Rowan County Kentucky Marriage Records

1856-1859, 1874-1878, 1881-1912, plus selected 1913-1920

Grooms listed in order of surname, then date

Brides listed in order of surname, then first name

Updated July 2009 with records for 1859 and 1874 through 1878

  Index by Groom

  Abbreviation Key

  New!  Index by Bride

A Ba Br Ca Cau Ch Co Cr D E F G

Hal Han He I J K L Ma Mc Me N O

Pa Ph Q Ra Ri Sa Sp T U V W Y-Z

 r: residence b: place of birth
 f: father fb: father's place of birth
 m: mother mb: mother's place of birth
 w: witnesses fmb: father & mother's place of birth
 su: surety on bond b&r: born and resides

A Ba Br Ca Cau Ch Co Cr D E F G

Had Han He I J K L Ma Mc Me N O

Pa Ph Q Ra Ri Sa Sp T U V W Y-Z


Rowan County Marriage Register A and License/Bond Books 1 through 7 have been entered on these pages, including full details from Books 1 through 4. Details have been entered for only about 1/3 the marriages in Books 5 through 7, mostly those with surnames of interest to me. I have also entered selected marriages from books 8 through 13. (Eventually I plan to enter full details for all marriages through 1921, but since I only get to Kentucky for about 1 week every two or three years, and it takes me about 3 minutes per record to type them up, progress is very slow.)

Books A and 1 through 7 are available on microfilm from the LDS Family History Library. (The later books have not been microfilmed and can be accessed only at the Rowan County Courthouse.) Here are the reel numbers and content information:

Book Microfilm #  Dates  Number of Records
"M" 216,839 1856 - 1858
A 808,719 1881 - 1913
(most are before 1898)
1 808,720 Jan 1881 - Sep 1889,
plus 2 from Aug 1890
(all but 33 are also in Bk A)
2 808,720 Oct 1889 - Dec 1897 286 
(all but 21 are also in Bk A)
3 808,721 Dec 1897 - Feb 1901 320 
4 808,721 Mar 1901 - Dec 1903 319 
5 808,722 Jan 1904 - Aug 1906 240 
6 808,722 Aug 1906 - Aug 1909 318 
7 808,723 Sep 1909 - Sep 1912 327 
8 not available Oct 1912 - Aug 1914 51 online
(about 320 in book)
9 not available Sep 1914 - Nov 1917 4 online
(about 320 in book)
10 not available Dec 1917 - Jul 1918 7 online
(about 320 in book)
11 not available Aug 1918 - Jul 1919 8 online
(about 320 in book)
12 not available Aug 1919 - Jul 1920 8 online
(about 320 in book)
13 not available Aug 1920 - ? 1921 4 online
(about 320 in book)

Source Details and Transcription Notes

The marriages with a year in the Book column are from annual reports of births, deaths and marriages sent by the county clerks to the Kentucky state auditor. The pages were not numbered, but for most years there was only one page of marriages. Marriage records were included for the years 1856 through 1859, 1874 through 1878, 1893, and 1906 only.

Marriage Book A is a register, covering 1881-1913, in which ministers recorded which marriages they had performed since their last report. Many of the marriages in Book A are also in Book 1 or Book 2. If the data is the same in both entries, I have entered it once with both sources listed in the Bk and Pg columns. If the data differs, I've listed the marriage twice with a cross-reference in the Notes column.

The numbered books have a bond form on the left side, and a license application and return on the right side. In Books 1 and 2, very few of the license applications are in use (only about 1 in 50), and about half have only the bond. Book A can be considered a return, though, so I have noted "no return" only if there is no record of the marriage being performed in either Book A or the license book. In a few cases, there is a return but no bond. On those pages, the bond side has often been used for a completely different couple, that is, the left and right hand pages record different marriages.

Books 3 through 5 are like books 1 and 2, but the license application is nearly always filled in, and the bond is often not. The procedure seems to have finally changed to fit the forms.

The license application forms in Books 1 through 5 had a space for birthplace of the bride and groom and their parents. They didn't ask for the parent's names, just where they were born. I have consistently listed the birthplaces if they are different than Rowan Co. (In Books 1, 2 and the first part of Book 3 I sometimes omitted the birthplace from my notes, and thus this web site, if they were Rowan Co. Starting with the second half of Book 3 I began noting Rowan Co births as well.)

Starting with book 6, the form asked for the parents' names as well. Mothers of the spouses were listed under whatever surname they had at the time of the bridal couple's marriage. If the mother's surname is different than the father's surname, it is generally due to a remarriage, not due to its being her maiden name! To save space, I have sometimes entered parents' surnames as ditto marks if it is the same as the surname of their child.

Many of the pages have consent notes attached from parents or other guardians, written on whatever scrap the parent had at hand. Generally the existence of a consent note implies that the married person is underage, but in some cases the note explicitly says that the person being married is of age, and the note is only to attest that parental consent is not required. In the latter case, I have made a note of the fact. If the consent note explicitly identifies the relationship, then I have recorded the parent(s) with an f: or m: line. If the consent note doesn't identify the relationship, I have instead recorded it as "consent:", since consent was sometimes given by another relative or guardian.

These pages list the data exactly as it is given in the marriage books (or at least, as well as I could read it!) If a name, including place names, is misspelled or abbreviated in the book, I have left it the same way here, etc. (If the correct name is known to me but not obvious from the misspelling, I will put the correction in a note in parentheses.) All spelling variations on a given surname are sorted together under the most common spelling. For example, McKenzie and McKinzie are sorted together under McKenzie, and Pervis and Purvis are sorted together under Purvis.

Further information is available on many of these couples from my personal data files.

Grooms: A Ba Br Ca Cau Ch Co Cr D E F G Hal Han He I J K L Ma Mc Me N O Pa Ph Q Ra Ri Sa Sp T U V W Y-Z

Brides: A Ba Br Ca Cau Ch Co Cr D E F G Had Han He I J K L Ma Mc Me N O Pa Ph Q Ra Ri Sa Sp T U V W Y-Z

Elliott Co. KY Marriages

Morgan Co. KY Marriages

Bath Co. KY Marriages

Fleming Co. KY Marriages

Please send corrections or comments to Teri Pettit, 218 Highland Ave., Santa Cruz, CA 95060. Permission is granted to copy any information, images, or links from this page, so long as it is not used for commercial purposes.

The titling font used in the Rowan County banner boxes is 26 pt Adobe Caslon Semibold Italic, with capitals in Adobe Caslon Semibold Italic Swash.

Last updated on July 3, 2009