Note 1: Dates with hyperlinks lead to newspaper articles about the wedding. These were randomly added before Madison County newspapers became available on line. If your relative was married after 1871 and the date has no hyperlink, you should search the on line newspapers for a possible description of the wedding.


Note 2: Information in red font has been added by the transcriber to clarify the records and is not part of the original Madison County documents and should not be cited as part of the record.


Note 3: Beginning with 1880, there are courthouse files containing marriage documents in addition to the marriage record books. If additional or more correct name information is available in those files beyond what was in the marriage books, it has been included herein and highlighted.




Of the early records of Madison County, those having legal implications such as land records, court proceedings, and marriages all had formal processes in place very quickly after settlement began. From inception through June 30, 1880 marriage records were kept in somewhat chronological order in books in which were recorded the names of the bride, groom, and minister and the dates of license and marriage. It is likely that the person responsible for reporting the information to the county from the beginning was the minister using a document called a "Marriage Return" which was sent to the courthouse after the marriage took place. 


Starting in July, 1880 new marriage record books were introduced, providing for the recording of much more information, including age, residence, place of birth, occupation, parent's names, number of times married, maiden name if already married, and date of the return. The information in the books was recorded at the courthouse from the marriage return documents and sometimes, this led to differences between what was returned and what was written in the book. And it gets more complicated from there. The marriage books kept by the county were multiyear books divided into alphabetical sections. Two of these books spanned the period from 1880 through 1908. Another set of books was generated annually, running from July 1st to June 30th and these were turned over to the state. This set of books was in alphabetical order by groom for the 12 months they covered and are the records you will find on Ancestry.


In July, 1922, the transferring of the data from the returns to the marriage books was abandoned in favor of binding the marriage returns into books which was a good thing since it eliminated a step in which errors or shortcuts could be made.


Maintained by the County Coordinator

This page was last updated Monday, 31-Aug-2020 12:13:24 CDT .