Skip Navigation • Access Keys • Frequently Asked Questions •

Durham County Record Office: the official archive service for County Durham and Darlington

Banns and marriages 1754-1812

Examples of banns and marriage entries from the parish registers of Durham St. Giles, 1764 and 1778.

As a result of Hardwicke's Marriage Act, which came into force in 1754, banns and marriages were recorded in volumes separate from those used for baptisms and burials.

Here are two pages of banns and marriage entries, taken from consecutive registers belonging to Durham St. Giles' parish. The second example, from 1778, shows a page with a pre-printed layout recording both banns and marriages on the same page.

Banns/marriage entries, Durham, St. Giles, 1764 (EP/Du.SG 11) - Copyright © Durham County Record Office.
+
Banns/Marriage entries, Durham, St. Giles, 1778 (EP/Du.SG 12) - Copyright © Durham County Record Office.
+

From 1754 the marriage registers give the names and parishes of the parties, the date and place of marriage, whether by banns or licence, whether with consent of parents or guardians, and the name of the officiating minister. Also given are the names of the witnesses and signatures or marks of the spouses.

After 1754 searchers may find either separate banns registers, banns kept in the first half of the marriage register or entries for banns and marriages on the same page.

Between 1754 and 1837 all nonconformists, except Quakers and Jews, were required to marry in the parish church. From 1837 nonconformists were allowed to marry in their own place of worship.