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How to find out someones marriage history

For information on BDM services, use the menu above. We are prioritising critical certificate or registration requests. Weddings are currently restricted to a maximum of five people: the couple, a celebrant and two witnesses. The Victorian Marriage Registry is closed. Records of births, marriages and deaths can provide unique insight into your family history and identity. Search our records now External link.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Vital Records: (Where to Find Birth, Marriage, Death and Divorce Records for Genealogy)

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Vital Records

We use cookies to give you the best possible online experience. If you continue, we'll assume you are happy for your web browser to receive all cookies from our website. See our cookie policy for more information on cookies and how to manage them. A PDF of this guide can be downloaded for ease of printing. In Scotland records began in and in Ireland in n. Irish non-Catholic marriages were recorded from Therefore, a single tier registration system was introduced, based on the administrative poor law unions, which had been set up in , and previously the administrative hundreds.

These became the registration districts. The Act also permitted marriages to be performed in Register Offices and outside the confines of the Anglican Church. Many nonconformist chapels were authorised to perform marriages. Since there has been much fine tuning of the system and various new regulations and legislation have been introduced from time to time. Although civil registration was introduced in , it was not until that the registration of a birth became compulsory.

Between these dates, children may not have been registered. There was in fact a loophole as the act was not fully understood and people genuinely thought that to have a child baptised was to register that child.

The Act made registration compulsory within a 6 week period and imposed a fine for non-compliance. These are considered to be prime evidence of someone's existence. However, a common occurrence was the illegitimate child. From the reputed father HAD to be present at the registration to consent to his name being added.

Illegitimacy may also be proved by a subsequent marriage of the parents but in such circumstances you cannot assume that this husband was in fact the father of the illegitimate child, unless there is some other known clue to confirm this. When a time is given, this may indicate a multiple birth, so look for another child born on the same day! When extracting the information from a birth certificate, pay special attention to the address as this will very often lead you to census returns, directories and poll books or the workhouse records.

This aspect will be discussed in greater detail elsewhere. Pay particular attention also to the registration and sub-district as this may give you additional clues enabling you to locate other family members.

In , the format of the marriage register changed and significantly more information is recorded. Such registers remain unchanged to the present day. Ages on a marriage certificate can be inaccurate or at the very least suspect. No exact age may be shown and it may simply be recorded that bride or groom was "of full age". This implies an age in excess of 21 years. That statement may have been false to avoid a minor having to obtain parental consent.

Where an actual age is given, it is usually reasonably accurate but it may also have been altered for a variety of reasons. Be wary of an address which is the same for both parties.

Marriages usually took place in the parish of the bride. This may be a good clue to two possibilities, that of illegitimacy or that the father was dead at the time of the marriage. In the latter case, the name was usually filled in and the word deceased written alongside it.

The inclusion of the name of the father without the word deceased did not automatically mean that he was alive at the time of the marriage. These carry the least information from a genealogical point of view but they are nevertheless important sources particularly with regard to genetic diseases and for the location of wills and other probate documents.

They have undergone greater changes in format than the other certificates. From , the only information requested was date and place of death, name, age, sex, occupation, and cause of death. From the middle of , the information shown includes additionally, date and place of birth, usual address and, if the deceased was a married woman, her maiden name. All of which is extremely useful to the family historian. Although up to , the onus of registering a death was placed on the registrar, the information was provided by an informant.

Later it was the responsibility of the next of kin or closest relative of the deceased to ensure the death was registered. You will find causes of death described in various ways, some often simplistically, e. Beware of inaccurate ages on death certificates. The Coroner is usually the informant in the case of a violent or unusual cause of death where an inquest took place. Such information will usually be quite revealing.

Besides the standard birth, marriage and death registration documents, there are additional sources also recording similar information. These relate to:. Before , there was no legal system of adoption and as such, any agreements prior to that date were usually made within the extended family. When looking through the indexes, the entry will be recorded for the year of adoption, which will not necessarily be the year of birth.

The certificate will also show details of the date and court in which the adoption order was made. After , the country of birth will also be shown where the child was born abroad. Although the certificate will contain the name of the child being adopted, this may not be the same as the name with which the child was first registered. In many cases, it is possible to find the child in the ordinary birth indexes but, for many, it will be necessary to comply with the requirements of the various Adoption Acts to allow the child to obtain details of their original parentage.

Stillbirths have been registered in this country since 1 July The records are not available to the general public in the form of indexes and application to the Registrar General is needed for a certificate to be issued.

Records exist of births and deaths at sea and in the air where such an event took place on a British registered craft. Marine events have been registered since 1 July , but air events only since Births and deaths on British registered hover-crafts, oil rigs and other offshore installations are also recorded.

They relate to events anywhere in the world. Indexes are available and certificates can be obtained. They relate to events both in this country and abroad. The Army registers commence in for marriages though are most comprehensive after Where a birth, marriage or death took place of a British Subject in a foreign country, it may have been recorded by the British Consul and certificates of such events are available. Most returns commenced in July If similar events took place in Commonwealth countries then they are recorded in the British High Commission returns.

Not all British High Commissions recorded marriages. The marriage may be recorded in any registration system operated by the country concerned. Civil Registration birth, marriage and death certificates are available primarily from three sources The reference numbers in the nationally available indexes relate only to requesting a certificate via the GRO.

They mean nothing to local register offices. You will need to find certain information to fill out an application form to obtain your certificate or contact the local register office with details to obtain a certificate via that source. A word of advice, unless you can quote the exact date and place of marriage to a local register office, you are unlikely to be able to obtain a marriage certificate from there.

See below for information about obtaining information online. Access to indexes is now through online sites. Most provide access to the original index volumes which are no longer available in paper form. The indexes are arranged on a yearly basis and each year is divided into quarters until The quarters relate to the date of registration NOT the date of the event. By law, a birth had to be registered within 42 days.

If, therefore, an event took place on 17th March, it may not have been registered until 15th April in that year. As such, the event will not appear in the March quarterly index but in the June quarter - see below. As a death must recorded within the next 5 days, it is most likely to be included in the index volume for the quarter in which the event took place.

The indexes are in strict alphabetical order. Deaths will normally be recorded under the married surname for a woman. The country is divided up into Registration Districts.

Each district has a name and a volume number which shows in which geographical area it was situated. The names and numbers have changed over the years, the main change taking place in Up to that time, all districts were identified within an all-figure system originally using roman numerals. As the indexes are replaced with computer generated lists, these are changing to normal numbers.

Since , numbers have been suffixed by a letter. The numbers commence with 1 for the London area and increase as the districts fan out around the country. You may find registration district maps located in the place where you are searching. Alternatively use one of the online resources.

Certain other changes took place in and , consolidating many of the register offices, particularly in London and the larger towns when county boundaries changed. If you carefully complete each section of the application form, whether by post or online, you cannot go wrong.

There are slightly more spaces for information on a birth certificate application than on the others. Obviously the more information you can complete the better but don't worry if you cannot answer all the questions. The form is dual purpose i. If you know the name of the parties to the marriage then both names should be recorded on the application forms.

Search historical birth, death and marriage records

Being a journalist means being resourceful. Presented with a name, you know where to dig. How much these forms tell you depends on state law. Anyone can go see this information, for free. If you are unable to visit the vital records office in Boston, you can order a copy online.

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If you are like most people, you might not have been aware that public records even exist. However, if you are working on legal matters, genealogy research, government policy, or getting a copy of a marriage certificate you might find yourself looking for public records. In fact, virtually everyone will end up looking for them at some point in their life. There are a wide variety of documents and information that can be unearthed through public records requests.

Birth, marriage and death: How to find vital records

To find your whakapapa genealogy , you can search old birth, death and marriage records. General contact information. Birth, Death and Marriage Historical Records. Contact Births, Deaths and Marriages. New Zealand birth, death, marriage, civil union and name change certificates are public records. In most cases, they can be ordered by anyone. A printout can be emailed to you. A certificate must be posted, or given to you in person if you order it at a Births, Deaths and Marriages office.

Marriage & Divorce

Vital records most commonly refer to records such as birth and death certificates, marriage licenses and divorce decrees, wills and the like. These records are created by local authorities, and with possible exceptions for events overseas, in the military, or in the District of Columbia. The CDC's National Center for Health Statistics web site tells how to obtain birth, death, marriage, and divorce records from state and territorial agencies. Information collected in Census Records may help you to find which jurisdiction you will want to look for vital records in. For instance, if you find your ancestor's state of birth and approximate year of birth are reported in the census, you can then contact that local jurisdiction regarding their birth records.

In a few of the marriage collections on Ancestry, you will find the indexes that link to images of actual marriage records. In other cases, there are indexes that contain information that will help you request the record.


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Guide Two: Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates


If you're unable to locate your ancestor's record in civil records, check with churches or synagogues in the areas where the bride or groom lived. Ancestry has.


Get someone else’s birth, death, or marriage certificate







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