Search Church Records to Find Marriage Information in Wales Before 1837
Before using church records it will help to know
- names for both the bride and groom (but not necessary)
- year of the marriage (it can be estimated based on the birth year of the first child)
- Where the person lived (the county name is good, a town or parish name is best)
Step 1. Search a marriage index
- Search the county wide marriage index for the place where the couple might have married.
Step 2. Obtain a copy of the marriage record
Once you know when and where a couple married, according to an index reference, you should obtain a copy of that marriage record. The marriage record may provide details not included in an index or transcript.
There are four basic options for obtaining a copy of the marriage record:
- Welsh parish registers on microfilm
- County Record Offices in Wales
- National Library of Wales
- Society of Genealogists, London
How to search church records
Church records are arranged by date. Remember that spellings for places and names may vary over time. Some names should be considered variants of the same name such as, David, Davies and Davis.
Purchase a photocopy of the record
Most archives and libraries provide a copy service which may be less costly than a visit to the repository.
Church marriage records contain
- Name of the groom
- Name of the bride
- Date of marriage
- Names of witnesses, signatures, and place of residence
- Consider the possibility that the persons being searched for may have been using patronymics.
- Search for the variant versions of the name being sought.
- A couple may not have married in the county where they lived. If the marriage is not found in the expected county try indexes for the neighboring counties.