Marriage Records in the UK
Marriage Records after 1837
To find an ancestors' marriage records after 1837, you can look at BMD indexes from the GRO.
'BMD' stands for Births, Marriages & Deaths, and these records are kept by the General Register Office (GRO) of England & Wales. These records have been kept by law since 1837, detailing every birth, marriage and death recorded in England & Wales since that date. These records are used to issue birth, marriage and death certificates. The GRO also hold an index to the records, which can be used to find individual records.
Information on a Marriage Record after 1837
From July 1837 (when civil registration of marriages began in England), it was possible to marry in a Register Office, a non-conformist chapel or a Catholic church which had been licensed for marriages. A new register
book was used, which included much more information than previously. This included:
- Name, Age, Profession & Residence of Groom
- Name, Age, Profession & Residence of Bride
- Date & Year when married
- Where they married
- Condition of Bride & Groom (e.g. widow, bachelor)
- Groom's Father's Name & Profession
- Bride's Father's Name & Profession
- Signatures of Bride & Groom
- Signature of person performing the ceremony
- Signatures of two witnesses
- Whether married by licence or by banns
Where can I view BMD Records?
There are a number of websites such as TheGenealogist.co.uk and BMDIndex.co.uk that give you access to the BMD indexes. Unfortunately the certificates can't be searched online, only the indexes are available.
Obtaining a Marriage CertificateSource: ukmarriages.org