County Clerk's Office Completes Digitization Of Over 150 Years Of Marriage Licenses

Monday, January 27, 2014

Hamilton County Clerk Bill Knowles announced on Monday that digitizing more than 150 years of county marriage records has been completed. The conversion process was started as time permitted beginning in 1996 by the Clerk’s office.

Mr. Knowles said, “This accomplishment ends a tedious process scrutinizing handwritten applications of the yesteryears.  Entry online of the final record book now offers the opportunity for citizens and public agencies to conduct marriage license research 24/7 dating back to 1857.

“Although Hamilton County was created by the state legislature in 1819, marriage license records are only available beginning with the year 1857. It is thought that some documents prior to 1857 were destroyed when the previous Courthouse was destroyed by fire in 1910.

“The deteriorating hard-bound books transferred to our web site will be safely stored in a protected environment. This accessible format will enable genealogists and other interested citizens to review non-sensitive data."

The historic marriage accounts may be researched by accessing When on the site, click Online Services, then Marriage Search & Reports.

Mr. Knowles said that the Chattanooga-Hamilton County Public Library and local genealogists have praised the project.

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