Do you have ancestors who were married in the dioceses of Lichfield and Coventry between 1636 and 1893? Discover their marriage license allegations and bonds and uncover your ancestor’s age, status, parish, and spouse’s personal details.
Included in these records are both transcripts and images of the original documents. While the amount of available information varies, most transcripts will include the following:
Marriage year as transcribed – in some cases, a range of dates was transcribed. The first in the range was kept for the marriage year field.
Spouse’s first name(s)
Spouse’s last name
Spouse’s birth year
Spouse’s residence parish
Spouse’s residence county
Please note that some transcripts will link to multiple images: use the previous and next buttons to see all the images associated with that transcript.
The original images may be able to provide greater details than what is found in the transcripts, however, they do include handwritten portions and legibility varies. As such, there may also be errors in the transcription due to difficulty in deciphering the handwritten text. Please be aware that earlier original forms in this collection included Latin text, however, the handwritten portions, which provide your ancestor’s details, remain in English.
Allegations and bonds
Allegations are sworn statements prepared by the groom. From them, you may be able to discover the intended marriage place and groom’s occupation. A marriage license allegation and bond would be submitted to the church courts in support of an application for a marriage license. The bond was intended to assert the authenticity and legality of the allegations, pledging a sum that would be forfeited if the documents proved inaccurate. The Lichfield Record Office has court documents from the Lichfield consistory court (covering most of the diocese of Lichfield) and the peculiar courts, which held jurisdiction over certain areas within the diocese. The diocese of Lichfield covered Staffordshire, Derbyshire up to 1884, north Shropshire, and north and east Warwickshire up to 1836.
A marriage license could be obtained for a fee if a couple wished to waive the customary reading of the banns. There are several reasons why a couple might want to do so, such as the need to expedite the wedding date or if the couple was Nonconformist or Roman Catholic and did not attend the parish church.
These records cover the diocese of Lichfield and Coventry, which includes Staffordshire, Derbyshire, north Shropshire, and north and east Warwickshire, from 1636 to 1836 and from 1836 to 1876, covers the diocese of Lichfield, which includes Staffordshire and north Shropshire.
Up till 1889, these records were arranged by year, then alphabetically by surname of groom. From 1890 onward, they were arranged by year only. Please note that very few records survive from before 1660.
Before the documents were transferred to the Lichfield Record Office, the Genealogical Society of Utah (GSU) in 1967 undertook a microfilming project covering the years 1617-1961. The GSU has graciously shared their films for this project. The Diocese of Lichfield has provided all remaining records.
Notable for his work in advancing evolutionary theory, Charles Dawrin was an English naturalist famous for his 1859 book on evolution, On the Origin of Species. From the records, we learn that on 14 January 1839, Charles sought a marriage license for Emma Wedgwood and himself for the wedding that would occur at the parish church in Maer, Staffordshire. In the transcript, both of their birth years are listed as 1818, however, if you look at the image of the original document, their ages are listed as “twenty one years and upwards.” The simple math of deducting 21 from the marriage year would produce a birth year of 1818. However, Charles and Emma were both older than 21 when they married and were, in fact, born in 1809. To ensure that you can locate your ancestor within these records despite such transcription errors, search for years on either side of a known marriage year.