Dorset Marriages & Banns 1813–1921

The collection consists of Church of England marriage and banns records from parishes in Dorset. The original records are kept at the Dorset History Centre, Dorchester, Dorset. The time period covered is 1813 – 1921, but this will depend on when the parish was established and whether the records have survived.

The FindMyPast transcripts may not cover all the parishes in Dorset and the time periods may not reflect the total time period that the original registers encompass. A list of the parishes and time periods that these transcripts cover can be obtained from the Find My Past website or by contacting the Dorset Family History Society.

George Rose’s Act of Parliament stipulated that from 1813 all registers were to be of a pre-printed type with standardised information.


Marriage Records 1813 – 1837

From 1813 to 1837 the marriage registers read as in the example below. Note that the marriage had to be held in a church by banns or by licence issued by the local diocesan office. The status of each party was given; bachelor, spinster, widow, widower, however not all widows or widowers revealed their status and may have regarded themself as a bachelor or spinster in other words free to marry. Also the parish of usual residence was given. If either party was under age then the consent of a parent was required and the parent was named.



Marriage Records 1837 – 1921

From July 1837 the marriage registers for use in Church of England churches were issued by the government under the Civil Registration Act.




Dorset Banns RegisterAfter Hardwick’s Marriage Act of 1754 all marriages had to be either by Banns or Licence. In this collection there are the banns registers for parishes in Dorset. Note that just because there is an entry in a banns register it is not confirmation that a marriage took place. The banns would have been read in the parish of both the bride and the groom if they lived in different parishes. Therefore both of the parishes should be searched for the marriage.

A more detailed lesson on parish registers can be found here …….
click on Parish Registers

Where scanned & indexed images of the original records can be found online

Marriages 1813 – 1921

Where indexed transcripts of the records can be found online

Marriages 1813 – various

Note – Transcripts may not be a full record of everything on the original entry, also transcripts are open to error on the part of the transcriber. Viewing the original document online is preferable.