Learn Where to Find a Louisiana Marriage Certificate and How It Is Filed with the State
Louisiana as a state has been quite meticulous in the recording of vital details of its citizens. The system of archiving Louisiana marriage certificates was instituted around 1890. The records thus stored are extremely important when you are compiling your family tree, named otherwise as genealogical research.
In the marriage certificates, you will find vital information about the marriage of two individuals which will include the bride's and groom's full names. The date of marriage and place or county of marriage also are prominently mentioned. On occasion, even the names of the mothers and fathers of the spouses are mentioned in them. What’s more, the birthplaces of the bride's and the groom's parents may be documented as well.
Some marriage certificates have mention of the people who witnessed the marriage. The marriage which has been recorded by the state or the county authorities will quite often include the address of the bride and groom respectively. Also contained is information about any previous marriages. Naturally, all this information is very helpful for many people.
Marriage records are the mainstay of genealogy research. An eyewitness records the information at the time the wedding takes place, thus these are considered to be a primary source of information. In fact, the marriage records are often the main information that many seek when they are trying to map their family tree.
The good news is, since the government records these events, you can be sure that the information you receive is accurate. It has also become much easier now to find out the information that you need. Genealogy researchers have been helped a great deal by this easier access to the marriage records.
How a Louisiana Marriage Certificate Is Filed
In 1990, the Louisiana State Archive began storing all records of vital statistics over 100 years old and marriage certificates over fifty years old. Some parishes have alphabetical indexes for their areas. They are not however complete listings of all events of that parish.
Records that are more recent have been housed at the Office of Public Health. Catholic churches throughout the state recorded Louisiana's early vital records through registries which maintained information regarding local marriages, deaths and births.
If you need to access marriage records within the last fifty years, please get in touch with:
Louisiana Department of Health
Vital Records Registry
Office of Public Health
325 Loyola Avenue
P.O. Box 60630
New Orleans, LA 70160
Tel: 504-568-5150 504- 568-5152 (automated)
Fax: 504-568-5391 (To order copies by fax)
To access earlier records, please get in touch with:
Louisiana State Archives
P.O. Box 94125
Baton Rouge, LA 70804-9125
How to Obtain a Copy of a Louisiana Marriage Certificate
The vital statistics office in the state or area where the event had taken place is the point of contact that you have to write or go to for obtaining a copy of the marriage license. In order to ensure that you receive an accurate record for your request, you have to follow a few steps.
Please write concise and to the point in your request letter. It will result in faster action by the authorities. Do not make more than one or two requests at one time, and keep the letter free of confusing details of your family lines. In your application letter, it is important that you either type or print all names and addresses and provide a S.A.S.E. or Self-Addressed Stamped Envelope.
Please be aware that all county offices are understaffed, and each individual is stretched to the limit. It is important that you appreciate that fact. Please note that assisting in genealogical queries is carried out as a service, and they are legally obliged to help you as well. You should however also know that this is not their main job. All that the staffs ask for is that you exercise patience and courtesy in your transactions with their offices.
Provide complete information regarding the individual or event you are requesting records about. An incomplete request is typically rejected. Also, cross-check the documents before you submit them.
Deal carefully with names. Please make sure to include all possible names that may have been used. These will include nicknames, alternate spellings, etc.
Please list the dates and the type of event accurately and completely. If the exact date is not known, you can specify the span of years you wish to be searched. Remember, you will have to spend additional money on searches that span several years, so try to keep this as short as possible.