THE LDS website FamilySearch.org has in the past few years added hundred of millions of searchable records many of which will give you online images of the records. In the collection are some records for NY State. This is the first of a series that looks at those NY State records. To see what is available, from the main page, click on “USA, Canada, and Mexico” under “Browse by Location.”
The first to be discussed is a collection described as “New York, County Marriages, 1908 – 1935.” The first time I saw that subject, I thought that it was marriages for New York County (better known as Manhattan). I only could think of one distant relative that was married in NYC and I just entered the last name. I was surprised to get results for many relatives. None of those people in the results were married in NYC. So I went back and read the description of this collection. It says that it “includes the following counties: Broome, Cattaraugus, Chemung, Delaware, Fulton, Jefferson, Monroe, Niagara, Oneida, Ontario, Orange, Oswego, Putnam, St. Lawrence, Tioga, and Warren. The collection does not include New York City nor its boroughs.” That is only 16 out of 62 counties in the State. For some unknown reason, NY State for the years 1908 to 1935 had each county keep a register of marriages besides the register kept at the local level (Town or City) and the original marriage certificate which went to the Department of Health in Albany. These marriage records were filmed separately in the County Courthouses of the 16 counties included in this collection.
I noticed that one of the counties that is included is Monroe County. You can search the Rochester marriage records at the Historic Marriage Records Research. I searched there for a William Klem. When I clicked on “details” all I got were the names of the bride and groom, date of marriage and a license number of 4151. These old marriage records for the City of Rochester are housed at and can be seen at the Rochester Municipal Archives (414 Andrews St.). Searching for William Klem on Family Search gives a link to an image of the marriage record. There is a lot more information in the actual record than there was in the City index. The record number on Family Search of that marriage shows as #4838. That the record numbers don’t match means that the Family Search records include records for the City and the rest of the county. Looking at other marriages on the same page as the record for Wm. Klem, I found a marriage of a couple that were married in the Town of Webster. I didn’t expect to find them in the City records and sure enough the couple weren’t in there. The marriage records on Family Search include more marriage records plus original images of the records. Can’t get better than that.
While searching on Family Search, one marriage record that I found for my extended family was found in Niagara County records even though both the bride and groom lived in Erie County. So start your search without any assumption of where you think the couple got married and you might be surprised as to what you find.