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.
46 thoughts on “Search the World’s Largest Archive of Historical Wedding Announcements”
Where is the Marriage Index ?
Hi Jim, it already exists within Newspapers. There is not a separate tab (yet) to search only this collection, but you can search by name and you will see that most marriage announcements have been identified by the OCR process (similar to obituaries). When you see a pink text box on the page, this is an indexed record. You can just clip and save or share. You will also see these appear as hints in your Ancestry tree.
It is supposed to be on Ancestry. I looked yesterday and it was not available to me though I have a world membership.
The World Membership does not include Newspapers.com
You have to subscribe to that separately, but can do it through your Ancestry account.
I echo the other commenter. This post makes it sound as if there is a specific marriage collection that users can search. But the only search function I see is the one that’s been around for years, that pulls up all kinds of stories, most unrelated to genealogy.
Hi Mark, Sometime within the next few weeks we’ll launch a tab allowing you to search marriage announcements only. Our developers are working hard on that right now. It will be similar to the obits search tab. In the meantime, the index is live. (I received about a half dozen hints on my tree this weekend and made one amazing personal discovery). I hope you have similar success.
I concur that it would make most sense to have a ‘tab’ or additional search box to select only the Marriage Announcements prior to inserting a name. BTW – where is the Obits Tab? Thank you.
When I click on the red box and save it, I do an edit and will correct/add/edit the name. Does this update your database?
Yes! Your edits will be searchable by others.
You can edit your default clipping settings to hidden. I do this because I don’t like leaving my footprints everywhere I go.
Any chance newspapers.com could implement an image search feature, like has been done at Chronicling Americe? https://news-navigator.labs.loc.gov/search/about
Hi Chuck, I forwarded your thoughts to the development team. Thanks!
Woo!!! GREAT IDEA ON IMAGE SEARCH- would love to see that!!
You’re giving us $10 off of What? I am not going to start a subscription just to find out at the last page it is more money than I care to spend.
It is deceptive not to put the subscription rate right out front!
A big A-Men to that. It reads like an automobile ad on TV. 🙁
Hi Jay, Here’s a link to the different subscription options: https://www.newspapers.com/choose-a-plan/?l=sml&xid=3467&%20utm_source=headline&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=headline-nov-20
How far does this go back? Approximate year.
We have papers that date back to the 1700s, but our indexed marriage records date from 1800-1999.
I pay big bugs for my ancestry account and do get the hints from Newspapers.com The only fault, is that I can’t read/access/save it because I have to pay a subscription from you as well. Am I doing something wrong.
I agree. If Ancestry sends you off to another pay site for info there should be at least an reduction in the cost. It’s expensive enough as it is.
If you would like to avoid having to pay for the Ancestry searches, you can find a Family History Library operated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. They have an agreement with Ancestry, so if you log in to Family Search on one of their computers that will allow you to do a search on Ancestry for free.
Some public libraries also have Family Search on their computers, and my understanding is that they have the same ability to search Ancestry.
You can find an affiliated public library or a Family History Library near you by going to familysearch.org. Click on the Help “?” That will open a new tab, and you’ll see “Find a Family History Center and FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries” right there at the top.
I hope that you can also have your system search for words like 50th anniversary. Many times those pictures are also published in newspapers.
Yeah and at what cost?
I am looking forward to searching the marriage archive. However, when I clip a clipping such as an obituary and insert in onto the gallery page, the text is not readable…. blurry. Why is that and is anyone else having this problem?
Hi Joye, I haven’t had that problem. Can you clarify what you mean when you say you insert a clipping into a gallery page?
I have had this problem often as well. It happens on the Ancestry site now, and is only in the past few months, I think. Clippings that I place in the Ancestry gallery pages are nearly illegible. I believe it may be a problem with the Ancestry site and their gallery, though. I’ve started saving clips — downloading them to my computer then uploading to Ancestry gallery. It hasn’t fixed the problem, but it’s helped a little, I think. We need to ask Ancestry what’s going on with gallery.
Anne and Joye, I will forward this along. Thank you.
While viewing the image inside the gallery look to the right and click on the “this article” words written in blue.
Anne, I’ve had the same problem for years. Have done the same. Save it to my computer, then upload it. It is always clearer plus I have saved the article! If I find someone else’s that is blurry, I just look it up and save again. I think that Newspapers.com and Ancestry.com should work together to find a solution.
I had that same problem. I downloaded the obit. Cropped it,
then added it to the person’s gallery and other family members. Extra step, but, much bigger to read.
I’ve had that problem, too. When I save directly from newspapers.com to Ancestry, the article is very low res and illegible. So I download the article to my computer and upload it to Ancestry. It would be nice if I didn’t have to do that. It’s a hassle.
Not the least bit interested since you charge $11.99 a month and I have an Ancestry Work Subscription. Keep your database.
Just confirming that the database contains only weddings held in the U.S.?
That is correct. We’ll expand and add international wedding announcements in the future.
Thanks, Jenny! Looking forward to the Canadian data.
Thank you to all who have worked so hard to help improve Newspapers and Ancestry. It sure is worth the money to have access to all of this information being sent to Ancestry as a Hint. I was so excited when my parent’s wedding announcement showed up from an Iowa newspaper as a hint a week or so ago! Did not know this even existed! Keep up the good work!!
Someone asked the question, and it has not yet been answered – ‘where is the obit tab’?
I found it. It shows up after a search results.
Could you explain how you got to the Obits Tab? I can’t seem to find it. Thank you!
It’s seen in the search result, on top of those listed “hits”. I would call it a filter, just separating those hits that are specifically obits, a subset. I find it useful if you get a lot of hits, if you only get a few you can just as well look at all of them.
Instead of wedding info I would like to see more Canadian papers added and others with expanded years. I have extensively used the newspaper info but now have found there is little more available.
Stan, we are currently working with several Canadian publishers and hope to add more Canadian content this year.
I look forward to that and do hope the Winnipeg Free Press is one of them.
I have a surname that is also a county name in Alabama. The surnamed individuals do not live in the county that has the same name. How can I eliminate the county search but still do the surname?
Is the marriage index search only available with the
Publisher’s Extra subscription?
Can’t wait for the wedding announcements. In the mean time I sure wish you would making the cropping of an article easier. Make that box that allows you to add details stationary instead of it popping around all over the place while you try to crop. That is so aggrevating.
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