Where to Search Marriage Records

There are many different places to look for marriage records – here is a helpful list.

Genealogy Websites

This is a list of websites where you can search through marriage records, along with plenty of other family history records. Some are free and some offer a free trial. They make a great place to start searching, nice and easy to do from home.

County record offices

Most counties in the UK have one main record office, where lots of historical documents relevant to that county are stored. These records go back many hundreds of years. They are usually free and open to the public, and some even have records you can search online.
Record offices in England
Record offices in Scotland
Record offices in Wales

Society of Genealogists

The Society of Genealogists has the largest collection of family history material in the United Kingdom. Over 9 million family history records are available online. There is also a library you can visit in person.
Society of Genealogists

The National Archives

The National Archives (TNA) is a public institution which stores and maintains the records of central government and the courts of law. It houses the majority of national records for England and Wales, going back as far as the Anglo-Saxon era. TNA does not hold any marriage records, but it is still useful if you cannot track down the record of a marriage. It holds wills, deeds, military rolls, occupational records and much more, any of which could provide a vital clue in your search. Much of the material is accessible online, and you can also see documents in person. You will need to register with TNA and provide proof of identity to do so. See the website for further details.
The National Archives

National Library of Wales

The National Library of Wales holds a wealth of information about family history and marriage, including bishops’ transcripts and applications for marriage licences. Much of it is online and searchable for free, and you can also visit in person.
National Library of Wales

Lambeth Palace Library

The Library holds a few marriage records, mainly bonds and allegations relating to those married by licence issued under the Archbishop of Canterbury. You can search some records on the Lambeth Palace Library website.

Other Useful Sources

Sometimes you will need to check other record sources which don’t have marriage data, but could still help you in your search, for example to verify whether someone is who you think they are. These are those sources that you may find of help.

The Clergy of the Church of England Database 1540-1835 (CCEd)

This combines records of clergy from over 50 archives in England and Wales into one database searchable online for free. You can find out birth and death dates, where someone was appointed, and lots of other information about clergy between the years 1540-1835. It could prove vital if you want to verify the existence of an ancestor.
The Clergy of the Church of England Database 1540-1835 (CCEd)

 

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