England, Durham Diocese, Marriage Bonds and Allegations (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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England, Durham Diocese, Marriage Bonds & Allegations, 1692-1900 .
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This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.
Durham,  England
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Location of Durham, England
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Record Description
Record Type Marriage Bonds and Allegations
Collection years 1692-1900
FamilySearch Resources
Related Websites
Archive
Durham University


What is in the Collection?

This collection consists of marriage bonds and allegations for the Diocese of Durham, covering the period 1692-1900. Availability of records may vary by time and locality.

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. 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.

The earliest allegations were entirely handwritten, while later allegations were filled out on preprinted pages. Most of the originals have been preserved, having been compiled and bound in volumes which are now in the custody of either the diocese or the county records office. Others may be found in the records of the Vicar General and the faculty office of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Diocese of Durham is a long-established bishopric in the north of England, historically covering County Durham and a few other adjacent areas, including the southern part of Tyne and Wear, the boroughs of Darlington, Hartlepool and the area of Stockton-on-Tees north of the River Tees. For a list of parishes historically pertaining to County Durham with links to more information about each of them, see Durham Parishes.

Collection Content

This collection contains various documents related to marriage.

Sample Images

What Can This Collection Tell Me?

The following list indicates potential information given these records. It must be remembered that every record may not provide all of the listed information, as record-keeping practices often varied by time and location.

Marriage Records may contain:

  • Names of the marriage partners
  • Ages of the marriage partners
  • Occupations of the marriage partners
  • Marital statuses before marriage
  • Parishes of residence
  • Parish where the marriage was to take place
  • Names and signatures of parents, esp. if one of the marriage partners was a minor

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:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the appropriate "Year"
⇒Select the appropriate "Durham University Reference Number" which will take you 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.

Many of the records in this collection are written in an old script that may 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 allowed to do so.
  • Use the information which has been discovered to find more. For instance, use the estimated age given in a marriage record to calculate an approximate year of birth, if that is yet undetermined.
  • Use the information which has been discovered and locate the original parish marriage record, if possible.
  • 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, surnames, and place names; transcription errors could occur in any handwritten record. Also remember that it was not uncommon for an individual be listed under a nickname or an abbreviation of their name, especially in church records. See Abbreviations Found in Genealogy Records for examples of common abbreviations.
  • 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.
  • 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. For this particular collection, this step may require finding records in the bordering English counties of Northumberland to the north or Yorkshire to the south. 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.

Known Issues with This Collection

Important.png Problems with this collection?
See a list of known issues, workarounds, tips, restrictions, future fixes, news and other helpful information.

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 support@familysearch.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 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, and can serve as templates for creating proper citations for both this particular collection and individual images within the collection:

Collection Citation:

"England, Durham Diocese, Marriage Bonds & Allegations, 1692-1900." Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing Church of England. Durham University Library, Palace Green.


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, Durham Diocese, Calendar of Marriage Bonds & Allegations, 1692-1900.

How You Can Contribute

We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records.

Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.