England, Cheshire, Marriage Bonds and Allegations (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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Cheshire
Cheshire

This collection consists of marriage bonds and allegations from the county of Cheshire for the years 1606-1900.

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England, Cheshire, Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1606-1900 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Cheshire,  England
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Location of Cheshire, England
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Record Description
Record Type Marriage Bonds and Allegations
Collection years 1606-1900
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Cheshire Archives and Local Studies


What is in This Collection?

This collection contains an index to various record types necessary to obtain a marriage license. The original records are held at the Cheshire Archives.

Marriage allegations and bonds were sworn statements filed by a bride and groom as part of a marriage license application. The allegation stated that there was no known reason that the marriage should not take place; bonds contractually obligated the signers to pay a sum of money if the allegation was incorrect. Until 1733, marriage bonds were written partly in Latin but the wording was standardized. Furthermore, the printed forms that were in use by the 1690s also help in deciphering the records. Reasons for obtaining marriage licenses are explained in the Marriage Allegations, Bonds and Licences in England and Wales article.


Jurisdictions

For a list of the parishes which historically made up this county with links to more information about each of them, see the Cheshire Parishes page.

Until 1847, the Diocese of Chester covered large portions of Lancashire and Yorkshire, so some parishes from these two counties may be present in this collection. It could be helpful to use the Historical Jurisdictions Map to locate pre-1851 parish boundaries.

What Can These Records Tell Me?

The following list indicates potential information provided in these records. It must be remembered that every record may not provide all the listed information, as record-keeping practices varied greatly over time.

Marriage Bonds and Allegations may include:

  • Names of bride and groom
  • Ages of bride and groom
  • Bride and groom’s occupations
  • Whether the individuals were single or widowed
  • Parish of residence
  • Where the marriage was to take place (sometimes included)
  • Parents’ name or signature (sometimes included)
  • If either of the marriage partners was a minor, the allegation would name the parent or guardian consenting to the marriage.

How Do I Search This Collection?

Before searching, it is best to know the following information:

  • Name of the person
  • Date range for the record

As you search, compare your results with this information to find a match.

Search the Index

  1. Go to the Collection Page
  2. Enter the requested information into the search box
  3. Click Search to return a list of possible matches

How Do I Analyze the Results?

Compare each result from your search with what you know to determine if there is a match. This may require viewing multiple records or images. Keep track of your research in a research log.


What Do I Do Next?

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?

  • Make sure to fully transcribe and cite the record entry for future reference. See below for assistance in citing this collection. Save or print a copy of the image if possible.
  • Be careful using the listed age to estimate a birth year. Rather than listing actual ages, clerks often wrote in 21 as the age of both the bride and groom to show that they each were of legal age.
  • If in the appropriate period, use the information which has been discovered to find the individual in civil records. Particularly useful for research in nineteenth-century England are the England Census and the England Civil Registration records.
  • Continue to search the index to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives. Note that family members often appear on an individual's vital records, such as in the role of witnesses to a marriage.

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?

  • Try variations of given names and surnames. An individual might appear under a different name in a record for a variety of reasons:
    1. An individual might have been listed under a middle name, nickname, or abbreviation of their given name.
    2. Spelling was not standardized for much of the period of this collection, so names were often spelled as scribes heard them. Pay attention to how the name should have been pronounced and try spelling variations that could have that pronunciation.
    3. Some women returned to their maiden names after the death of their husbands.
  • Vary the search terms. For example, search by either the given name or surname to return broader list of results which can then be examined for matches. Try expanding the date range as well; this is especially useful in searching baptismal records, as it was not unusual for a child to be baptized weeks or even months after birth.
  • Search the records of nearby parishes. For this particular collection, this step may require finding records in the bordering English counties of Lancashire to the north, Derbyshire to the east, Staffordshire or Shropshire to the south, or in the Welsh counties of Denbighshire and Flintshire to the west.

Citing This Collection

Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.

Collection Citation

"England, Cheshire, Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1606-1900." Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Citing Cheshire Record Office.

Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.

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