Marriage Records 1916-2005

These will give you a summary of marriages from the beginning of Civil Registration in 1837 to 2005 - which is the most current year.

When a marriage takes place a certificate is filled out and given to the married couple. The registration information is kept on file and added to the summary register, or Index, of all the events. As in books, the Indexes won't tell you everything, but will give you key information, such as names, dates (specifically quarters) and places (the district the event occurred). They also give you all the references you need to discover more - in this case, order a marriage certificate.

What can the Marriage Indexes tell me?

You can get so much from a single line of text. First, there's the excitement of finally tracking down your ancestor. You can discover basic details about them, as well as attach the official record to their entry in your family tree.

There will be two separate Index entries for marriages - one for the bride, and one for the groom. Comparing these two can help you make sure you've found the right ancestors. Look out for the "Find Spouse" or the "See others on page" links which wil allow you to double check. From 1912 the surname of the spouse was added to the Marriage Indexes which is also very helpful.

Sample records: [+] Click to magnify


A brief history of the Marriage Index

The formal registration of marriages in England and Wales began on 1st July 1837 with the introduction of Civil Registration. Before this, each individual parish was responsible for maintaining their own Parish register - so for events before 1837, check our Parish Records.

While Civil Registration was meant to bring all marriages together in one place, it's important to know that registration was only made compulsory by law in 1875. So if you can't find your pre-1875 ancestors here, this could be why.

Search our Marriage Index collection

There are different Marriage Index collections to search, depending on what period in history you're searching. Using the right collection will help you get a better search result.


There is a separate marriage collection for the years 1916-2005. Searching's easier with these records because you'll be given individual matches to your search. For any marriages before 1837, you should be searching through the Parish Registers, which you can find in our Parish Records collection. If you're looking for marriages between 1837 and 1915 search the FreeBMD collections.

What's my next step?

To help you go further back in your family history, you can order a marriage certificate direct from us. This will give you additional vital information - including the wedding date and venue, current address and occupation of the bride and groom, names and occupations of their fathers and much more.

Which famous people could I meet?

Margaret Lockwood. In 1937 the woman who would later become Britain's leading box-office star of the 1940s, married Rupert Leon, much to the disapproval of her mother. Lockwood went on to star in Hitchcock's "The Lady Vanishes" and, in 1945, "The Wicked Lady". The couple separated in 1949.

Britt Ekland and Peter Sellers. After a whirlwind romance, the Bond girl-to-be and the comic genius married in 1964. The marriage did not last long, and they divorced in 1968. Ekland went on to appear in "The Man With the Golden Gun"; while Sellers is best known as Inspector Clouseau.

Tony Blair and Cherie Booth. Married on 29 March 1980. Blair went on to become Labour's longest serving Prime Minister from 1997 to 2007, when he retired as an MP. Cherie became a successful barrister and was a founding member of Matrix Chambers.

I'm new to all this. What do I do first?

Start building your family tree

First include all the information you already know about yourself and your immediate family. To help you every step of the way, we automatically search through our records for potential matches - and give you results in seconds.

Search and attach records

There are billions of records worldwide - but searching for ancestors isn't like looking for a needle in a haystack. We'll help you search quickly and accurately. And you can attach your records to your family tree to help bring it to life.

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The Ancestry Community now has nearly 3 million members worldwide. Member Connect will help you contact other members who are researching your ancestors, share research and be notified when they add new content about your ancestors to their family trees.

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