In Utah, nearly all marriage applications and licenses or similar records have remained in county clerk offices. The Utah State Archives has limited copies on microfilm (most before about 1900).
A few years ago we were excited to receive marriage license applications from Utah County that were more than one hundred years old. Our Local Government archivist Alan Barnett oversaw archival processing of the records ranging from 1897 to 1917. Just under 10,000 images resulted from full color digitization and are now online!
The civil registration of marriage in Utah begins with an application form, as described in Utah Code §30-1-8. Contents include: full names including a woman’s maiden name, current city of residence, and age. Upon successful application, a license is issued and must be returned within 30 days with the marriage date, location, and names of two or more witnesses. The county clerk files the license and certificate of marriage, usually in a book. Applications are considered private records and are only available to the public after one hundred years.
Parental consent was required for applicants under a certain age and recorded with the application:
1190. “If at the time of applying for license the male shall be under twenty-one or the female under eighteen years of age, and not before married, no license shall issue without the consent of his or her father, mother, or guardian, personally given or certified in writing to the clerk over his or her signature, attested by two or more subscribing witnesses”
The Compiled Laws of the State of Utah 1907 and The Revised Statutes of the State of Utah, in Force Jan. 1, 1898
About the Indexes
In addition to the applications themselves, we chose to digitize from past microfilm some indexes that were not transferred with them. There are ten that range from 1897 to 1905. It is easiest to use them to confirm a marriage within a date range as the indexes do not have application numbers. Instead there are page numbers, which are on the applications, but restart more often and are not unique.
Utah County Vital Records Collection
These marriage records have been added to the existing Utah County (Utah) Vital Record Collection. They join birth and death registers also from the Utah County Clerk’s office.