Division of Archives and Records Service

Sealing the Deal: Tooele County Clerk’s Office Unlocks the Vault with Historic Marriage Records

Each year, the Utah State Historical Records Advisory Board (USHRAB) awards grants to organizations throughout the state to assist with the preservation and public access of our state’s history. These grants are made possible by funding from the National Historical Records and Publications Commission, opens in a new tab at the National Archives. As we get ready for the USHRAB’s 2024 funding season, we’re going to spend the next couple weeks getting to know our current grantees projects and the work the Board does to make Utah history more accessible.

The Tooele County Clerk’s Office works to provide outstanding customer service to Tooele County residents in the areas of official documentation and elections, and to accurately and efficiently keep a historical record of county-conducted business.

What is one fun fact about your organization that the general public might not know?

Every member of our team has taken a field trip to the State Archives and the State Records Center specifically to get jazzed about historical records! Our natural organizing tendencies make this an ideal project for our office.

What is your project? What kinds of documents are you working with?

Our project aims to make all Tooele County marriage licenses 75 years and older available for public search without the need for filling out a records request form.

Projects like this take a lot of time, labor, and care to complete. Can you tell us a little about the folks who will be working on this project? What are their roles, responsibilities, and motivations?

We have five clerks in the office that are all dedicated to helping complete this project. We handle a variety of tasks including elections, passports, business licensing, etc, but we have a special place in our hearts for record-keeping. 

Why did you/your organization choose these documents as your project? What makes these items special or significant?

Marriage licenses are vital records. Folks need them for legal purposes such as name changes and social security benefits. We know and understand the value of historical documents. Preservation of such things is a critical part of what we do day to day. We also recognize the important role marriage records play in family history work. We are thrilled to use today’s technology to share these documents with the public.

Once this project is complete, what will your organization do with these records? Do you have any exhibits (in-person or digital), unveiling, etc that you would like to do?

After project completion, our goal is to send these to the State Archives for long-term preservation.  These are vital records, documenting a critical function of our society. As such, they require climate-controlled care and storage, which we know the State Archives provides. 

What do you hope that the general public will do with these records once they are accessible?

Helping folks connect with their ancestors is a primary purpose for these older records. Many find joy in studying the past and learning where and who they came from. These records provide a milestone along that journey of discovery.

Is there anything else you would like people to know about your organization or project?

This project will continue long after the grant period is over. We intend to continually add records to the public search as they reach the 75 year mark. We hope this practice will continue long after we’re gone.

The USHRAB’s grant program is funded by a State Board Programming Grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission at the National Archives. The USHRAB assists public and private non-profits, as well as non-Federal government entities throughout the State of Utah in the preservation and use of historical records.