Many of us with research interests in North East Ohio have utilized the Cuyahoga County Historical Marriage Index mounted on a database server called Courtview 2000.
And as many of us discovered beginning about Jan 6, the Historical Marriage Index has gone “missing in action.” The common bookmark, www.probate.cuyahogacounty.us/ml/, now takes you to the Marriage License Registration page of the Cuyahoga County Probate Court where couples can apply for a marriage license.
Being the curious person that I am, I called the telephone number at 216-443-8920 “for further information.” At the end of a recorded message with instructions for obtaining a marriage license or a certified copy of a license, there was another message suggesting that you call another number if you had further questions. I called that number, 216-443-8947, and the clerk who answered told me that the Courtview 2000 server has been shut down. She then gave me instructions to access what is currently available in the category of historical marriage records.
You can use Search by Case, in which you can specify Case Year, Case Category (these include Adversarial, Civil/Miscellaneous, Draw Down, Estate, Guardianship, MARRIAGE, Non-Case, Trust, and Will), and Case Number.
You more likely will use Search by Person, with search terms including First Name, Middle Name, Last Name, Party Role (of interest to us are Bride or Groom), Case Year, and Case Category (these categories are the same as named above under Search by Case).
The Last Name category must contain at least two letters. All the other search term windows can be left clear, but the search engine will return many extra search results.
Search results are provided quickly and include names and dates. Records for marriages before 1998 do not include the actual marriage date in the index entry. What we want and need, however, is provided: i.e., the volume number and page number to access the proper record on microfilm. To this extent, you would access an actual marriage record as you did when the Courtview 2000 Historical Marriage Index was available—you had to look at microfilm to learn the marriage details.
Be advised, however, that there are other new resources for finding marriage records in Cuyahoga County. Ancestry.com has recently added a new database with linked images called “Cuyahoga County, Ohio, Marriage Records and Indexes, 1810-1973.” The first 130 years (i.e., through 1940) include images linked to the index, and after that, the images linked to the search engine are marriage record index pages.
With the Courtview 2000 Historical Marriage Index, once you found a marriage you were interested in, you had to go to Western Reserve Historical Society, the Cuyahoga County Archives, or the Genealogy Department of the Fairview Park Library to view the microfilm of images. Now you can acquire images of marriage records through 1940 at home if you have an Ancestry.com subscription or at a library with Ancestry Library edition. You can print out the images or save them as jpeg photo files.
From the Ancestry index, if you find marriages from 1942 through 1971 that you are interested in, you need to go to the microfilm to obtain images of the licenses and returns. WRHS has microfilm through 1960. Fairview Park Library has microfilm through Volume 200 (Oct 1949). The County Archives also has microfilm of marriage records. You also have the option of requesting certified copies from the Marriage License Bureau for $2 each. The address: Cuyahoga County Probate Court, Marriage License Department, 1 Lakeside Avenue, Room 146 (1st Floor), Cleveland, Ohio 44113.
Another source of records is www.familysearch.org. There currently are two databases offered by FamilySearch: Ohio, County Marriages, 1790-1950, and Ohio Marriages, 1800-1958. These databases are name indexes and images of county marriage records acquired from local courthouses, including Cuyahoga County. Currently this collection is 75% complete, and additional records will be added as they are completed.
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