• Jan Mitchell-McDermott

No Microfilm Wait for Kentucky Marriages


Until recently, you had to order microfilm to see images of historical records that are not online but available on microfilm. Many of these collections are becoming available online through the FamilySearch Catalog. If you have ancestors from Kentucky, you will be pleased to know that you can get to the actual record images for Kentucky, County Marriages, 1791-1954 through the FamilySearch Catalog.

You can locate this particular collection from FamilySearch.org by clicking on "Search" then "Records" and selecting the Kentucky from the map and scrolling through the list of Kentucky historical record collections.

You need to keep in mind that not every collection has been indexed completely. If you do not find your ancestor in the search results, you can choose to browse through the images. This feature is beneath the search button.

You may get overwhelmed by all the digital folders containing images. Don't feel bad, most people do.

We want to show you how to access the images that are available through the FamilySearch.org for collections that are not completely indexed and for collections that are only available in the Catalog.

1. Go to FamilySearch.org

2. Hover over the Search link on the toollbar.

3. Select Catalog.

Next, let's search for a county in Kentuclky. Let's try Kentucky, Clay County:

This brings up all the resources in the Catalog for Clay County, Kentucky. A marriage record is a vital record, so look for vital records:

There are so many collections to choose from:

We will select the one above because it is closest to the time period we need:

See the red line in the cellection description below?

While that is not the direction we want to go, it is helpful to know where it leads when you click on it. If you had been searching the catalog and came across a collection that is actually online, you will see the red notice to click to go to the collection online. The link takes you back to where we started:

See the link to browse through each image? This is where we decided it was too overwhelming:

So scroll down from the search result we selected above:

This is where you will see collections with a camera icon. This means they are viewable online:

We are looking to document a marriage between 1920 and 1922:

To view the collection, click on the camera icon:

Double-click on any image to see it in full screen:

Click on this icon from any of the collections to go back to the thumbnail view:

Remember this collection is only partially indexed. Many times only the browse image feature is available. Searching images from within the Catalog is one step better than having to order the microfilm. You are just accessing the records one image at a time.

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