Many researchers who are hoping to prove a marriage are often frustrated by the lack of such records. In the colonial period, the parishes of the churches were supposed to record all marriages within the parish, even if the parties were members or not. Apparently sometimes it seems that this wasn't done or the records are not there. States had passed marriage license statues and some early counties or districtes did issue licenses and bonds.
Some states had marriage settlements, usually pre-martial agreements, which concern property and recorded in the deed books for the counties where the couple resided. These settlements are often found among Miscellaneous Records in the state archives.
Newspapers are some of the best sources for an exact date of marriage. Prior to 1860, newspapers were regional and covered several counties or districts. Check not only the county the couple had resided, but the surrounding counties.
Pension application from any war are apt to contain marriage record, especially those applications of widows. The widows were usually required to provide proof of their marriage to the soldier on whose services they claim a pension. Federal pensions from any war are available at the National Archives. For Confederate pensions, check the state's archives.
Church records may contain marriage records. Not all religions recorded marriage records. Your local Family History Library has microfilmed many church/parish records and are available to the researcher.
There are other records which will provide proof of a marriage such as wills, court cases and deeds. These often will even give date, a place of the marriage and the relationships which prove that a marriage had taken place. Abstracts of wills are a good source.
While they cannot prove if a couple completed their wedding ceremony, marriage announcements may provide the clues you need to find out.
There is no shortage of terms for a child born out of wedlock. Some of
the terms found in British birth registers include: Bantling, base,
base-born, bastardus, begotten in fornication, lovechild, come by chance,
in sin begotten, son of no certain man.
(With thanks to Antique Week, The A-Z Guide to Tracing Ancestors in Britain.)
Researching: BOCKRATH, BROCKMEYER, KORNBERGUS, KUPER, SCHMIDT, SCHUSTER, RICHT. firstname.lastname@example.org
Researching: ANDERSON, BELLERS, CAMP, CURRY, DALE, DICKEY, HERRINGTON, HUFSTEDLER, LEWELLEN, MCKENNON, MOORE (2), MURRY, SALMON, STORY, RAUTMANN, WHITWELL, WINKELER, WOOD. email@example.com
I am searching for information on Vincent & Anna VICTOR from Germany>Chicago, IL also Margaret E. (Victor) BLAKE CT>RI>MD>GA>FL & John H. BLAKE or Henry BLAKE RI>MD. Any info will be helpful. firstname.lastname@example.org (Kim Poire)
Seeking descendants of Jesse Brown, b. March 8, 1788, place unknown, who m. Lucy Staples, 1811, Elbert Co., Ga. Also, does anyone have any information on who his parents are? Broward224@aol.com
Reasearching: GYSI/GIESE/GEESEY/KEESEY and variations; BERGEN/BURGEN; ROSEMAN; HAMILTON; CRISWELL; MCCLEARY; GAMBER; YANKELOWITCH (YOUNG), others EJGumby@aol.com
CUMMINGS, Chauncey born 1790-1800 unknown Married 1829 West Springfield, Massachusetts to DANKS, Prudence Seeking his place of birth, email@example.com Karla Mattila
Osborn-Seeking same name researchers to share info. firstname.lastname@example.org (Karla)
James & Nancy (CROWLEY) MCMANUS lived in Huntingdon co, Quebec ca 1830-65. Children: James, Thomas, Hannah & families moved to Michigan late 1860's. Seeking Hugh & Rosy (perhaps married an O'LEARY & moved to Ohio). email@example.com.