Indian Territory Marriage Records
Oklahoma marriage records are located in the court clerk’s office for the county in which the marriage took place. Prior to statehood in 1907, marriages of white citizens in Indian Territory were recorded in the recording districts of the United States Federal Court. For more information download the Marriage Records Research Guide (PDF 457kb).
The Oklahoma Historical Society’s holdings include records for McAlester, Vinita, and Ardmore.
The United States Federal Court, embracing most of the Indian Territory, was established at Muskogee in 1889. It included four districts.
- Northern District: established 1897, it covered the area of the Cherokee Nation and nations of the Quapaw Agency. Vinita was the court seat.
- Central District: established 1890, it covered the area of the Muscogee (Creek) and Seminole Nations. McAlester was the court seat.
- Southern District: established 1895, it covered the area of the Choctaw and Chickasaw Nations. Ardmore was the court seat.
- Western District: established 1889, it covered the area Chickasaw Country. Muskogee was the court seat.
Locating the Records
A number of present-day court clerk offices have custody of territorial marriage records. The following table shows a list of the counties where these records were originally kept, the number of volumes, and the period of time covered. Some of these records have been transcribed, published, or microfilmed.
|County||Volumes||Period of Time Covered||Where to Find Records|
|Muskogee||28||July 1890–November 1906||OHS has these records on microfilm; originals are held by the Muskogee County Court Clerk in Muskogee.|
|Carter||12||April 1895–February 2, 1934||These records have been microfilmed by the LDS Church and are available at the OHS Research Center. Mary Kinard’s index is also available in the Research Center. Originals are held by the Carter County Court Clerk in Ardmore.|
|Pittsburg||13||June 1890–November 1907||These records are in the custody of the OHS and available on microfilm. Microfilm of volumes 7–13 is available at the Pittsburg County Genealogical Society. Several volumes have been published by Ellen Tiffee of McAlester.|
|Craig||10||July 1902–October 1909||Records are in the custody of the Craig County Court Clerk in Vinita.|
|Atoka||3||June 1897–November 1907||Records are in the custody of the Atoka County Court Clerk in Atoka. Lynda Stout Massey and Clara Massey Nash have published Marriages Southern District Oklahoma Indian Territory, Book One 1897–1901.|
|Bryan||2||July 1902–October 1905||In the custody of the Bryan County Court Clerk in Durant.|
|Latimer||1||July 1906–November 1907||Records are believed to be in the custody of the Latimer County Court Clerk in Wilburton.|
|LeFlore||3||June 1897–November 1907||Records are believed to be in the custody of the Le Flore County Court Clerk in Poteau. The Poteau Valley Genealogical Society has published at least two volumes of the marriage records.|