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England & Wales - Marriages 1837-1983
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Civil Registration began in England and Wales on July 1st, 1837, the year in which Queen Victoria came to the throne and continues to the present day. The Civil Registration records are divided into three events, Births, Marriages and Deaths.

Prior to 1837 many of the Birth, Marriages and Deaths were recorded in the Parish Records. For further information please see the section on Parish Records.

The records can be divided into two categories. First the Registers which contain precise and detailed information kept by the General Register Office. The Registers are not open to the public and therefore no access is provided of any kind, nor are they available on
. The Registers provide the information that is used for Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates.

The second category is the Indexes to the Registers which enable the public to search for family relatives and provide the information which enables a certificate to be ordered. The Indexes like the Registers, are organised firstly by year, then by quarter, with the surnames in alphabetical order. has the Civil Registration Indexes for England and Wales from 1837-2005 - these are the Births, Marriages and Deaths indexes which will allow you to locate the reference for the Certificate. We have made 600 million records available of which over 300 million are fully searchable on Surname, Mother's Maiden Name, District, Year and Quarter as well.

1866-1983 - Fully Name Searchable on any criteria with images of the GRO Index
1984-2005 - Fully Name Searchable on any criteria (no page images available)

Select the Search Tips for help with your research

Marriage MatchTMHelpful search feature has introduced a helpful search features allowing faster searching of the databases. The Marriage matchTMis a very useful feature which enables you to find the possible spouse in any marriage taking place between 1865-1983 and 1984-2005 without having to buy a certificate. After 1912 the entries do show the surname of the spouse, but not their first name. Marriage MatchTM performs a reverse search to find everyone married in the same District, on the same quarter and year and with the same page reference. This reduces the possible number of potential partners to 2 or 3 at the most.

Once you have found the marriage details of one person, clicking the icon next to their search result will find the potential partners listed on the same register page. There are usually only four names and one of those will be the wrong sex, leaving two possible partners. Providing either an extra piece of information to follow up or confirmation that you have located the correct couple.


Marriage Index 1837-1983 England & Wales

General Register Office, GRO. England and Wales Civil Registration Indexes. London, England.

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Hints and Tips

The following pages will help with your research;

How to Search the BMD Indexes 

Getting Started with the GRO BMD Indexes

Find out more about the Civil Registration Indexes and what information is on the Indexes

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