Re: Entries in the new NYC (pre 1930) marriage license database, that don't have NYC marriage certificates. #general

A. E. Jordan

I am not sure I understood Mark London's question(s) entirely but I will post
a few comments/observations >from working with both NYC marriage files.

Some of the answer depends on time frame also.

The licenses were portable so the marriage did not necessarily take place in
the same. Licenses were also not 100% required especially in the earlier years.
A recognized house of worship could (and did) agree to marry a couple without a
license and then only file the Health Department certificate.

I assume it is also possible that Health Department certificates did not get
filed simply out of neglect. It was an honor system for the officiant to send
it in after the service.

If you have the full license file the first page is the application for the
license, the second the license and the third the details of the ceremony. So
that should tell you when and where the ceremony took place.

Of course some of the errors or omissions could also be a function of the
modern indexing. Also remember that the index done by Italian Gen has some
gaps in the brides where years were unavailable (I do not think they were ever
able to fill in the gaps).

Finally we have all seen instances of multiple ceremonies for the same couple.
Sometimes first a city hall wedding with the clerk and then a religious
ceremony -- sometimes separated by months. I have even seen instances of two
religious ceremonies where all I can assume is it was a her family and a his
family situation or one side did not like the other side's rabbi or such.

Some or all of these issues can and will impact what you see in the indexes and
finally remember paperwork is still just paperwork and sometimes it does not
get done correctly or completely.

Allan Jordan

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