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Again to the Fundamentals with Marriage Data Half 3: Church Marriage Data | The Global Today

Church marriage information are a typical document set utilized in family tree analysis for a lot of European nations. Church marriage information can be present in U.S. analysis. Relying on the time interval and state, chances are you’ll discover Church of England parish marriage information, like in colonial Virginia, Catholic church marriages, Lutheran church marriages, and so forth. Figuring out the faith of your ancestors will help you establish which church they could have been married in. Civil marriage information typically identify the one who carried out the wedding, and that may additionally lead you to find out the place they have been married. Generally the church marriage document will reveal extra info than the civil marriage document – probably the names of the dad and mom, locations of origin, witnesses, and so forth.

This publish is the third in our Again to the Fundamentals with Marriage Data sequence. In two earlier posts, Diana and I wrote about marriage information:

Again to the Fundamentals with Marriage Data Half 1: Marriage Bonds by Nicole

Again to the Fundamentals with Marriage Data Half 2 : Substitute Marriage Data by Diana

Polish Church Marriage Data

I requested our workforce of researchers at Household Locket Genealogists for examples of how church marriage information have helped of their initiatives. Alice Childs shared her expertise utilizing  church marriage information in Poland. She stated,

“Once I labored on the Kunch venture, the Polish (church) marriage information have been very useful in extending Michael Kunch’s line. The information named the bride and groom’s dad and mom and often the daddy of every guardian. Earlier Polish church information will be accessed free on-line. Those I used have been on the Przemysl Archives.  I wrote a weblog publish about Polish information that features step-by-step directions for accessing the church information on this website: More moderen information have to be obtained in individual. I employed a researcher in Poland to retrieve these for me.”

French Church Marriage Data

One other of the researchers on our workforce shared her expertise utilizing French marriage information. From Melanie Whitt:

Much like the Polish church information for marriages, French church information are fairly informative. That is really the case within the European nations with a state church the place I’ve researched: Sweden, Norway, France, Germany, Belgium, and Italy. French church information for marriages (predominant previous to the arrival of état civil in 1792/3) sometimes document the identify, residence, occupation, age, and names of oldsters (additionally whether or not dwelling or deceased) for each the bride and groom. Witnesses have been typically relations and typically the connection is famous.

Moreover, if both the bride or groom have been widowed, the identify of the sooner partner was often recorded, too. Although there could also be some slight chronological/regional variation in information factors, I’ve seen this full set of information on marriage entries way back to the early 1600s. All French church information are held geographically throughout the archives for every division. You may google the division identify with the phrases “archives departementales” (or departmental archives) to seek out the related departmental archives web site. As soon as there, you’ll must know the commune (primarily the parish throughout the division) the place your topics lived/married. French church information usually are fairly organized, ample and stuffed with invaluable info. They middle on baptêmes (baptisms), mariages (marriages), and sépultures (burials). Margin notes (or typically the entry itself) can typically lead you from one set of information to a different, permitting you to readily join these very important occasions for a person.

Church of England Marriage

My fourth-great-grandfather, Edward Creer, married Ann Morris on 21 June 1835 in Chorley Parish, Lancashire, England. The wedding document comprises the names and residences of the bride and groom. It consists of their “state,” i.e. bachelor and spinster, which means they hadn’t been married earlier than. The wedding included the names of two witnesses. These witnesses are sometimes associated to the couple. In Edward and Ann’s marriage, the witnesses have been George Hindle and Elizabeth Morris. Elizabeth Morris was Ann’s aunt, and Elizabeth would marry George Hindle the following yr. So, the witnesses have been the aunt and uncle-to-be of the bride.

This couple was married by banns, a public announcement of the wedding in case anybody had information of an obstacle (like a earlier marriage or lack of parental consent). Another choice was to be married by consent, as you’ll be able to see on the wedding type utilized by the parish beneath.

St. Laurence’s Church, Chorely Parish (Lancashire, England), parish register, marriages, Edward Creer – Ann Morris, 21 June 1835; picture on-line, FamilySearch ( : accessed 9 June 2023), picture 1126 of 2209; Lancashire Document Workplace.

Luckily, many England parish church registers are digitized and accessible on, like this one.

Colonial Virginia Parish Marriage

In a latest consumer venture, one in all our researchers discovered a wedding document for one of many widespread ancestral {couples} for a cluster of autosomal DNA matches. The MRCA couple is John Woodall and Dorothy Pledge. Their marriage was recorded within the Douglas Register for the St. James Northam Parish in Goochland County, Virginia, in 1756. The wedding is a part of a FamilySearch index known as “Virginia Marriages, 1785-1940,” and is initially from the Douglas Register, which was printed in 1928 and is out there in digital format at FamilySearch right here:

William Douglas, The Douglas register : being an in depth document of births, marriages and deaths along with different fascinating notes, as saved by the Rev. William Douglas, from 1750 to 1797 : an index of Goochland wills, notes on the French-Huguenot refugees who lived in Manakin-town (Richmond, Virginia : J.W. Fergusson & Sons, 1928), p. 51, John Woodhall – Dorothy Pledge marriage, 12 Aug 1756; photos on-line, FamilySearch ( : accessed 10 June 2022).

The e book’s ahead comprises the next description:

For an awesome a few years it has been the honest want of all these within the early information of Virginia to make the contents of the celebrated Douglas Register accessible to the general public; however the homeowners, descendants of the Reverend Mr. Douglas, wouldn’t conform to its publication. It has been the nice fortune of the author to have succeeded in acquiring the consent of the current proprietor, Mr. Hunter Fielding Warner Lewis, to this publication. …

The Reverend William Douglas got here to St. James Northam Parish, in Goochland County, Virginia, (Dover Church), on the twelfth of October, 1750. A memorandum within the Register exhibits that he had cost of St. James Northam Parish for twenty-seven years; Maniken City (King William Parish), for nineteen years, and ministered to a cost in Buckingham County for 4 years. There had been, in line with his assertion, no parish register saved as much as the time that he took cost. He started, on the fifteenth of September, 1753, maintaining a document of the marriages carried out by him. The e book by which the Register is saved, was procured by him originally of the yr 1756 and was saved from that point till close to the time of his demise, which occurred on the seventh of February, 1798. However he inserted lots of the marriages carried out by him earlier than 1756, and within the matter of births the document goes again to 1705—together with the names and dates  start of youngsters given him by their dad and mom, who desired them recorded. …

The e book is made from the previous Authorities stamped paper and is sure in calf and parchment. It’s in a very good state of preservation, although in some locations the margin is worn or damaged, and there are a number of pages lacking.

I regarded for authentic photos of the e book however didn’t discover any. This by-product is likely to be the one surviving document of the marriages Douglas recorded. This can be a easy marriage document, stating solely the names of the couple and the date they married. It additionally offers the web page variety of the unique register. Nonetheless, the element that this couple lived within the parish at the moment has helped develop a speculation for our analysis query, the dad and mom of a feminine born within the 1780s. There have been autosomal DNA matches going again to the Woodall household and the Bolling household, who additionally occurred to dwell in Goochland. A number of the Bolling kids’s baptisms recorded within the Douglas Register. We expect it’s attainable {that a} baby from the Woodall household married a Bolling and have been the dad and mom of our feminine analysis topic.

Catholic Marriage Document

The subsequent instance is a Catholic marriage document from the archdiocese of Atlanta, Georgia.

Immaculate Conception Catholic Church (Atlanta, Georgia), marriages 1873-1923, p. 23, Patrick A. O’Connor – Tenie Stephens, 1 March 1881; picture on-line, Ancestry ( : accessed 10 June 2023); citing Sacramental Data, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta, Smyrna, Georgia.

This marriage was recorded by the priest, T.J. Cleary, on a preprinted Latin type. The wedding document consists of the names of the events, their father’s names, and their locations of residence. It additionally consists of a number of witnesses. This specific marriage document is uncommon for Catholic marriage information in that it’s digitized and included listed in an assortment, Atlanta, Georgia, U.S., Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta Sacramental Records, 1840-1980. Often Catholic church information aren’t publicly accessible on-line.

The place to Discover Church Marriage Data

FamilySearch has digitized many Church of England parish registers and different European nations’ church information. Some church buildings haven’t allowed their information to be digitized. The Roman Catholic church doesn’t often permit free entry to their church information – every diocese handles it otherwise and it’s essential to request the information to see in the event you can entry them. This may be extra work however it has the potential to unlock nice clues!

Some nations have nationwide stage archives with on-line entry to their church marriage information, like Poland and France. Others require that you just rent an onsite researcher to be able to entry them. Generally church information require just a little extra work to entry, however they are often very rewarding. Usually a church marriage document within the U.S. will reveal the hometown and oldsters’ names of an immigrant ancestor within the late 1800s and early 1900s.

Many church buildings have their very own archives the place they preserve information. For instance, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has the Church History Library with manuscript collections and a few digital information. Their web site lets you search collections and study whether or not they’re digitized and open to analysis. Here’s a e book of marriages carried out by Matthias Foss Cowley that has been digitized:

Matthias Foss Cowley, Marriages solemnized, Abraham Owen Woodruff – Avery Clark, 18 Jan 1901, Preston, Oneida Co., Idaho; picture on-line, Church Historical past Library ( : accessed: June 10, 2023).

Make sure to verify the FamilySearch Wiki for assist discovering church marriage information. Usually there will likely be wiki pages devoted to the information of a selected church. Good luck as you seek for church marriage information!

See the opposite posts is our marriage information sequence right here:

Again to the Fundamentals with Marriage Data Half 1: Marriage Bonds

Again to the Fundamentals with Marriage Data Half 2 : Substitute Marriage Data

Again to the Fundamentals with Marriage Data Half 4: Civil Marriage Data

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