US, Iowa—County Marriages 1838–1992 [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

  • The following links are examples of some of the different types of documents:
  • Each of these documents, except for registers, is to be indexed as a single, stand alone record by entering data in as many fields as possible and leaving the remainder of the fields blank.
  • A person's name may be written more than once on a record. Index the most complete version of the name.
  • Combination images have more than one type of document on one page, but all relate to the same marriage. Index these as one record by finding the information for the fields on any of the documents on the image.
  • Registers will have multiple records to be indexed. This means you will need to add additional entry lines for these images. (See the following topic for how to do this.)
  • The data entry area is set at one record per image. When you encounter registers or images with more than one record, you will need to add additional entry lines to match the actual number of records on your image. To do this:
    1. In the menu bar, click Tools.
    2. Click Records per Image.
    3. Set the number of records to the actual number of records on the image.
    4. Click OK.
  • When the first image of a batch begins with a partial record, start indexing at the first complete record.
  • Indexing the last record of a batch: Click here for an example.
  • When the last record on the last image is not complete:
    1. In the menu bar, click View
    2. Click Show Previous/Next Image.
    3. The previous or next image will be the image you see on the right side of the double screen.
    4. Click the Next Image button.
    5. Type the remaining data for the record being indexed.
    6. Return to normal view by clicking View and then Show Previous/Next Image.
    7. Submit the batch.


  • Overlays, normally small handwritten notes, are attached to many 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, index the overlay as a separate record. If it does not contain any data pertaining to the marriage, do not index the overlay.
  • Overlays will many times cover other marriage records. In these cases, there is generally a separate image that was taken with the overlay removed. Therefore, do not try to index the data from the page that is covered by the overlay. Click the following links to see examples:

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 it is not anchored to the indexing screen and does not automatically move as you move to a new entry. To see the ruler, follow these steps:
    1. In the menu bar, click View.
    2. Select 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 help, on the toolbar just above the data entry area, click the Handwriting Help icon (an inkwell with an orange feather quill). 

Additional Information