US, Wisconsin—County Marriages, 1838–1907


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.
  • Index each of these documents, except for registers and indexes, as a single, stand-alone 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 entry line that appears on the image.
  • The data entry area is set at one record per image. If an image has more than one record, such as a register, you will need to add enough entry lines in the data entry area to match the number of records on the image. To add entry lines:
    1. In the menu bar, click Tools.
    2. Click Records per Image.
    3. Click in the Number of records box, and type the number of records on the image.
    4. Click OK.
  • Index records only if they include information regarding marriages in addition to names, such as dates or places. If an index includes only names, volume number, page number, or year (rather than a full date), 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 to 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 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.
  • Sometimes, 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 unless they are identical to a previous image in the same batch.
  • Sometimes, a register of marriages will be split between two images. When this happens:
    • 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.

Indexing Overlays

Overlays are handwritten or typed notes that cover part of an original record. To index overlays correctly, begin by reviewing all the images in the batch. This review can save you a lot of time!

Then do the following:

  • Index the information on the overlay if it pertains to the record types being indexed in the project.
  • Index the information behind the overlay, according to the following rules, if the information pertains to the record types being indexed in the project:
    • If the document behind the overlay is a duplicate of a document that is fully shown on another image in your batch, do not index the document.
    • If the document behind the overlay seems to be unique and is not included on another image in your batch, index as much as you can see.

Highlights and the Ruler

  • Because of the many kinds of 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 use the ruler:
    1. In 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 Help

  • 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 the Handwriting Help icon (an inkwell with an orange feather quill).

Additional Information