From 1966 to 2008, Texas Marriage License Records number more than seven million with thousands more being recorded every day. The record is an important document that will contain information of the names of the couple and the date and location of the marriage. In some counties, the record can be found with the marriage license.
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The record is used for various purposes. It is very useful in tracing back your family or when you are making a genealogical tree. As long as it is recorded, you will be able to find your ancestors. The document is also used in legal proceedings such as determining the legitimacy of a child or during divorce proceedings. For women, they can use it to finally change their name and adopt their husband’s name. It is also used to help change other documents that will be affected by the name change such as driver’s licenses, professional licenses and other identification.
Getting your records will depend on the date of the marriage. For newly married couples, they are not yet entered into the registry. To validate their marriage certificate, they need to approach the local County clerk before the record can be finalized. You’ll find the address and contact numbers of the clerks online or through phone books.
For records of older marriages or records of other people like your parents, grandparents and other relatives you can view the website of the Department of State Health Services (DSHS) Vital Statistics. The service is free however it can be difficult to perform an online search. The records you obtain online from DSHS are only for reference as it can’t be used for legal purposes. If you need to have them certified, you have to approach your local county clerk again. Fees may differ for each county.
The difficulty in getting information from DSHS is the records size. You have to download the records for the whole year as you can’t do a specific search such as specific day or the couple in the record. Once you’ve downloaded the whole record, you can then approximate the date of marriage and search for the name manually. It is still time consuming as you have to browse through the whole record. The record can contain a hundred thousand to two hundred thousand entries. Their online database is also limited; it only contains records 1966 to present. For older records, you need to approach your local County clerk.
A better way is to use other websites that specialize in obtaining a specific Free Marriage Records. These are websites that offer the service for a small sum such as a 7 day trial or whole year fee. They have up to date online database that will allow you to search for a specific record using only the first and last name. Advanced searches are also available such as specific date and place. There are also websites that offer to get certified records for you and mail them so you won’t have to visit your County Clerk.