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

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Access the records: England, Cheshire, Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1606-1900 .

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Record Description

This collection will include records from 1606 to 1900.

Most of the original marriage allegations have now been compiled and bound in volumes. Most of the original marriage allegations have been preserved. While many are in the custody of the diocese, others may be found in the records of the Vicar General and the faculty office of the Archbishop of Canterbury. Still others may be found in the county records office.

A marriage allegation is a sworn statement filed by the marriage participants in support of their license application. It is a statement that there is no reason that the marriage should not take place. Marriage licenses could be granted by the Archbishop of Canterbury, bishops, and archdeacons or their surrogates within their respective jurisdictions. The original allegations and bonds were held by the various Church officials. Most were later transferred to county record offices. Many records are now published by the respective diocese.

Allegations were created from the early 14th century to the present.

The marriage licensing process created three types of documents. One of these documents is the marriage allegation. The majority of English people were married by banns, not license, so they would not be party to a marriage allegation.

The information in a marriage allegation was provided by the marriage partners. The information is reliable.

Citation for This Collection

The following citation refers to the original source of the information published in FamilySearch.org Historical Records collections. Sources include the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records.

Church of England. England, Cheshire, marriage bonds and allegations. Cheshire Record Office, Chester, England.

Suggested citation format for a record in this collection.

Record Content

A marriage allegation lists:

  • Couple’s names
  • Couple’s ages
  • Couple’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 who was consenting to the marriage.

How to Use the Record

Some on-line indexes, such as indexes to FamilySearch Historical Records, will take you directly to an image. Compare the information in the marriage record to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct person. You may need to compare the information of more than one person to make this determination.

Beginning Your Search

Begin your search by finding your ancestors in the index. Name indexes to marriages make it possible to access a specific marriage record quickly. Remember that these indexes may contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

When searching the index it is helpful to know the following:

  • The name of the person at the time of marriage
  • The approximate marriage date
  • The marriage place
  • The name of the intended spouse
  • If an index is not available, you must know the jurisdiction where the allegation

Searching the Marriage Allegations

Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor.

Using the Information

When you have located your ancestor’s marriage record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family.

For example:

  • Use the marriage date and place as the basis for compiling a new family group or for verifying existing information.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth of each partner to find a couple's birth records and parents' names.
  • Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
  • Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.
  • Occupations listed can lead you to employment, workhouse, or guild records, military records, or other types of records.
  • Use the parents' birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
  • The name of the officiator is a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county. However, ministers may have reported marriages performed in other counties.
  • Compile the marriage entries for every person who has the same surname as the bride or groom; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
  • Continue to search the marriage records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the bride and groom who may have married in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
  • Use the marriage number to identify previous marriages.
  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.

Keep in mind:

  • Earlier records may not contain as much information.
  • There is also some variation in the information given from one marriage record to another record.

Can't Locate Your Ancestor?

If you are unable to find the ancestors you are looking for, try the following:

  • Check for variant spellings of the surnames.
  • Search for the marriage record of the marriage partner if known.
  • Search the indexes and records of nearby parishes.

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Contributions to this Article

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.

Citing FamilySearch Historical Collections

When you copy information from a record, you should list where you found the information. This will help you or others to find the record again. It is also good to keep track of records where you did not find information, including the names of the people you looked for in the records.

A suggested format for keeping track of records that you have searched is found in the wiki article Help:How to Cite FamilySearch Collections.

Citation Example for a Record Found in This Collection

"England, Cheshire, Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1606-1900," database, FamilySearch(https://familysearch.org: accessed 22 March 2012), William Ibberson and Elizabeth Levitt, 11 July 1848; citing Cathedral Church, reference Canterbury, FHL microfilm 1,894,810; Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1694-1882, Cheshire Record Office, Chester.