US, Alabama—County Marriages, 1809–1950 [Part D]

Project Instructions

Read the Instructions

  • Please read these project instructions carefully before indexing any batches.
  • Review this page and the field helps frequently for updates to the instructions.
  • Click here for a summary of project updates.

What to Remember as You Index Marriage Records

  • Marriage records include many kinds of documents:
  • Normally you would index each of these documents, except for registers and indexes, as a single, standalone record by entering data in as many fields as possible and leaving the remainder of the fields blank.
  • Registers have multiple records to be indexed. You will need to add records in the data entry area for each record that appears on the image.
  • Index a marriage index only if it includes information regarding marriages in addition to names, such as dates or places. If an index includes only names, volume number, page number, or year, mark the image as a No Extractable Data Image.
  • Some marriage records, such as handwritten paragraphs, may begin on one image and end on the next image.
    • If the first record on an image begins on a previous image, don't index it. The record will be indexed as part of the previous image.
    • If the last record on an image continues to the next image, index the entire record, including what continues onto the next image.
  • Marriage bonds are marriage records and should be indexed. Do NOT mark an image with a marriage bond as a No Extractable Data Image.

How to Index Combinations of Documents

  • Images may display marriage documents in a number of other ways. Occasionally, images have more than one record type on a single image, and all records relate to the same marriage. In this case, combine the information from all the records on the image into one record in the data entry area, using the most complete version of the data. Click here to see an example.
  • Frequently, documents on multiple images all relate to the same marriage. In this case, index each image normally as a separate, individual record, even if the images appear to be similar. Do not mark the images as duplicates. Click here to see an example.
  • Periodically, a register of marriages will be split between two images.
    • Index each record using data from both images.
    • If the image is of the left side of the register, view the next image while continuing to index fields for the current image, and index as much information as possible.
    • If the image is of the right side of the register, index the Image Type as No Extractable Data Image. The information will have been indexed with the previous image.
    • Click here to see an example.


  • Overlays, which normally are small handwritten notes, are attached to some records.
  • Carefully read each overlay. If it contains data pertaining to a marriage, such as ages of the groom and bride or names of parents, add a record to the image, and index the overlay as a separate record. If the overlay does not contain any data pertaining to a marriage, do not index it.
  • Overlays will often cover other marriage records. In these cases, a separate image was usually made with the overlay removed. Therefore, do not try to index the data from the page that is covered by the overlay.

Highlights and Using the Ruler

  • Because of the many different forms found in this project, highlights are not available. You may use the ruler instead to follow a record across an image.
  • If you choose to use the ruler, please be aware that the ruler is not anchored to the indexing screen and does not automatically move as you move to a new entry. To use the ruler:
    1. On the menu bar, click View.
    2. Click Show Ruler.
  • You can move the ruler and adjust its width.
    1. To move the ruler, position the mouse pointer over the ruler bar. When the pointer turns into a four-pointed arrow, click and hold the left mouse button while you move your mouse to drag the ruler to a new location on the screen.
    2. To adjust the width of the ruler, position the mouse pointer at the top or bottom edge of the ruler bar. When the pointer turns into a two-pointed arrow, click and hold the left mouse button, and then move your mouse up or down to change the width of the ruler.

Handwriting Helps

  • Many of these records are handwritten. The handwriting resource on the data entry screen may help you decipher the handwriting.
  • To access this resource, click on the Handwriting Help icon (which looks like an inkwell with an orange feather quill).

Additional Information