There are many websites where you can search historical marriage records, sometimes for free. Whether you want to quickly find out about a single marriage, or spend hours and hours researching your ancestry, this A to Z list should give you a good start.
Free? 14 day free trial
This website lets you search millions of birth, marriage, death and other records throughout the UK, up to the year 2005. You can register for a 14 day free trial which gives you full access, and is well worth doing if you are interested in family history. Ancestry.co.uk is incredibly comprehensive and has a thriving community, with plenty of tools to help you do your research. If you don’t want to stay a member you will need to cancel your membership before the 14 days are up.
Free? No (with some limited information for free) Years Covered: 1534 to 1865
BMD Registers is the official website for non-conformist and non-parochial birth, marriage and death records. It has records for Methodists, Wesleyans, Baptists, Independents, Protestant Dissenters, Congregationalists, Presbyterians, Unitarians, Quakers (Society of Friends), Dissenters and Russian Orthodox, maternity records, overseas records, prison records and more. This site, along with TheGenealogist, which is run by the same company, has the largest collection of non-conformist and non-parochial records in the UK. If you only want to look for non-conformist or non-parochial records, then use BMD Registers as it’s cheapest. If you also want to look at other records, then you will want to register with TheGenealogist. A point to remember – although Catholics and Jews are technically non-conformist, you won’t find records of these religions on BMD registers.
This site houses the International Genealogical Index (IGI), a database with millions of genealogy records contributed to by people from all over the world. This makes it the perfect site to check if you are trying to find a record of a marriage that may have taken place overseas. It does not have as many UK records as other sites listed here, but for free it’s worth a look.
Free? 14 day free trial
findmypast UK has parish records for marriages from 1538, the most complete census collection for England, Wales & Scotland and the most complete index of births, marriages & deaths between 1837 and 2006.
FreeBMD aims to record the entire civil registration index of births, marriages and deaths for England and Wales. That’s every single marriage in the UK between 1837 and 1983! It is not entirely complete yet, but does have over 200 million records for you to search through and is an excellent place to start searching.
Origins.net has over 80 million British and Irish genealogy records between 1209 and 1948.
The official Scottish genealogy resource with around 80 million records. You can find marriage records from as early as 1538, but expect patchy coverage if you’re going back this far. It’s not free and the pricing scheme is complex, but if you’re trying to find a marriage registered in Scotland this is your best place amongst all the sites on this page.
Billed as The Leading British Genealogy Research Website, TheGenealogist is hugely comprehensive, with a vast number of censuses and records. First you might want to read this helpful page showing what years they have marriage records for, arranged by county and town.