For each record you will find a transcript, usually with a link to view an image of the original document. You are likely to find at least the following information, with other facts appearing depending upon date and place:
Names of bride and groom
Place – parish or district
Church and civil registration in Bahamas. The official registering of births, marriages and deaths by the state started in 1850. Before that date, there was only the semi-official registration of baptisms, marriages and burials by the Anglican Church.
Initially, all the islands of the Bahamas were covered by a single Anglican parish, Christ Church, in the capital Nassau on the island of New Providence. This was the case from 1734 to 1768. From 1768 onwards, new parishes were created, eventually leading to Christ Church being raised to the status of Cathedral and the centre of a Diocese. Those other early Anglican parishes from the 18th century – St Andrew (George Town, Exuma), St David (Albert Town, Long Cay), St John (Dunmore Town, Harbour Island), St Patrick (Governor’s Harbour, Eleuthera), St Paul (Clarence Town, Long Island) and San Salvador or St Saviour (Cat Island) – also became mother churches with associated chapelries and subsequently parishes emerging from them. This means that marriages for any one place could appear under two or more different parishes over time.
The names of the Anglican parishes also commonly appear in these births from the civil registration system. However, because these are civil registers, they include records from all other denominations on the islands, including Baptist, Catholic and Methodist. Note that it is common to find, for example, a marriage which was celebrated in a Baptist chapel shown as within a particular Anglican parish. This simply situates the chapel within a location – the marriage itself would have been solemnised according to the rites and ceremonies of the Baptists in their own place of worship. Always look on the document for where the marriage took place (usually shown in the block of text with the date and signatures below the details of the happy couple), rather than accept any general district information in the header.
Cat Island and San Salvador. Cat Island was called San Salvador, while San Salvador was known as Watling’s Island, until 1926, when the two acquired their current names. This means that in the present record set the original marriages for Cat Island would have been under “San Salvador” and those for San Salvador under “Watling’s Island”. However, we have standardised to the present names for search purposes. However, if you do not find what you are looking for under Cat Island, please check under San Salvador, and vice versa. This applies to search both before and after 1926.
Coverage. It is important to understand that this record set is a work in progress and is not comprehensive or complete. Records may come from different sources, and some individual marriages may appear twice, while some records are very detailed transcriptions yet others are quite basic index entries.
Accuracy. The records were transcribed by volunteers, sometimes using rather low quality old microfilm, and, as a result, are uneven in the quality and accuracy of indexing. We have done our best to standardise and enhance the place values so as to make the records more user-friendly. You can search by parish, place (town or village) or island, or use keyword. However, you may prefer to start with a broad search and then refine your search by adding one field at a time – this is regarded as best practice (rather than filling in all fields in an online search form).