Marriage Registers Before 1754

Before 1754 marriage registers contained just the names of the bride and groom and the date of the marriage. Some very early registers of the 1500s simply have an entry such as “John Smith married his wife”.

The exception to having just the names was where one or both the bride and groom were from a different parish than that where the marriage was being performed, and then the parish of normal residence was almost always stated. Do not confuse this with the parish of origin (where a person was born). The record shows where the person was living at the time.

In the example below, part of the marriage register for Halloughton, Nottinghamshire in 1697 and 1698, shows the parish of residence of the people concerned.

Wm.Benson & Mary Woods both of Upton were marryed July 8th

John Neepe of Southwell & Eliza: [Elizabeth] Johnson of Halam were marryed September 21

1698 James Dring of Colliston & Eliz Susanna Benner of Bottesford in the County of Leicester were marryed April 21.

A page of the marriage register for Southwell, Nottinghamshire 1732-1734, very unusual in that the entries were well spaced out on the page rather than in lines close together, with was the normal practice to save space on the expensive vellum pages.

A section of the same page. Particularly pleasing as it shows the marriage of my direct ancestors John Neep & Katherine Sardison on January 31 1734

For old and rare books on CD , including marriage register transcripts –Parish Chest