© St. Louis City Recorder of Deeds

Archives Department,
Genealogy and
Historical Research
open 8:00 a.m. to
4:00 p.m. weekdays
see Hours and Holidays
for restrictions


City Hall, Room 129
1200 Market Street
Saint Louis
Missouri 63103
314.589.8174
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1808-1880
St. Louis Marriage Register

Public Information


 

Research Warning: Prior to 1881,
Not All Marriage Records were recorded.

Clergypersons, Judges, and Justices of the Peace officiating at marriage ceremonies in Missouri were required by State law to send information on the marriage ceremonies performed to their County Recorder of Deeds.

  • Recording a marriage ceremony in the Marriage Register required payment of a statutory fee. Some clergy did not submit marriage records to the County Recorder because of the fee. Some clergy submitted marriage records without the fee. Subsequently, not all marriage ceremonies for the period were recorded.
  • Enforcement required a County Recorder to 1) know someone was performing marriage ceremonies but not submitting the information and 2) sue the noncompliant Clergyperson, Judge, or Justice of the Peace for the sum of $50. Subsequently, enforcement was mostly voluntary.

The Recorder's Clerks transcribed the submitted information into Marriage Registers. Whatever was submitted by a Clergyperson, Judge, or Justice of the Peace was written into the book.

Research Warning: Details on the Bride and Groom and their ceremony submitted to the County Recorder were the discretion of the person making the submission.

  • Some Clergy submitted lists of names and dates of ceremonies on tablet paper or scrap paper such as the back of church board meeting minutes.
  • Others submitted ornate certificates that included witness names.
  • Some churches used a small simple form which included the immigrant Bride and Groom's place of birth.
  • A Groom's service in the U.S. Army is occasionally cited with his rank and where he was stationed.

1808-1880 Missouri
Most Marriage Register Entries Include:

  • Bride Name and Groom Name

  • County of Residence for Bride and Groom

  • Date of Marriage Ceremony

  • Name of person officiating at Marriage Ceremony

Parental Consent for

Underage Bride (not yet age 18) Underage Groom (not yet age 21)

Most Marriage Register Entries for underage Brides and Grooms include the name of Parent or Guardian providing Consent. In some cases, however, the name is not provided; the entry merely states that the parent or guardian consented to marriage. In a few cases, an underage Groom provides consent for himself by declaring that he has no living family to provide consent for him.