Vital records (birth, marriage, death) have always been a valuable source of family information and sought after by genealogists. The Jewish Marriage Contract (Ketubah) is no exception. The information in the Jewish record actually complements the information in the civil record: the civil record typically identifies the bride and groom by giving their family names whereas the Jewish record gives their fathers’ names instead.

There is a basic difference between the civil and religious marriage records in that one focuses on the union and the other on the termination of the union. This talk discusses what is contained in the Jewish marriage contract, tells what it really means, and provides information that can be useful to family historians.