GuidedResearch:Why Can't I Find the Record - London Marriages

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London Marriages - What else you can try

This page will give you additional guidance and resources to find marriage information for your ancestor. Use this page after first completing the marriage section of the London Guided Research page.

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Additional online resources

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Additional Databases and Online Resources





Substitute records

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Additional Records with Marriage Information

Substitute records may contain information about more than one event and are used when records for an event are not available. Records that are used to substitute for marriage events may not have been created at the time of the marriage. The accuracy of the record is contingent upon when the information was recorded. Search for information in multiple substitute records to confirm the accuracy of these records.

Use these substitute records to locate marriage information about your ancestor:
Wiki Page
FamilySearch(FS) Collections
Why to search the records
Marriage Registration
See Wiki page
Civil marriage registration lists the marriage date and place and the names, ages, marital condition, professions, residences, and fathers of the bride and groom.
Birth Registration
See Wiki page
Civil birth registration lists the child's birth date and place and parents (including the maiden name of the mother).
Census Records
England Census FS Collections
Census records from 1851 onward lists the relationship to the head of household and marital status of every individual. The 1911 census lists the number of years married.
Nonconformist Records
See Wiki page
Society of Friends (Quakers) and other nonconformist churches, such as the Presbyterian Church, also have marriage parish registers.
Church Death and Burial Records
London Death Guided Research
Go back to the London Guided Research page, and click on "Death". Death and burial parish registers may include a relation of the deceased (often the spouse).
Newspapers
See Wiki page
May contain marriage notices or obituaries. Obituaries may list the deceased's spouse.
Military Records
See Wiki page
Military records, after 1707, may include the spouse and children of the individual.
Poor Law Records
See Wiki page
May contain the marital status and family members (including spouse) of the individual.






Improve searching

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Tips for finding marriages

Successfully finding marriage records in online databases depends on a few key points. Try the following search suggestions:

  • Spelling variations. Your ancestor's name may be misspelled. Search with spelling variations for the first and last name of your ancestor.
  • Search given name. Search by given name by leaving out the last name.
  • Search for bride. Search by the bride’s name rather than the groom’s name.
  • Add information. For common names, add more information to narrow the search such as approximate year of marriage or the county the marriage took place in.
  • Date range. Expand the date range of the search by 5 years.
  • Search county. Search using the county name only instead of by parish.





Why the record may not exist

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Known Record Gaps

Records Start
Mandatory marriage registration started in 1837. However, universal compliance did not occur until 1874. Before 1837, marriages and banns can be found in church records (mainly the Church of England). Although the oldest marriage records date to 1538, many parish churches did not start recording marriages until the 1600s.

Records Published

Records Destroyed
Some church records may have been lost, destroyed, or damaged (especially in the 1500s and early 1600s). More specific information is not known. Civil registration records are generally complete.