Madison County Genealogical Society

Collect. Preserve. Share.

Obtaining Marriage/Divorce Documents

Marriage Records

In 2010-2011, volunteers from the Madison County Genealogical Society salvaged, indexed, and filed documents from nearly 6800 early county marriages that had been destined for disposal.

The marriage document files may contain up to 4 documents:

1. Affidavit for License (aka License Application, Marriage Application, or Affidavit of Age)
2. Marriage License (gives permission from the government to marry)
3. Certificate of Marriage (aka Return of License, Marriage Certificate)
4. Return of Marriage (aka Health Department document) gives personal details of married parties including names, ages, place of birth, name of father, maiden name of mother, etc. Note: Return of Marriage document was not used before July 1880.

In some cases a handwritten permission letter was enclosed. Not all documents were preserved and many files are lacking one, two, or three of the four documents.


Divorce Records

In 2014-2015, volunteers from the Madison County Genealogical Society salvaged, indexed, and filed 870 divorce records from 1852-1935.  They often contain the petition by the plaintiff (person desiring divorce explains their reason).  A copy of these court records can be made available to you.

To see if the divorce has a file in the Madison County Courthouse, check  the list here.


Obtaining Copies of MARRIAGE or DIVORCE Documents

1. The Requestor shall send an email to including the name of the bride, groom, and date of marriage/estimated date of divorce.

2. An MCGS member will research and send a reply email containing a list of the documents available for that file.  The Requestor will be asked to submit a list of what documents are to be copied from those available.

3. The MCGS member will calculate the required fee. The fee for a single marriage or divorce document (one page) is $15.00. For files with two or more pages the fee will be $20.00. This amount includes copying fees required by the County Recorder or Clerk of Court offices and packaging/postage fees. If the file is exceptionally large, a higher fee will be discussed.

4. Via US mail, the Requestor remits a check in the required amount to the address below.   Once recieved, the MCGS member will copy and mail the documents to the Requestor.  Email will be used to confirm mailing and receipt of the documents.

Madison County Genealogical Society
P. O. Box 26
Winterset, Iowa 50273


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