@OP yes they are the same thing.
When you join a family by sparking into a member of a family you gain access to the effects of being a member.
That being said, the family you select has a huge impact on your social experience, and not just when interacting with other family members. Your choice of family (and their social class) impacts how other NPCs, OPCs, and players interact with you. The family you select will also determine things like what type and how big your starting house is, and how much land your family has for farming, mining, breeding, and other land-based activities. Finally, there's a set of game mechanics tied directly to the family system.
These are, in no particular order:
Family members on the same continent can send private messages to one another.
Members can always sense that a family member has been slain and is Spirit Walking.
Members can find their way to a family member's body.
Family members help increase each other's life span by creating a reason to live.
Line of succession as well as items naturally pass on to heirs when someone passes away.
Family members automatically get keys to shared household resources and can access and process the land without breaking laws.
Family members can always see through disguises.
Family impacts fame, which affects how much spirit you lose when Spirit Walking.
If Family members are grouped up, they will receive temporary attribute boosts and stamina boosts via the bolstering mechanic. (Stamina will be set to the level of the highest family member in the group)
As for marriage I believe currently you choose which family to be a member of.