Ancestry Launched Historical Marriage Index Collection

Ancestry announced the launch of the first phase of the Marriage Index collection, powered by cutting-edge technology. They trained machine learning algorithms to comb through more than 600 million pages of digitized newspapers to extract and identify key names, relationships and other facts from marriage and engagement announcements in historical newspapers via text classification.

The Marriage Index collection adds to the world’s largest, searchable digital archive of newspaper published historical wedding announcements. Since the early 1800s, newspapers across the country have been publishing rich information about engagements, marriage license applications, wedding announcements, and more.

In addition to the names of the couple, these records often provide rich details about family members, including ages, residence and parents’ names. By indexing these data and records in ways that would take humans a great deal of time, Ancestry is continuing to empower journeys of personal discovery, and their members can now easily search these indexes with just one click.

The first phase of this release contains information from over 200 million records from over 50 million lists and marriage announcements dating from 1800-1999. List marriage announcements were usually a weekly list of couples that had applied for a marriage license that week, and contain basic information about the couple.

Non-list marriage announcements might include brief or detailed write-ups with more information about the wedding. Ancestry expects the remaining names from the lists and marriage records from 2000-present will be published on Ancestry in 2021. Over the next year, they anticipate completing the collection for a total of up to 300M marriage announcement records from newspapers on

The first phase of the Marriage Index is now available on Ancestry to all subscribers and the original marriage announcement articles and images are available on Members with a Publisher Extra subscription have a 1-click option to view every full announcement on

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