5 Replies Latest reply on Jun 11, 2021 1:34 AM by Sabine Gorgas

    Searching for marriage date & location of my grandparents

    Lisa Purkey Newbie

      I am searching for my grandparents place and date of marriage. Possible marriage range 1933-1939. We believe my grandmother received a small payment from the Government for my grandfathers’ time spent in WWI and we also believe my grandmother collected on Grandfathers Social Security.  I’m guessing if my grandmother did collect on either or both, she would probably have had to provide a certified copy of the marriage license /certificate.  Since I have no idea when or where they were married I cannot request a copy via vital records. If I knew where to write/request the pension packet to either of these places I’m confident the packet contains what I’m looking for.  Any help would be GREATLY appreciated.

        • Re: Searching for marriage date & location of my grandparents
          Susannah Brooks Pioneer

          Some states' marriage records are on-line and with the names of the your grandparents, their approximate birth years, and where they lives in the US, we could help you search for the information.

          • Re: Searching for marriage date & location of my grandparents
            Joshua Mason Adventurer

            Good afternoon,


            Thank you for posting your question on History Hub!


            The Federal Government does not ordinarily create or maintain birth, adoption, death, marriage, or divorce records.  Such records are made and kept by State and local governments rather than the National Archives.  We suggest searching substitute record sources such as probate records, church records, and newspaper records that may uncover more information about your ancestor.  For more information on conducting genealogical research within our records, please visit the following link:




            You may wish to search Ancestry or FamilySearch for marriage records.  Ancestry is a subscription-based database, but it is available for free public use at all National Archives facilities and many public libraries.  FamilySearch is free but you have to create an account with them. 


            Another suggestion would be to review the FamilySearch Research wiki for United States Vital Records to see if any additional information can be found:




            In regards to obtaining a copy of his military pension records, they would have been filed as part of your grandfather’s Official Military Personnel File (OMPF).  Official Military Personnel Files (OMPFs) and individual medical reports for enlisted men of the U.S. Army who were separated from the service after October 1912 and prior to 1955 are in the custody of NARA's National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis.  In many cases where personnel records were destroyed in the 1973 fire, proof of service can be provided from other records such as morning reports, payrolls, and military orders, and a certificate of military service will be issued.  For a copy of his OMPF or other personnel records, please complete a GSA Standard Form 180 and mail it to NARA's National Personnel Records Center, (Military Personnel Records), 1 Archives Drive, St. Louis, MO  63138-1002.  Or you may apply online at http://www.archives.gov/veterans/military-service-records/


            Another avenue of approach would be to search the military record site Fold3, which the National Archives partners with.  They have a World War I section that may prove useful to prove military service.  There may be a fee for using Fold3.  Instead, please check for access at your local library as many library systems subscribe to these sites, making them free for their patrons.


            In regards to obtaining a copy of your grandfather’s Social Security Record, please fill out the form at the link below and mail it to the SSA address listed on the form:




            We hope this information is helpful and best of luck with your research!


            • Re: Searching for marriage date & location of my grandparents
              Donna Westling Newbie

              Hi Lisa,


              Many military records, especially those from WWI (estimated 80% loss), were destroyed in a fire at the records repository in St. Louis, MO in 1973. I'm from St. Louis, and could see the orange glow of the fire from my house.

              I was looking at the National Archives just yesterday for information about my grandfather, who served in WWI. No luck. I have a draft card from Ancestry, but no service number (Which is the "key to the castle") no other records except for a snippet from a historical society in his home state. You might try there. If those records are unavailable to you, I would be happy to look them up for you on Ancestry, Family Search, or My Heritage, if you will provide me with more detailed information.

              Best of luck in your research efforts.

                • Re: Searching for marriage date & location of my grandparents
                  Lisa Purkey Newbie


                  I keep replying with all this info on my grandfather and then the screen goes blank!!!!  Ugh

                  Conrad John Diedrich born 8/23/1895 died In Battle Creek, Mi 1965


                  ss# issued 12/8/1936



                  wife Helen Veronica  Anderson (Beardsley)  Diedrich

                  ss# issued 12/29/1936


                  U.S Army service dates Aug 3, 1918 to Dec 28, 1919.

                  A.C & FDY Co. Jan 7, 1919 -April 20, 1919

                  McGuire Cummings to Paris IL April 20, 1919to July 1, 1919


                  Any information would be greatly appreciated.


                    • Re: Searching for marriage date & location of my grandparents
                      Sabine Gorgas Scout



                      going through ancestry I would have guessed your Conrad and Helen had married in Jackson, Michigan. But the Marriage records for Michigan do not show anything. Could it maybe be that they have never married? Maybe they lived in a Common law marriage? I read that Michigan abolished the Common law marriage just in 1957, but since they lived together since around 1936 it was maybe accepted by the Army ?


                      Te American Bar Association writes for example:

                      "What if we live together for a while but don't get married? Does the military recognize common-law marriage?


                      First – let's define common-law marriage. In times past, particularly in the frontier days, it was common for states to consider a woman and man married if they lived together for a certain length of time, had sexual intercourse, and held themselves out as husband and wife, even if they never went through a marriage ceremony.

                      Today, only a few states recognize common-law marriages. In those states, in order for a common-law marriage to be legal, the partners must clearly represent themselves to others as husband and wife; merely living together is not sufficient to constitute a marriage. A state that does not recognize common-law marriage may nevertheless honor it if the parties lived in a state that does recognize common law marriage and the parties met the requirements while living in that state.

                      In the military's view, a common-law marriage is considered an "informal marriage." Despite this title, the military generally recognizes a common-law marriage as valid if it is acknowledged as a valid marriage in the state where it occurred."



                      So maybe the Army as well as the Social Security acknowledged a common law marriage in those days?