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Source Information

Ancestry.com. London and Surrey, England, Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1597-1921 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations, Inc., 2011.
Original data: Marriage Bonds and Allegations. London, England: London Metropolitan Archives.

Surrey Marriage Bonds and Allegations records held by the London Metropolitan Archives, London, England.

Images produced by permission of the City of London Corporation Libraries, Archives. The City of London gives no warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or fitness for the purpose of the information provided. Images may be used only for purposes of research, private study or education. Applications for any other use should be made to the City of London, Guildhall, PO Box 270, London EC2P 2EJ. Infringement of the above condition may result in legal action.

About London and Surrey, England, Marriage Bonds and Allegations, 1597-1921

This database contains marriage allegations and bonds created by individuals applying for marriage licenses in parishes in the Diocese of Winchester (Surrey) and the Diocese of London, England.

Historical Background

Before civil registration began in 1837, most people in England during the timespan of these records married by banns or by license, as required by law. The process of requesting a license included providing a written allegation stating a couple’s intent to marry and asserting that there were no legal obstacles to the marriage. From 1604 until 1823, the allegation was made sure by bond. Two witnesses, one of them typically the groom, swore to the bond, which would be forfeit if the claims of the allegation proved false and a legal impediment to the marriage, such as consanguinity, arose.

Marriage allegations and bonds often exist where licenses don’t because, while the license was given to a member of the wedding party to present to the officiant at the ceremony, the allegation stayed with the authority who issued it.

What Is in the Records

This database contains marriage allegations and bonds from parishes in the Diocese of Winchester (Surrey) and the Diocese of London. Marriage allegations typically listed the following details:

  • groom (name, age, marital status, occupation, parish)
  • bride (name, age, marital status, parish)
  • parish where the marriage was to take place

Minors might list father, mother, or guardian. Ages sometimes indicated only that the party was 21 or older.

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