Did your ancestor belong to a non-conformist denomination? Search through more than 5,000 non-conformist marriage registers to find where and when you English or Welsh ancestors were married.
With each result, you will find an image of the original register and a transcript. The detail in each record can vary depending on when it was documented, the denomination, and the condition of the original books. In the transcripts, you may find the following information:
The image can often give further details not available in the transcript. In the case of the marriage registers you could also find out
Bride’s maiden name
The non-conformist registers are kept at The National Archives in Kew, Surrey. The records are part of the archive’s RG4 and RG8 series. We have provided the archival reference for each record. These series comprise records from a variety of collections. They contain the birth, marriage, and death records from the Presbyterian, Baptist, and Independent churches, as well as the Wesleyan Methodist Metropolitan registry and the extensive collection of non-conformist records in the Dr Williams’ Library in London.
The term non-conformist is used when referring to churches or denominations that do not follow the teachings of the Church of England or the Anglican Church. The term can be used to describe Roman Catholics, Jews, Presbyterians, Methodists, Baptists, members of the Society of Friends and other denominations. Members of English Protestant denominations are also known as dissenters or radicals.
Before the introduction of civil registration in 1837, most people were baptized, married, and buried in their local Church of England parish, regardless of their beliefs. Historically, many non-conformists used their local parish church for registration purposes, despite their differences in belief, even after the Toleration Act of 1689 granted them the freedom to worship. However, some non-conformists did keep their own registers, and it is these that you can find here.
Between 1754 and 1837, it was illegal to marry anywhere except in a Church of England parish church unless you were a member of the Society of Friends (Quakers) or Jewish. In both cases, members were exempt from the Hardwicke Marriage Act of 1754 and allowed to keep their own records. After 1837, while people were now allowed to marry in the church of their choice, some organisations still did not keep their own records.