We are thrilled to announce the launch of the first phase of our Newspapers.com Marriage Index collection. The Marriage Index collection is a searchable archive of more than 50 million U.S. wedding announcements! We’ve teamed up with Ancestry® to train machine learning algorithms to scour more than 600 million pages of digitized newspapers to extract wedding announcements.
Wedding announcements often contain detailed genealogical information, including the names of family members, biographical details, addresses, and more. These key details can break down genealogical brick walls and open up new research avenues.
How Does it Work?
Using OCR (optical character recognition), we’ve converted our archive of newspapers into machine-readable text. We’ve trained computers to identify keywords often associated with wedding announcements. The computer then draws a text box around that announcement. If you hover over the announcement and then click on the text box, you will see a dialogue box pop up. It has the information we’ve indexed. That indexed information is searchable in our Marriage Index. Occasionally you might notice an incorrect date or misspelled names. This is a result of the OCR conversion process. You can correct the facts by clicking on “Add alternate info” within the dialogue box. Your updates will then become searchable for other users. You then have the option to electronically clip the announcement and save it or attach it to your Ancestry® tree.
The first phase of this release contains information from more than 200 million records from over 50 million lists and wedding announcements from the United States dating from 1800-1999.
- List marriage announcements were usually a weekly list of couples that had applied for a marriage license that week. The lists usually contained the names of the bride and groom only. See an example of a list announcement here.
- Non-list marriage announcements might contain detailed information about the bride and groom, photographs, addresses, the names of relatives, the wedding officiant, and wedding guests. See an example of a non-list announcement here.
You will soon see wedding announcement hints to your Ancestry® tree. These hints can lead to personal discoveries and genealogical breakthroughs! We will continue to update this index with additional wedding announcements and international wedding announcements in the future. Start searching our Marriage Index collection today on Newspapers.com.