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England, Durham Diocese, Marriage Bonds and Allegations (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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England, Durham Diocese, Marriage Bonds & Allegations, 1692-1900
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Durham,  England
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Record Description
Record Type Marriage Bonds and Allegations
Collection years 1692-1900
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Durham University


What is in This Collection?[edit | edit source]

This collection consists of marriage bonds and allegations for the Diocese of Durham, covering the period 1692-1900. Availability of records may vary by time and locality.

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. Due to both tradition and a fee associated with obtaining a marriage license, most English couples were married by banns, not by license, and so would have neither a marriage allegation nor its related bond. However, families able to pay the fee would often avoid the reading of public banns and obtain a license, since many families did not like the thought of public objection to the intended marriage. Before the 1830s, nonconformists were required to marry officially in the Church of England, so most applied for licenses rather than having their marriage announced by banns.

The earliest allegations were entirely handwritten, while later allegations were filled out on preprinted pages. Most of the originals have been preserved, having been compiled and bound in volumes which are now in the custody of either the diocese or the county records office. Others may be found in the records of the Vicar General and the faculty office of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

To Browse This Collection[edit | edit source]

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for England, Durham Diocese, Marriage Bonds & Allegations, 1692-1900.

What Can These Records Tell Me?[edit | edit source]

Marriage Records may contain:

  • Names of the marriage partners
  • Ages of the marriage partners
  • Occupations of the marriage partners
  • Marital statuses before marriage
  • Parishes of residence
  • Parish where the marriage was to take place
  • Names and signatures of parents, esp. if one of the marriage partners was a minor

Collection Content[edit | edit source]

Sample Images[edit | edit source]

How Do I Search This Collection?[edit | edit source]

Before searching this collection, it is helpful to know:

  • The name of the bride and groom
  • The approximate date of marriage

Search the Index[edit | edit source]

Search by name by visiting the Collection Page.
  1. Fill in the search boxes on the Collection Page with the information you have
  2. Click Search to show possible matches

View the Images[edit | edit source]

View images in this collection by visiting the Browse Page:

  1. Select Year
  2. Select Durham University Reference Number to view the images.

How Do I Analyze the Results?[edit | edit source]

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.

Many of the records in this collection are written in an old script that may be challenging to read. Refer to BYU’s Script Tutorial for assistance with reading the records.

What Do I Do Next?[edit | edit source]

I Found the Person I Was Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Save or print a copy of the image if allowed to do so
  • If an age is given, estimate a birth year and search for a birth record
  • If a parent's name is listed, look in past census records for the person as a child
  • Use the names of the bride and groom to search for the new family in future censues
  • Note that family members often appear on an individual's vital records, such as in the role of witnesses to a marriage
  • Continue to search the index for people with the same surname to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives

I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking For, What Now?[edit | edit source]

  • Check for variants of given names, surnames, and place names
  • Transcription errors could occur in any handwritten record
  • Remember that it was not uncommon for an individual be listed under a nickname or an abbreviation of their name
  • Vary the search terms. For example, search by either the given name, surname, or expend the date range to return a broader list of possible matches
  • Search the records of nearby localities
    • Tyne, Wear, and Northumberland to the north
    • Cumbria to the west
    • North Yorkshire to the south
  • Note that marriages often took place in the parish where the bride resided
  • 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
  • Look at the actual image of the record to verify the information found in the online description, if possible

Research Helps[edit | edit source]

The following articles will help you in your research for your family in Durham.


Citing This Collection[edit | edit source]

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:
The citation for this collection can be found on the Collection Details page in the section Citing this Collection.
Record Citation:
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.
Image Citation:
When looking at an image, the citation is found on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen.

How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?[edit | edit source]

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.