Searching for Marriage Records

Scholefield Family Tree

I want to locate James Arthur Moore’s marriage to Frederica –?–. Marriage records for California are very sparse for the time period I need (1924), but this is the process I use when I am attempting to determine if there are marriage records “hidden” somewhere on the internet.

A search at the Western States Marriage Record Index did not turn up anything.

Obviously, one should check Ancestry. However, the Arizona Marriage Collection is Arizona records from the WSMI with additional records from Maricopa County in the 1970s. Additionally, the California Marriage Collection doesn’t begin until the year 1960. Searching the Card Catalog for San Diego (where the couple lived in 1930), Los Angeles (where James’s daughter Maud lived), and other counties did not turn up any county specific marriage collections. The histories that did turn up could be searched for “Moore,” but that returns too large a list of results.

The next stop is FamilySearch to check the International Genealogical Index. (I will save the family trees for later.) There are no results, but that is not surprising because Hugh Wallis’s site, which lists batch numbers organized by place, doesn’t indicate that records have been indexed for areas of interest.

The resources on USGenWeb should also be checked. Each of the states and counties of interest did not have the needed marriage records.

Lastly, an internet search for marriage records for each state, county, and town were searched for — this generally catches anything else that is floating out there but not linked to the big genealogy sites. Generally it will pop results from Joe Beine’s lists of indexes and which sometimes contains links to the county repositories that may have online record searches available. If a search doesn’t turn these up, then hit those sites anyway. Searches for California records will turn up (for other records, check If a state or county archive or local genealogy societies has a marriage index online, they will usually show up in your search. If you are worried that they were not, run a search for archives and societies to check their websites (yes, sometimes they are buried — but for this search, I am going to move on).

And after all of that, I have not found the record I am looking for.

Research Plan:

  1. Check earlier censuses for Fredericas born in Sweden about 1880.
  2. Check online family trees for the marriage.
  3. Use to request a photo of James Arthur Moore’s gravestone in Greenwood Cemetery, Phoenix, Arizona, and ask that nearby stones be checked for Frederica.

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