England, Yorkshire, Allertonshire, Marriage Bonds and Allegations (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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England, Yorkshire, Allertonshire, Marriage Bonds & Allegations, 1667-1819 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Yorkshire,  England
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Location of Yorkshire, England
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Record Description
Record Type Marriage Bonds and Allegations
Collection years 1667-1819
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Durham University Library


What is in the Collection?

This collection consists of the Bishop of Durham's transcripts of marriage bonds and allegations for Allertonshire Peculiar for the years 1667 to 1819. The collection includes the following Yorkshire parishes:

  • Birkby
  • Cowesby
  • Hutton Bonville
  • Leake
  • Nether Silton
  • North Otterington
  • Osmotherly
  • Thornton-le-Street

Note: A peculiar is a parish that is administered by a diocese other than the one where it is actually located. It is exempted from the jurisdiction of the ordinary or bishop in whose diocese it lies and is governed by another. In this case, it is several parishes administered by the Diocese of Durham, rather than by the Diocese of York.

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.

One of the 39 historic counties of England, Yorkshire is a county of northern England which historically covered a wide area, stretching from the Humber River in the south to the River Tees in the north, and reaching across almost the entire breadth of the island. For a list of the parishes which historically made up this county with links to more information about each of them, see the Yorkshire Parishes page.

To Browse this Collection

You can browse through images in this collection by visiting the browse page for England, Yorkshire, Allertonshire, Marriage Bonds & Allegations, 1667-1819.

Collection Content

This collection contains various records relating to marriage, as described above.

Sample Image

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 Bond or Allegation Records may include:

  • Names of the marriage partners
  • Ages of the marriage partners
  • Occupations of the marriage partners
  • Marital statuses (whether single or widowed)
  • Parish of residence
  • Sometimes where the marriage was to take place
  • Sometimes 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?

Before beginning a search in these records, it is best to know the full name of the individual in question, as well as an approximate time range for the desired record. When entered into the search engine on the Collection Page, this information provides the quickest, most reliable path to finding the correct person. Of course, other information can be substituted as necessary.

Search by Name by Visiting the Collection Page

Fill in the requested information in the initial search page to return a list of possible matches. Compare the individuals on the list with what is already known to find the correct family or person. This step may require examining multiple individuals before a match is located.

View Images in This Collection by Visiting the Browse Page

⇒ Select Browse through images on the initial collection page
⇒ Select the appropriate Year
⇒ Select the appropriate Durham University Reference Number 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.

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.
  • 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, for much of the period of this collection, spelling was not standardized; pay special attention to how the name should have been pronounced and try variations on the pronunciation. Individuals might also have been listed under a middle name, nickname, or abbreviation of their given name.
  • 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 parishes. 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. Note that marriages usually took place in the parish where the bride resided.
  • 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.

Citing this Collection

Citing sources correctly makes it easier to refer back to information that has already been discovered; proper citations are therefore indispensable to keeping track of genealogical research. Following established formulae in formatting citations 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 images within the collection:

Collection Citation:

"England, Yorkshire, Allertonshire, Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1667-1819." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2017. Durham University Library, Durham.

Image Citation:

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, Yorkshire, Allertonshire, Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1667-1819.


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