Dorset Marriages - What else you can try
This page will give you additional guidance and resources to find marriage information for your ancestor. Use this page after first completing the marriage section of the Dorset Guided Research page.
Additional Online Resources
Additional Databases and Online Resources
- 1531-1913: England, Phillimore Marriage Registers at FindMyPast ($)
- 1538-1812: Dorset, England, Church of England Baptisms, Marriages and Burials at Ancestry ($)
- 1538-1952: Dorset Marriages at FindMyPast ($)
- 1538-1999: England, Select Dorset Church of England Parish Registers at Ancestry ($)
- 1538-1936: England, Dorset, Parish Registers at MyHeritage ($)
- 1837-1918: Search the GRO historical birth and death indexes at General Register Office (free to search, login required) -- no marriage index, but birth index lists mother's maiden name
Online Images (Browsable Only)
Some collections have not been indexed but are available to browse image by image.
- 1638-1894: Marriage license bonds & allegations at FamilySearch Catalog
- 1660-1851: Marriage allegations for the Province of Canterbury at FamilySearch Catalog
- 1758-1847: Marriage license bonds & affidavits in Dorset at FamilySearch Catalog
Additional Records with Marriage Information
Substitute records may contain information about more than one event and are used when records for an event are not available. Records that are used to substitute for marriage events may not have been created at the time of the marriage. The accuracy of the record is contingent upon when the information was recorded. Search for information in multiple substitute records to confirm the accuracy of these records.
|Use these substitute records to locate marriage information about your ancestor:|
|Why to search the records|
|Starting in 1837, marriage registration lists the marriage date and place and the names, ages, marital condition, professions, residences, and fathers of the bride and groom. Death registration may include a relation to the deceased, such as spouse. Birth registration lists the child's parents, including mother's maiden name.|
|Census records from 1851 onward lists the relationship to the head of household and marital status of every individual. The 1911 census lists the number of years married.|
|Society of Friends (Quakers) and other nonconformist churches, such as the Presbyterian Church, also have marriage parish registers.|
|Go back to the Dorset Guided Research page, and click on "Death". Death and burial parish registers may include a relation of the deceased (often the spouse).|
|May contain marriage notices or obituaries. Obituaries may list the deceased's spouse.|
|Military records, after 1707, may include the spouse and children of the individual.|
|May contain the marital status and family members (including spouse) of the individual.|
Tips for finding marriages
Successfully finding marriage records in online databases depends on a few key points. Try the following search suggestions:
- Spelling variations. Your ancestor's name may be misspelled. Search with spelling variations for the first and last name of your ancestor.
- Search given name. Search by given name by leaving out the last name.
- Search for bride. Search by the bride’s name rather than the groom’s name.
- Add information. For common names, add more information to narrow the search such as approximate year of marriage or the county the marriage took place in.
- Date range. Expand the date range of the search by 5 years.
- Search county. Search using the county name only instead of by parish.
Why the Record may not Exist
Known Record Gaps
Mandatory marriage registration started in 1837. However, universal compliance did not occur until 1874. Before 1837, marriages and banns can be found in church records (mainly the Church of England). Although the oldest marriage records date to 1538, many parish churches did not start recording marriages until the 1600s.
Some church records may have been lost, destroyed, or damaged (especially in the 1500s and early 1600s). More specific information is not known. Civil registration records are generally complete.