Explore your English heritage today with banns and marriage records from the English county of Essex. With more than 1 million records, you may discover your ancestor’s marriage date, marriage place, and the names of witnesses to the marriage.
Each record is a transcript of original records. The amount of information contained sometimes varies but you can usually find the following out about your ancestor:
Spouse’s marital status
Spouse’s father’s name
Names of witnesses
The Essex marriages and banns collection was created from a variety of parish and probate records. Most of the transcripts were created from records held by the Essex Record Office. This collection brings together both marriage and bann records. Banns of marriage were a public announcement in a Christian church of a couple’s intention of marriage. They were usually read out on three consecutive Sundays in both the bride’s and the groom’s parish to allow anyone with a legal impediment towards the marriage to come forward. Impediments would usually cover a pre-existing marriage, a vow of celibacy, a lack of consent or a prohibited degree of kinship between bride and groom. After the Marriage Act of 1753 banns were required to be noted in their own register.
Essex is in the south east of England, just north of London. The county now forms part of the Metropolitan Green Belt and lies just beyond Greater London. The original Kingdom of Essex, founded by Saxon King Aescwine in AD 527, lay to the north of the River Thames and east of the River Lee.