England, Durham Diocese, Calendar of Marriage Bonds and Allegations (FamilySearch Historical Records)
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England, Durham Diocese, Calendar of Marriage Bonds & Allegations, 1594-1815 .
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Flag of England|
|Location of Durham, England|
|Record Type||Marriage Bonds and Allegations|
- 1 What is in the Collection?
- 2 Collection Content
- 3 What Can This Collection Tell Me?
- 4 How Do I Search the Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 Known Issues with This Collection
- 7 Citing this Collection
- 8 How You Can Contribute
What is in the Collection?
This collection consists of marriage records from the Diocese of Durham, including the Allertonshire peculiar, for the years 1594-1815.
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. Until 1733, marriage bonds were written partly in Latin but the wording was standardized and is easier to decipher in the printed forms that were in use by the 1690s.
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. Other possible reasons for obtaining marriage licenses are explained in the Marriage Allegations, Bonds and Licences in England and Wales page.
Although most bonds and allegations have survived, some are in poor condition and difficult to read, especially when the microfilmed images are badly focused. Licenses themselves were not normally retained for long after being handed to the officiating minister, but a few survive with parish records.
The Bishop of Durham’s transcripts of marriage bonds and allegations for Allertonshire Peculiar includes the following Yorkshire parishes:
- Hutton Bonville
- Nether Silton
- North Otterington
As one of the 39 historic counties of England, County Durham has a long history. From the time of the Norman Conquest, the county was governed by a series of bishops who had been endowed with great secular authority by royal decree, making the city of Durham one of the foremost centers of both religious and political influence in the north of England. This eminence lasted until the nineteenth century when the bishops of Durham were stripped of the bulk of their secular powers.
For a list of parishes which historically made up this county, see the Durham Parishes page.
The collection consists of calendar (chronological) typescript copy of the Diocese of Durham Marriage Bonds and Allegations. It contains men, women, and place indexes in each volume.
What Can This Collection Tell Me?
The following list indicates potential information provided in these records. It must be remembered that every record may not provide all the listed information, as record-keeping practices varied greatly over time.
Marriage Records usually contain:
- Names of the marriage partners
- Ages of the marriage partners
- Occupations of the marriage partners
- Marital status of the partners (whether single or widowed)
- Parish of residence
- Where the marriage was to take place
- A parent’s name or signature
- If either of the marriage partners was a minor, the name of the parent or guardian who was consenting to the marriage
How Do I Search the Collection?
To begin your search, it would be helpful if you knew the name of the bride or groom. If no index is available, you should know the jurisdiction where the allegation was filed and an approximate marriage date.
View Images in This Collection by Visiting the Browse Page
If granted the rights to view the digitized records in this collection (see below), the images may be accessed by following this series of links:
⇒ Select Browse through images on the initial collection page
⇒ Select the appropriate Year Range
⇒ Select the appropriate Durham University Reference Number
⇒ Select the appropriate Abstract or Index to go to the images
Compare the information found on the images with what is already known determine if a particular record relates to the correct person. This process may require examining multiple records before the correct person is located.
Some of the records in this collection may be written in an old script that can be challenging to read. Refer to BYU’s Script Tutorial for assistance with reading the records.
What Do I Do Next?
I Found the Person I Was Looking for, What Now?
- Make sure to fully transcribe and cite the record entry for future reference; see below for assistance in citing this collection. Save or print a copy of the image if possible.
- Use the information which has been discovered to find more. For instance, use the age listed in the record to estimate a year of birth, if that is yet undetermined.
- Use the information which has been discovered and locate the original parish marriage record, if possible. See the Durham Bishops' Transcripts page for more information and options.
- If in the appropriate period, use the information which has been discovered to find the individual in civil records. Particularly useful for research in nineteenth-century England are the England Census and the England Civil Registration records.
- Continue to search the index to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives. Note that family members often appear on an individual's vital records, such as in the role of witnesses to a marriage.
I Can’t Find the Person I’m Looking for, What Now?
- When looking for a person with a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which individual is correct. Use other information, such as place of birth, age, occupation, or names of parents, to determine which candidate is the correct person. If listed, a personal title may be a clue to property ownership or occupation, either of which might be noted in other records.
- Check for variants of given names and surnames; simple clerical errors were always possible. In addition, spelling was not standardized for much of the period of this collection, so pay special attention to how the name should have been pronounced and try variations on the pronunciation. Individuals could also be listed under a middle name, nickname, or abbreviation of their given name. For women, it was not uncommon to revert to a maiden name after the death of a previous husband.
- Vary the search terms. For example, search by either the given name or surname to return broader list of possible candidates which can then be examined for matches. Alternatively, try expanding the date range.
- Search the records of nearby areas. While it was uncommon for an individual in this period to move more than about 20 miles from their place of birth, smaller relocations were not uncommon. For this particular collection, this step may require finding records in the bordering English counties of Northumberland or Yorkshire, or perhaps even Cumberland or Westmorland.
- Look at the actual image of the record to verify the information found in the online description, if possible.
For additional help searching online collections see FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.
Known Issues with This Collection
For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.
Citing this Collection
Citing sources correctly makes it easier to refer to information which has already been discovered; proper citations are therefore key to keeping track of genealogical research. Following established citation formats also allows others to verify completed research by helping them find and examine records for themselves.
To be of use, citations must include information such as the author, custodian, publisher, and archive for the original records, if available. The following examples demonstrate how to present this information for both this particular collection as well as individual records and images within the collection:
- "England, Durham Diocese, Calendar of Marriage Bonds & Allegations, 1594-1815." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing Church of England. Durham University Library, Palace Green.
|The image citation is available by clicking on the Information tab at the bottom left of the screen. You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for England, Durham Diocese, Calendar of Marriage Bonds & Allegations, 1594-1815.|
How You Can Contribute
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