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 Marriage Records in the UK

Marriage Records before 1837

Births, Marriage and Death records (BMDs) are kept by the General Register Office (GRO) of England & Wales, part of the National Office of Statistics (ONS). These records have been kept by law since 1837, detailing every birth, marriage and death recorded in England & Wales since that date.

For records before 1837, you have to turn to Parish Registers. You will usually find parish registers at the local County Record office, or, if you have access to the Internet, at websites like TheGenealogist that offer Parish Register transcripts and other services (e.g. census, bmds, etc).

The information included in marriage records vary:

Information on a Record: before 1754

Marriage Records before 1754 contained simply the names of the bride and groom and the date of the marriage. Some very early registers (in the 1500s) simply contain entries like "John Smith married his wife".

There was one exception - if the bride and groom were from different parishes than where the marriage was being performed, then the parish of residence (where the person was living at the time) was stated.

 

Information on a Record: 1754 - 1837

In 1754, new legislation was passed which stated that everyone had to marry in a licensed parish church in their own parish.

A pre-printed marriage register was used to record marriages, and this recorded the following:

- Name & Parish of both the Bride and Groom
- Date
- Signatures of Bride & Groom
- Signature of Clergyman performing the ceremony
- Signatures of two witnesses

Where can I view Parish Registers?

You will usually find parish registers at the local County Record office, however there are more and more registers being made available online at websites such as TheGenealogist.co.uk and BMDRegisters.co.uk.

Parish registers for various parishes across England and Wales are also available on CD. There is a huge collection available at S&N Genealogy Supplies, and many more at GENfair.

For more information about Parish Registers, visit ParishRegister.co.uk.

 

Parish Register CD Reviews

March 2012

Catholic Records: Obituaries 1722-1839

Originally published in 1913 by the Catholic Record Society, this volume includes the obituaries of Catholic priests from 1722 to 1783. There are also obituaries of Catholic clergy (English and French) and religious women from 1773 to 1839... READ FULL REVIEW...

February 2012

New Data CDs

S&N's newest releases are sure to be a boon to your research ... READ FULL REVIEW...

Catholic Records: Miscellanea Vol III

Following Catholic Miscellanea Vol II, this CD contains early 20th century Catholic registers, along with some more unusual records... READ FULL REVIEW...

January 2012

Registers of the Cathedral Church of Rochester

This transcription of the parish registers of Rochester was originally privately published in 1892... READ FULL REVIEW...

December 2011

Catholic Records: Miscellanea Vol II

We looked at the first volume of this series in the September issue of FHM (200), and noted that it contained the first ever published record series from the Catholic Record Society. Hot on its heels, we now have the second volume in the same series, which was published in 1906... READ FULL REVIEW...

November 2011

Catholic Records: Miscellanea Vol 1

Clare Baranowski reviews this month's data CDs for family historians... READ FULL REVIEW...

Data CDs: New Releases

S&N Genealogy Supplies have added the following data CDs to their list... READ FULL REVIEW...

April 2011

The Parsons and Parish Registers of Medmenham

Matt Elton reviews this month's data CDs for family historians. READ FULL REVIEW...

January 2011

Wingfield Church Registers

This volume of information relating to the Suffolk parish of Wingfield was privately published in 1925, by Vicar Aldwell, the parish incumbent. It comprises a range of historical information, extracts from wills, transcriptions of parish registers and monumental inscriptions. READ FULL REVIEW...

December 2010

Wingfield Church Registers 1538-1838

This digital version of Wingfield: Its Church, Castle and College is a great way to access parish records. Starting off with a map and chapters containing short local histories, the bulk of the document is the 130 pages of baptism, marriage and burial entries. There's also a few pages of monumental inscriptions from the church graveyard and extracts from wills administered in the parish from 1375 to 1504... READ FULL REVIEW...

August 2010

Sussex Records 1438-1603

Those of you with roots that stretch back to 15th-century Sussex may find this latest offering from S&N particularly useful. The CD contains a PDF of a 1904 book published by the Sussex Record Society... READ FULL REVIEW...

March 2010

Churchyard Inscriptions of London

Given the disjointed nature of monumental inscriptions online, resources that cover a large area, such as this CD for London, are always welcome. The fact that this was originally published in 1910 and contains inscriptions of stones that have since been removed is a real boon for finding out more about your London forebears and their final resting places. READ FULL REVIEW

(Reviews from GenealogyReviews.co.uk)