Discover if your ancestor got married in the historic County of Cheshire in the Diocese of Chester Bishop’s transcripts of marriages from 1576 – 1906. Search over 380,000 records to find names and dates of marriage.
Each record contains an image and a transcript of the original document. The amount of information contained varies but you can find the following about your ancestor:
Name of bride
Name of groom
Date of marriage
Marital status of bride
Marital status of groom
Profession of groom
Residence of bride
Residence of groom
Name of bride’s father
Name of grooms’ father
Bride’s father’s rank or occupation
Groom’s father’s rank or occupation
The Bishop’s Transcripts of Marriages cover the Diocese of Chester which covers the historic County of Cheshire in its pre-1974 boundaries and contains 388, 622 records.
The Bishop’s transcripts were created from the original Parish registers and were intended to be faithful copies so you could find two entries for the marriage of the same ancestors if both the parish register and the bishop’s transcript exist for the same parish and date.
Before the introduction of the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths in 1837 all such events were recorded in the local parish.
Parish records generally begin from 1538 after the Church of England mandated the keeping of parish registers in 1537. Baptisms, marriages and burials were all recorded in a single volume until 1774, when the law changed to require a separate marriage register and another one for Banns (or proclamations of an intent to marry). Standardised forms for these registers appeared in 1812.
Banns had been introduced in the Act for the Better Prevention of Clandestine Marriages of 1754. They were read out on three consecutive Sundays to allow anyone with a reason that the marriage should not go ahead to come forward. The alternative for the couple was to get married by Licence when, on payment of a fee, they could swear that no impediment to their marriage existed.
Other religious denominations, with the exception of the Quakers and Jews, often registered these events in their local Church of England parish even after the Toleration Act of 1689 although between 1754 and 1837 it was illegal to marry anywhere other than a Church of England parish.
Copyright images reproduced by courtesy of the Cheshire Archives and Local Studies Service, Chester, England.
The Cheshire Archives and Local Studies Service gives no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or fitness for the purpose of the information provided.
Images may be used only for purposes of research, private study or education. Applications for any other use should be made to Cheshire Archives and Local Studies Service, Cheshire Record Office, Duke Street, Chester CH1 1RL. Infringement of the above condition may result in legal action.