Guide to the Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, 1875-1909 AIS.1979.10

ULS Archives & Special Collections

Summary Information

Repository
ULS Archives & Special Collections
Title
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records
Creator
Pittsburgh (Pa.). Department of Public Health.
Collection Number
AIS.1979.10
Date
1875-1909
Extent
53.0 microfilm reels
Abstract
This collection contains records submitted to the Department of Public Health pertaining to marriages performed by priests, rabbis, ministers, and aldermen within the City of Pittsburgh from 1875 to 1909.

Preferred Citation

Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, 1875-1909, AIS.1979.10, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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History

Pennsylvania's marriage laws were codified through a number of legislative acts over a 15 year period from 1870 to 1885. Pittsburgh first enacted a marriage law in 1870 in order to "establish a board of health, and [secure] the city of port of Pittsburg [sic] from the introduction of pestilential and contagious diseases." This law was a supplementary act to a state law enacted the same year by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania that established that boards of health would keep registers of all marriage ceremonies performed in their jurisdictions. The law stipulated that all clergy and magistrates would keep records on the marriages they performed, as well as the penalties for noncompliance. This law also stipulated what information would be recorded on all parties involved in the marriage, and that these records would serve as "prima facie" evidence of said marriage in a court of law.

The state law was further amended in 1876 to grant boards of health the power to enact rules and regulations in order to carry out these duties. Marriage licenses were not issued in the state until an 1885 law established their creation, which further added provisions for age of consent and securing parent or guardian approval for marriage of individuals under the age of 21.

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Scope and Content Notes

The collection consists of 53 microfilm reels. Reel 1 is an index (alphabetical by husband's surname) of all marriage returns for the years 1875-1885, and also contains information about the collection's history and a brief history of Pennsylvania's marriage laws. The returns record the following information:

1. The husband's full name, occupation, residence, place of birth, and age at the time of marriage.

2. The wife's full name (maiden name), residence, place of birth, and age at the time of marriage.

3. Date and place of marriage ceremony, and the type of ceremony performed.

4. The race of both parties.

5. Name of the person performing the ceremony and their residence.

6. Date of the return.

According to the Index, only 50% of the married couples were residents of the City of Pittsburgh, while the remaining 50% were residents of Allegheny County, other western Pennsylvania counties, and other states. The records for 1875-1876 are either limited or missing, but all records following those years are complete. The original records reside at the Heinz History Center.

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Administrative Information

Publication Information

ULS Archives & Special Collections, June 2013

University of Pittsburgh Library System
Archives & Special Collections
Website: library.pitt.edu/archives-special-collections
412-648-3232 (ASC) | 412-648-8190 (Hillman)
Contact Us: www.library.pitt.edu/ask-archivist

Access Restrictions

No restrictions.

Copyright

No copyright restrictions.

Processing Information

This collection was processed by the Archives Service Center staff in 1982.

Existence and Location of Originals

Pittsburgh, Pa. Department of Health, Marriage Returns, MSS# 458, Library and Archives Division, Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh, Pa.

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Related Materials

Related Material

Pittsburgh, Pa. Dept. of Public Health Birth and Death Records, 1870-1905, AIS.1975.06, Archives & Special Collections, University of Pittsburgh Library System

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Controlled Access Headings

Genre(s)

  • Marriage records

Subject(s)

  • Government
  • Marriage records -- Pennsylvania -- Pittsburgh

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Previous Citation

Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, 1875-1909, AIS.1979.10, Archives Service Center, University of Pittsburgh

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Collection Inventory

  Microfilm-cabinetReel
Index 21

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, January 30, 1875 to December 31, 1876 2

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, January 1, 1877 to December 31, 1877 3

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, January 1, 1878 to December 31, 1878 4

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, January 1, 1879 to December 31, 1879 5

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, January 1, 1880 to December 31, 1880 6

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, January 1, 1881 to December 31, 1881 7

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, January 1, 1882 to September 30, 1882 8

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, October 1, 1882 to June 30, 1883 9

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, July 1, 1883 to March 31, 1884 10

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, April 1, 1884 to December 31, 1884 11

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, January 1, 1885 to September 30, 1885 12

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, October 1, 1885 to June 30, 1886 13

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, July 1, 1886 to March 31, 1887 14

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, April 1, 1887 to December 31, 1887 15

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, January 1, 1888 to September 30, 1888 16

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, October 1, 1888 to June 30, 1889 17

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, July 1, 1889 to March 31, 1890 18

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, April 1, 1890 to December 31, 1890 19

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, January 1, 1891 to September 30, 1891 20

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, October 1, 1891 to June 30, 1892  21

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, July 1, 1892 to March 31, 1893 22

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, April 1, 1893 to December 31, 1893 23

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, January 1, 1894 to December 31, 1894 24

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, January 1, 1895 to September 30, 1895 25

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, October 1, 1895 to June 30, 1896  26

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, July 1, 1896 to December 31, 1896 27

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, January 1, 1897 to June 30, 1897 28

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, July 1, 1897 to December 31, 1897 29

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, January 1, 1898 to June 30, 1898 30

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, July 1, 1898 to December 31, 1898 31

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, January 1, 1899 to June 30, 1899 32

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, July 1, 1899 to December 31, 1899 33

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, January 1, 1900 to June 30, 1900 34

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, July 1, 1900 to December 31, 1900 35

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, January 1, 1901 to May 31, 1901 36

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, September 1, 1901 to December 31, 1901 37

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, January 1, 1902 to June 30, 1902 38

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, July 1, 1902 to December 31, 1902 39

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, January 1, 1903 to June 30, 1903 40

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, July 1, 1903 to December 31, 1903 41

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, January 1, 1904 to June 30, 1904 42

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, July 1, 1904 to December 31, 1904 43

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, January 1, 1905 to June 30, 1905 44

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, July 1, 1905 to December 31, 1905 45

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, January 1, 1906 to June 30, 1906  46

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, July 1, 1906 to December 31, 1906 47

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, January 1, 1907 to June 30, 1907 48

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, July 1, 1907 to December 31, 1907 49

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, January 1, 1908 to June 30, 1908 50

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, July 1, 1908 to December 31, 1908 51

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, January 1, 1909 to June 30, 1909 52

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  Reel
Pittsburgh Marriage Return Records, July 1, 1909 to October 31, 1909 53

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