indiana 1824-1849 Volume 1, by Ehle, Josephine Crabill; Daughters of the American Revolution. Mary Penrose Wayne Chapter (Fort Wayne, Ind.); Wilkins, Cleo Goff Publication date [19--] ebook at Internet Archive

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Early Marriage Records of Allen County, Indiana 1849-1874 Volume 2, by Ehle, Josephine Crabill; Wilkins, Cleo Goff; Daughters of the American Revolution. Mary Penrose Wayne Chapter (Fort Wayne, Ind.) Publication date [19--] ebook at Internet Archive

Early Marriage Records of Allen County, Indiana 1874-1888 Volume 3, by Ehle, Josephine Crabill; Wilkins, Cleo Goff; Daughters of the American Revolution. Mary Penrose Wayne Chapter (Fort Wayne, Ind.) Publication date [19--] ebook at Internet Archive

Early Marriage Records of Allen Couonty, Indiana 1889-December 1899 Volume 4; Daughters of the American Revolution. Mary Penrose Wayne Chapter (Fort Wayne, Ind.) is not online.

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Marriage License

  1. May 18, 2019 post by Andrew Poletto on Facebook generating over 25 comments:

    We need help. Lions Club found this in the old VFW building. Looks to be a marriage certificate. Names are: George Misner and Amanda Garritson, but not sure. July 18, 1874. Please share.

    A Comment by Nola Schieferstein-Rains stated:

    He was a painting contractor, born 12 July 1851, married Amanda Garretson, d. 15 January 1924, buried at Lindenwood Cemetery. Had children named Sarah, Jessie & Archie. Sarah & Archie died as infants or very young children. Jessie married married Otis Walter Uran. Their children were Kenneth, ValJean, Iva & Barbara.

    Both died in 1924 and are buried in Lindenwood Cemetery, perphaps of tuberculosis from their Find A Gravepages.




  2. June 19, 1912 marriage license of Alfred C. Voelker and Emilie E. Beuchel for June 20, 1912. Found in a Delaware County flea market, image donated December 6, 2014 by Eli Smith.

February 15, 2023 post by the Genealogy Center on Facebook:

It's #weddingwednesday! Check out these great wedding photos, courtesy of our Community Album: Stop by the Genealogy Center to discover marriage records (and more!) for your ancestors. Share your favorite family wedding photos in the comments!

July 2, 2023 post by The History Center on Facebook:

We have come to see the wedding dress as a symbol one of life’s biggest moments; when two lives are joined together. Throughout most of history, brides rarely purchased a dress specifically for their wedding day. It was the 1840 wedding of England’s Queen Victoria to her cousin, Prince Albert, that inspired the common people to wear white wedding dresses. These wedding clothes were worn by Gertrude Berning and Harold Reiter at their nuptials, exactly 93 years ago today, on July 2, 1930. The couple met in Fort Wayne while attending the International Business College. The bride wore a Princess model gown and a veil-in-cap. The groom was dress in a dark blue wool suit. Following their marriage, the couple settled in Fort Wayne and were married until Harold’s death in 1987. Gertrude survived her husband by almost a decade, passing away in 1996. Their bridal clothes were donated to the Historical Society in 1995, by their daughter Marilyn Reiter Harry. #sociallyhistory

Additional Marriage Record Information

  1. has:
    1. Indiana Marriages, 1780-1992 name index
    2. Indiana Marriages 1811-2019 Allen County marriages sometimes including an image of the unofficial marriage license. The Indiana Marriage Indexing Project (1811-2007) by the Indiana Genealogical Society has the status of Indiana's 92 counties. For more information see Indiana Marriage Records (FamilySearch Historical Records) Wiki collection indexed in partnership with the Indiana Genealogical Society.
    3. Indiana, Church Marriages, 1780-1993
  2. Indiana Marriages Through 1850 Index is at the Indiana State Library.
  3. Indiana State Library Genealogy Database: Marriages through 1850 description of what the index above finds in the free and incomplete lists of location, names, and dates
  4. Indiana Marriages 1958-2020 at the Indiana State Library. See About the Index page. Marriage records were to be digitized then go online in 2015 in time for the state's 2016 bicentennial. Records are available exclusively on for the first 3 years, then digital images will be given to the state. See to Digitize Indiana Vital Records in the November 2014 edition of Indiana News by the Indiana Genenealogical Society.
  5. Online Resources at the Indiana State Library.
  6. May 11, 2022 post by Indiana Historical Bureau on Facebook:

    Wedding season is officially underway!

    Learn how Hoosier weddings and newspaper coverage of them have changed over the years with our #IndianaHistoryBlog post Hoosier Weddings through the (P) Ages by Justin Clark posted May 11, 2022 on the Indiana History Blog by the Indiana Historical Bureau of the Indiana State Library.

    Throughout the decades, newspapers from all across Indiana published wedding notices, sometimes before the wedding and sometimes after, and occasionally with extended coverage of the ceremony. In this blog, we will take you through a few notices to give you a sense of how Indiana newspapers covered Hoosiers tying the knot. Copied from HOOSIER WEDDINGS THROUGH THE (P) AGES by Justin Clark published April 27, 2017 on Hoosier State Chronicles Indiana's Digital Historic Newspaper Program blog archived on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine.

  7. How Hoosiers got hitched: the genealogist's guide to Indiana marriage records, Author: Harold Henderson, Date: Fall-Winter 2013, From: The Hoosier Genealogist: Connections (Vol. 53, Issue 2), Publisher: Indiana Historical Society Press in their The Hoosier Genealogist - Connections and Indiana Source Books online We Do History digital collection by the Indiana Historical Society.
  8. June 14, 2013 post by the Indiana Genealogical Society on Facebook:

    FRIDAY FACT: Under an Indiana law passed in February 1907, marriages between first cousins were hereafter illegal; all marriages between first cousins that had been performed before February 1907 were legalized. Source: Acts of 1907, Chapter 68, as appears in "Laws of the State of Indiana, passed at the sixty-fifth regular session of the General Assembly" (Indianapolis: William B. Burford, 1907).


    Indiana Void Marriages - IC 31-11-8 Chapter 8 - Information Maintained by the Office of Code Revision Indiana Legislative Services Agency for several void marriages such as IC 31-11-8-0.3 First Cousins after April 9, 1907 or IC 31-11-8-5 Common Law after January 1, 1958 now on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. Also on and 2021 Indiana Code Title 31. Family Law and Juvenile Law Article 11. Family Law: Marriage Chapter 8. Void Marriages at Indiana Justia US Law.


    Around twenty states still allow first cousin marriages sometimes with restrictions from Cousin marriage law in the United States by state on Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.

  9. Indiana's Golden Age of Marriage Records article in the IGS Indiana Genealogical Society October 4, 2012 newsletter about the 1940s through 1977 marriage applications useful genealogy questions. 

    The "golden age" for us as researchers dates from about the 1940s through 1977. Marriage applications from that era asked not only questions about the applicant's birthdate, birthplace and residence, but also their maiden name, the number of previous marriages, and when & how those marriages were dissolved (death, divorce, etc.). It also asked for the applicant's race and occupation. Their parents' names, birthplaces, residence, race and occupations were also questions.

    These can be important clues in our research - the question about the bride's maiden name can tell us to look for other marriage records, and the questions about how and when previous marriages were dissolved give us leads for death records or divorce records to look for. And the information about the bride and groom's occupations and their parents' occupations not only helps us flesh out what their lives were like, but can lead us to other records related to their employment.

    That all changed in 1977, under Indiana Code 31-1-3-2. The revised code took effect on July 1, 1977, with the questions about the bride's maiden name, the bride and groom's race and occupation, and the race and occupation of their parents all removed from the marriage form. Whether these questions were removed because they had been deemed too intrusive, or merely irrelevant for the government's purpose of compiling statistical information, it marked the end of a golden age for Indiana researchers.

  10. At the Genealogy : a journal of American ancestry Title Also Known As: Genealogy magazine : a journal of American ancestry Authors: Clemens, William M. (William Montgomery), 1860-1931 has 14 volumes various issues from 1912-1927 of marriage information from various states. The The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indianahas a few volumes online at 1912 Jan-Jun; 1912 Jul-Dec; 1913-1914; 1915; 1916; 1917-1919; 1920-1922
  11. 27 Ways to Find Someone's Marriage Information posted May 9, 2021 on The Ancestor Hunt blog.
  12. Marriage License Public Lookup (beta) at Search for publicly accessible information about marriage licenses issued in Indiana. This database contains many—but not all—marriage records from 1993 to the present. Because not every Indiana County uses the INcite e-file system, some records must be manually entered much later than the marriage took place.
  13. Marriage Record Books available at the Genealogy Division of the Indiana State Library. Many of these are likely available at the The Genealogy Center at the Allen County Public Library in Fort Wayne, Indiana
  14. RootsWeb's Guide to Tracing Family Trees Marriage Records discusses types of records available
  15. March 25, 2022 post by the Indiana State Library on Facebook:

    "Once upon a time, Indiana was considered the hot destination to elope in the eastern Midwest." Read more about Indiana's late 19th century "marriage mills" in the blog: The marrying kind; or, the tale of Indiana’s Gretna Greens

  16. Some couples went to other states to get married. Here is one example: 100 years ago, Michigan was the place to go for a 30-second wedding posted on Michigan Radio, by Stateside Staff, published June 27, 2018.
  17. December 2, 2022 post by Findmypast on Facebook.

    Why did so many people tie the knot on Christmas Day in times gone by?

    Here's why there used to be so many Christmas Day weddings by Daisy Goddard posted 14 November 2022 on the blog.

  18. April 13, 2023 post by Ancestral Findings on Facebook:

    Marriage banns were how marriages were legalized for centuries in most of the western world. There are records of the Roman Catholic church requiring them as early as eight hundred years ago in England. This is what marriage banns are, why they were used, and what information you might find there.

    AF-508: Marriage Records: A Closer Look at Marriage Records, Part 1 | Ancestral Findings Podcast Jun 23, 2021 Ancestral Findings Podcast on YouTube
    Marriage records are a basic part of genealogy research and are usually among the first official family records that beginning genealogists find. There can be a variety of information included on marriage records, depending on when and where the record was created. These are some examples of the types of information you may find on these records.

    Many YouTube videos on Marriage Records, Banns and more!


Research Tip: Indiana's Divorce Mill by Meredith Thompson published June 22, 2016 on the Indiana Genenealogical Society blog.

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Page updated: May 11, 2024