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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.