June is a fitting month to talk about marriage since it is one of the most popular months for weddings. A friend and fellow genealogist recently shared this marriage certificate site for Minnesota. I thought perhaps it might be an unknown treasure for many of you as it was for me.
According to their website, “the Minnesota Official Marriage System (MOMS)® is a program of the Minnesota Association of County Officers (MACO). Its development and oversight is led by a steering committee of local registrars who are members of MACO.”
The site does just what it says, it provides a search for marriage certificates across the state of Minnesota. All counties appear to be participating except for Scott and Washington. The format of the site is straightforward. You can choose to search across all counties or within a particular county, by both participants or individual with further fine-tuning of your search by including a date range. You can also make use of a Soundex search option if you are unsure of the spelling. If you know the county where the marriage took place, you also might want to check out the county date index to see if what years are available for a county. Some counties have records as early as the 1850s.
I have found records here that I haven't elsewhere. When I entered a family name with all the counties in my search, the result was surprising. A relative whose marriage record I could not find in North Dakota was among the Minnesota Marriage Certificates. Very strange. Why did they travel across half the state of North Dakota to get married in Minnesota? I suspect that perhaps waiting period was less, but I’ll need to do further research on that mystery.
Here's an example of the results page after entering a name to search across all counties.
Once you have searched and found the couple you were looking for in the records, you can choose to reference the wedding date and county information included in the search results. If you wanted to request a copy, choose “request copy” at the right of the listing. Then you will see an order form like this.
You can print out a completed page with all the relevant information for the marriage certificate, the county courthouse, price and where to mail your check. (I did not test the credit card option—not all counties appear to accept credit cards or they charge additional fees.) Follow the instructions and you’re on your way to receiving a marriage certificate of your ancestor.
I love learning about new sites that help further genealogy research. With new sites published every day, we can’t possibly know all of them, but we can sure try to find as many as we can! There are other places where you can find Minnesota marriage records. Check sites such as FamilySearch, Ancestry, Minnesota Historical Society and others. Good luck!
A little genealogy humor…
“If you think your family is normal, then you are probably not a genealogist.”
With a lifelong passion for genealogy and history, the author enjoys the opportunity to share genealogy tidbits, inspiring others to research and write their family story.