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Indexing Project Updates: US - County Marriages
Links to Project Instructions

Please review the project instructions at the links below before indexing batches. Review the information below the links for updates/revisions to the original project instructions.


Project-Specific Instructions | Field Helps

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. What do I do with an image that has two records, one of them being upside down?

A. Index both records.  Index the image as it opens and then rotate the image to index information from the second document.  For help flipping the image, click on 8440a_en  How to correct an image that is mirrored or in reverse.

Project Revisions and Reminders


Indexes are to be indexed if they contain the names of the bride and groom and the marriage date.

Medical Records:

Medical records are indexed. Information on the same image will be combined into one record.


Common Indexing Mistakes:

  • Do not index the profession in the Titles or Terms fields.  A term or title is used with a name as part of the way the person might be addressed or which is used in place of a name.

  • Assuming Event Year as 18-- or 19-- when only the last two years are recorded on the image. Field Helps state: "If there is no year or only a two-digit number was recorded, it may be possible to determine the year from other data on the record or from the previous or next image. If you cannot determine the full four-digit number, type what was written on the record."

  • Indexing the certificate number when there is a page number recorded. Field Helps state: "If both a page number and a certificate number are on the document, index the page number and not the certificate number."
  • Not indexing the bride's maiden name if she has been married before. Check the document carefully to find a maiden name of the bride on the image. Below is an example from the US, California County Marriages which has a line on the document for the maiden name of the bride. In the example, the Bride's Maiden Name field should be indexed as McMackin Cottle. For further clarification on Maiden Names see102813 Basic Indexing Guidelines: Names

Below is an example from the US, Michigan County Marriages. In the example, the bride's name has been recorded with her married surname and with her maiden name (see Father's surname). Index the Bride's Maiden Name field as Siertsema Morriss. For further clarification on Maiden Names see 102813 Basic Indexing Guidelines: Names


Two Image Records:

Some marriage registers had records which spanned two pages. Each page was filmed as a separate image and then put together into two or more image batches. See the example in the US, Illinois County MarriagesProject Specific Instructions titledExample of Two Image Record.

Indexing records that span two images:Index all of the data on the first image and mark the second image as: "No Extractable Data." If the data to be indexed cannot be seen on the first image, view the second image to gather the data.

  1. Click View

  2. Click Show Previous/Next Image

  3. Index the record while viewing both images concurrently, ignoring the red "DO NOT INDEX FROM THIS WINDOW."

  4. Mark the image with the parents as "No Extractable Data."

However, some batches have only one image. If you get a batch which has only one image, please index all information from the image you have and then submit. Completed batches are post processed very carefully to make sure all are matched correctly together.

Batches with Records for Two Different Marriages on the Same Image:

Some batches have images like the example below which have records pertaining to two different marriages. Please, index both records beginning with the one on the left.

Notice certificate numbers are recorded for both records. Also, on the first record, the return of marriage lists the age as of the next birthday. In the case of the groom, his age next birthday is 26 years. Please type what you see and index the age as 26.

Alphabetized Lists of Grooms and Brides:

Some batches have two-page images with lists of brides and grooms arranged alphabetically by the first letter of the surname. Some of the images have headings as direct and reverse indexes. However, some batches have the same format but do not have the page headings.

Records including the event date and the name of the bride and groom should be indexed. The marriages on the two pages are different, and each page needs to be indexed separately. Please note that the first page lists the groom's names first. The second page on the right lists the bride's names first.


Index all of the records on the first page, then change the order of the indexing fields to put the bride's name fields first. Reorganizing the fields helps to index the second page. For help in changing the order of the fields, see 105517 - Table entry, form entry, and order of fields in the indexing program.

Tennessee County Marriages: Headings Missing or Not Recorded:

The left side of the image records to whom and when the Marriage License was issued.

The right side of the image records when and by whom married.

The Field Helps for Event Day state:

  • Type the one- or two-digit number for the day that the event occurred.

  • If more than one date appears on the record, index only one date according to the priority of:

    1. Marriage date

    2. License date

    3. Consent date

    4. Recording date

    5. Any other date

  • Do not include descriptive words, such as: "about" or "abt."

  • If the day was not recorded or was written as a variation of the word "unknown," press Ctrl+B to mark field as blank.

Citizenship Applications or other images that do not match the indexing form:

Mark as "No Extractable Data" and submit. See 110625 How to handle a batch in which the image does not match the form.

Mr, Mrs or Miss printed on the marriage form:

Index the title of Mr, Mrs or Miss when printed on the marriage form. 

Illinois and Michigan County Marriages on Research Wiki:

For additional information on the Illinois and Michigan marriage records and to discuss the project with other indexers or interested persons, click Illinois County Marriages and Michigan County Marriages or Research Wiki.

Arbitrator Helps

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