10 Replies Latest reply on Oct 7, 2020 11:24 AM by Chuck Fetters Branched to a new discussion.

    Seeking marriage & divorce records

    Dorothy Purdy-Weakland Newbie

      I am trying to find marriage and divorce records for Ralph E. Spangle and Dorothy J. Purdy in the 1970s in Rahway, NJ.  I also am seeking marriage and divorce records for Gerald Weakland and Linda Hemphill in the early 1970s in Beaver County, Pa. How do I find them?

        • Re: Seeking my marriage & divorce records
          Susannah Brooks Navigator

          Marriage and divorce records are county level court records in the United States.  You would have to request the records from the county where you were married and the county where you were divorced.  Some states and counties  have open records for the 1970's, so you may want to check on websites such as Ancestry.com or familysearch.org to see if the records or the indexes to the records appear on these sites.

            • Re: Seeking my marriage & divorce records
              Dorothy Purdy-Weakland Newbie

              I have not had any luck.  I tried Union County and Trenton in NJ and neither can find the records back that far

              Pa was much more helpful as the county the records were in is an extremely small county so I did get that into.  I even tried Ancestry and could find a month and year for my marriage in NJ but could not find records of divorce.  It is frustrating as I need this info. for the  VA and have time constraints.

            • Re: Seeking marriage & divorce records
              Cara Jensen Tracker

              Dear Ms. Purdy-Weakland,


              Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


              The Federal Government does not ordinarily create or maintain birth, death, marriage or divorce records. Such records are made and kept by State and local governments rather than the National Archives.  We suggest that you contact the New Jersey Department of Health and the Pennsylvania Department of Health for the records you seek.


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


              • Re: Seeking marriage & divorce records
                Chuck Fetters Newbie


                Found on MyHeratige from the library. Duplicate name may indicate previous marriage (maybe one is maiden name other is 1st marriage, etc.) I've seen that sort of thing before.  Not sure what Place of marr indicates, most likely a county code within the state. Have you tried the State Clerk's office?


                New Jersey Marriage License Index, 1915-2016

                (11,368,516 records)

                This collection is an index to marriage licenses filed at the New Jersey State Clerk Offices from 1915 to 2016. The index contains the given names and surnames of both th...



                Husbands Name         Wife Name                        File No.               Place of Marr            Date of Marr

                Spangle, Ralph E       Purdy Dorothy J                30388                 2052                         07/71

                Spangle, Ralph E       Derkack Dorothy J            30388                 2052                         07/71

                  • Re: Seeking marriage & divorce records
                    Dorothy Purdy-Weakland Newbie

                    Hi, Thank you so much for the information.  I have contacted all the county and state offices to find the divorce records (late 70's) and have hit a brick wall for Dorothy Purdy (Spangle) and Ralph E. Spangle.  Apparently they do not keep those records that far back.  I don't know what else to do.  I need this information for the VA and they put a two week time constraint on my giving them the info.  I appreciate that you tried to help me.

                  • Re: Seeking marriage & divorce records
                    Lisa Hawkins Newbie

                    Hi Dorothy,


                    I would have initially recommended that you try the Union County, New Jersey clerk's office as well, but per Union's "Clerk Certificate" page: "Marriage Certificates are obtained from the city/town where the actual ceremony was performed. Contact the City/Town Hall for further information."


                    Rahway, NJ does have a printable records request form that you can fill out on this page: https://www.cityofrahway.org/departments/community-development/health-housing-services/birth-marriage-or-death-certifica…


                    The instructions for the records request form say that you need to know the exact date that the wedding was performed -- but if you don't remember it, I suspect that the file number (30388) and/or location code (2052) that Chuck posted above might help the Rahway records team locate your file.


                    Hope this helps!

                      • Re: Seeking marriage & divorce records
                        Dorothy Purdy-Weakland Newbie

                        Thank you for the info. Lisa,  I can get the month and year of the marriage of Dorothy Purdy & Ralph E. Spangle  but not the date which I am not too worried about. I even contacted the Church and received no response at all.  But as far as the Divorce of Dorothy Spangle and Ralph E. Spangle, City and County does not have that record and told me to contact Trenton, which I did and was told they couldn't go back that far on the computer and "maybe" there might be paper files in the "basement" and they did not know how long it would take to locate them, or if they even could.  I guess I will have to give up, which is hard for me as this will cause a financial hardship for my husband with the VA.  They are ridiculous about this.  But thank you anyway for your help.

                          • Re: Seeking marriage & divorce records
                            Chuck Fetters Newbie

                            Hi Dorothy, Sorry you're having so much difficulty.

                            I found this from the Jacobs and Berger law firm's website. Might be useful to you. https://www.jacobsberger.com/divorce/collecting-my-divorce-decree/

                            What happens if my divorce is considered old and documents are archived?

                            In some cases, the divorce may be considered “old” and the documents would be archived in a warehouse in Trenton. The time varies from county to county as to when the documents are archived.  However, if you are unable to locate your documents at the county level, no matter how old the case may be, you can get a Certificate of Divorce in lieu of a judgment from the Superior Court Clerk’s Office in Trenton. The Clerk will charge a small fee for this certificate but it will have the county, the docket number, the names of the parties, and the date of the judgment of divorce, as well as a seal.

                            Certificate of Divorce in NJ

                            In order to get the certificate, you will need to know the county in which your divorce took place and the docket number.  It is not unusual to not know your docket number. To find your docket number, you can call the Clerk’s Customer Service Unit at  609-421-6100.  You must be able to provide them with the county in which the divorce occurred, the year, and the names of the parties involved.  If your case is still at the county level and has not been archived, you can contact the Family Division in that county and request the docket number and copies by providing the same information.

                            Good luck to you