1 Reply Latest reply on May 31, 2019 4:44 PM by Jason Atkinson

    Seeking records of marriage by Military Chaplain


      Where and How do I find records online to confirm a Marriage while in Military by a Chaplain , etc.

        • Re: Seeking records of marriage by Military Chaplain
          Jason Atkinson Ranger

          Dear Mr. Hawkins,

          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!

          We are unaware of any online resource which provides a comprehensive listing of marriages performed by military chaplains.

          Depending on the time period in which the marriage occurred, there may also be documents relating to a service member’s marriage in his service records or pension files. See here for information regarding researching researching the records of individual service members.

          There are a limited number of historical records regarding marriage in the Records of the office of the Chief of Chaplains (Record Group 247), Records of the Bureau of Naval Personnel (Record Group 24), and Records of Headquarters United States Air Force (Air Staff) (Record Group 341). Availability of records depends on the branch of service and the date of the marriage. These records are in the custody of the National Archives at College Park - Textual Reference (RDT2). To access these records, please contact RDT2 via email at archives2reference@nara.gov. Be sure to include in your request the branch of service, the names of the individuals involved, and the year in which the wedding was performed.

          The U.S. Army Chaplain 201 and Report Files from 1917 to 1950 are in the custody of the National Archives at St. Louis, ATTN: RL-SL, P.O. Box 38757, St. Louis, MO 63138-1002. Please contact RL-SL for access to these records via email at stl.archives@nara.gov. Marriages are listed in the reports, but will need to know the name of the chaplain and the approximate date of the ceremony to request them.

          If the marriage was performed in the United States, a marriage license or certificate would have been recorded with the state or county according to the laws of the state in which the marriage was performed. See here for a listing of points of contact for requesting vital records for states and U.S. territories.

          If the marriage was performed abroad prior to November 9, 1989, the participants may have filed a Certificate of Witness to Marriage Abroad with the Department of States. See here for information regarding access to these.

          Depending on the religious affiliation of the service member and the chaplain, the associated religious organization may have related records. For example the Roman Catholic Archdiocese for the Military Services maintains records of Roman Catholic sacraments, to include marriages, performed by Roman Catholic chaplains. Other denominations might have similar records.

          Finally, depending on the date of the marriage, records regarding the marriage may still be in the custody of the military service whose chaplain performed the marriage.

          We hope this information is helpful. Best of luck with your research!

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