Findmypast are excited to bring you some of the earliest marriage records we hold with records from as early as 1142. Fifteen English counties are represented including London, Lancashire, Suffolk, Exeter, Lincoln, Yorkshire, and more. Marriage licenses will reveal your ancestor’s intended spouse, father’s name, and the intended marriage place.

With each result, you will find a transcript of the vital facts and an image of the digitised volume of marriage licences. The detail in each licence varies depending on the age of the document and the individuals named in the licence. People of high social standing usually have more detail recorded in their licence such as occupations and fathers’ names. You will find a combination of the following facts in the marriage licence:

  • Name
  • Residence
  • Father’s name
  • Spouse’s name
  • Spouse’s residence
  • Spouse’s father’s name
  • Marital status
  • Marriage place

The volumes in this collection were provided by the College of Arms, Anguline Research Archives, and Gould Genealogy. Britain, marriage licences comprise licences obtained in Bedfordshire, Devon, Gloucestershire, Hampshire, Kent, Lancashire, Lincolnshire, London, Middlesex, Nottinghamshire, Somerset, Suffolk, Surrey, Worcestershire, and Yorkshire. There is a mixture of handwritten and typed record books from 1446 until 1837. A full list of all the volumes is provided below. You can also browse through each volume by searching Findmypast’s Britain, marriage licenses browse.

A marriage licence was obtained from the Church of England for a fee and with a sworn declaration that there were no legal impediments to the marriage. The licence waived the banns period necessary for a marriage to take place.