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How to use these records

This online index to the official marriage records of Bay County, Florida, was extracted from the Bay County official marriage records. If you find a marriage of interest here, we recommend that you examine the original record. Each entry in Bay County Marriage books actually contains three different kinds of records:
The license authorizing a marriage.
The certificate of marriage event itself.
The official record of the return of the license, indicating when and where the marriage actually took place (if it did).

Bay County, Florida, Marriage Record books are maintained by the Bay County Clerk of Courts at 300 East 4th Street in Panama City, Florida. Microfilms of the original records are available for viewing at the Bay County Library. The following films contain the records indexed here:

MF781 1913 – 1925 books 1 and 2
MF770 1916 – 1936 books 3 and 4
MF771 Feb 7, 1936 – Aug 18, 1942 books 5 and 6
MF772 Aug 18, 1942 – Jan 12, 1945 books 7 and 8
MF773 Jan 12, 1945 – Oct 19, 1951 books 9 and 10
MF774 Jun 2, 1948 – Sep 9, 1954 books 10-12
MF775 Sep 1, 1954 – Aug 7, 1959 books 12 and 13

Microfilm copies of Bay County Marriage Records for the period 1913-1952 are also available from the Family History Library. FHL microfilm numbers

The entries in this online index, by contrast, include only the names of the bride and groom, the marriage date; and the volume, page, and certificate number of the original record in marriage books in the Bay County Courthouse. In a few cases, the marriage license was never returned. This is indicated in the index by "nmr" (for no marriage return) following the surname of the bride or groom.

Researchers are reminded that this index is not an original record and does not contain primary evidence. It is derived from the original marriage records, and as such, is subject to errors of misreading, misinterpretation, omission, and mistyping. As is true with any derived information, it is important for researchers to examine the original records to be sure that the information is accurate and complete. For example, the original books typically reveal the following information not included in the index:
Date the marriage license was issued and the name of the issuing official.
Place where the marriage took place; name and title of the conducting official.
Date the license was returned to the courthouse (if it was not, the wedding may never have occurred).
Name of the official who recorded the return.
Names and residences of witnesses to the wedding.

Early Bay County marriages

Researchers need to be aware that Bay County was created in 1913. Prior to that time, marriages in the area that is now Bay County may have been recorded in Washington or Calhoun Counties. As a convenience to researchers, the earliest Washington County Marriage Records Index, transcribed in 1996 by BCGS members, is included here. It covers the period 1877-1914, containing about 4284 marriages, and has been sorted by both brides and grooms. If you find an ancestor in this index, you can borrow the microfilm of the original marriage record books from the Family History Library to examine the details. Or you can request a copy from the
Washington County Clerk of the Court
P.O. Box 647
Chipley, FL 32428
Phone: 850 638-6285 ext. 244
The charge is $2.50 per copy. You wil need to provide the date, bride's and groom's names, book, and page number.

A Calhoun County Marriage Records Index transcript for the period 1862-1899 is linked here, courtesy of the Calhoun County, FL, GenWeb. If you find an ancestor in this index, you can examine a microfilm copy of the original marriage record books at a Family History Center in your community.

Some early marriages were announced in the Panama City Pilot newspaper. An index to those announcements is included here for the period 1907-1916. Both brides and grooms have been combined in a single list. Please note that the dates in this index are newspaper publication dates, NOT the date of the marriage. This index was extracted from microfilm copies of the Panama City Pilot. The microfilms are availble in the Bay County Public Library.

If you are unable to come to the Library to obtain a copy of the announcement, you may contact the Bay County Public Library to request a copy. You must provide the names of the bride and groom, and the date, page, and column of the newspaper. You may call the Bay County Public Library at 850-522-2130 or email for assistance.

Abbreviations used in this index

  • ( ) parenthesis = Maiden Name
  • [ ] brackets = Author's Note/Input/Clarification
  • aka = also known as
  • b/o = brother of
  • d/o = daughter of
  • f/o = father of
  • LHRVF = Local History Room Vertical File - People - PC Pilot 1907-1916
  • h/o = husband of
  • m/o = mother of
  • nmr = no marriage return
  • s/o = son of
  • w/o = wife of

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