Was the License Returned?

If you’ve located an entry in local marriage records that a license was issued for your ancestor, have you determined if the license was returned? The issuance of a license means only that a license was issued and that a couple was intending to get married.

Usually cancelled licenses are returned and “cancelled” is written somewhere on or near the entry in the record indicating the license was issued. But not always. Sometimes they are just not returned.

Sometimes licenses that are used are not returned by the officiant, even if the marriage took place.



2 thoughts on “Was the License Returned?

  1. Beverley Zierow

    I discovered this too when researching my Petruska grandparents. they were married in May 1907 in Pennsylvania. when I sent for their marriage record, the state said they had never been married. I found a copy of their marriage license signed by their priest and mailed it to the state. the state thanked me for registering their marriage which occurred in 1907. however, i wonder what future family genealogists will think as the registration date is August 1981.

  2. Sandra Johnson

    My mother’s grandparents were Irish Catholics. They took out a license and then were married in the
    Catholic church. No license returned.


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