Each record contains the transcription of an original parish records. The information contained varies but you could be able to find out the following about your ancestor:
Name of bride
Name of groom
Date of marriage
Time of marriage
Married by Banns or by Licence
Bride’s maiden name
Names of witnesses
There are over 414,000 records in this collection taken from the marriage registers from around 339 churches, chapels and Quaker Meetings. These transcriptions are due to the hard work of the volunteers of the Dorset Family History Society and appear here with thanks to them.
Before the introduction of the civil registration of births, marriages and deaths in 1837 all such events were recorded in the local parish.
Parish records generally begin from 1538 after the Church of England mandated the keeping of parish registers in 1537. Baptisms, marriages and burials were all recorded in a single volume until 1774, when the law changed to require a separate marriage register and another one for Banns (or proclamations of an intent to marry). Standardised forms for these registers appeared in 1812.
Banns had been introduced in the Act for the Better Prevention of Clandestine Marriages of 1754. They were read out on three consecutive Sundays to allow anyone with a reason that the marriage should not go ahead to come forward. The alternative for the couple was to get married by Licence when, on payment of a fee, they could swear that no impediment to their marriage existed.
Other religious denominations, with the exception of the Quakers and Jews, often registered these events in their local Church of England parish even after the Toleration Act of 1689 although between 1754 and 1837 it was illegal to marry anywhere other than a Church of England parish.
Dorset is a rural county in the south west of England, bordering the English Channel coast. On the west it borders Devon, with Somerset to the north west, Wiltshire to the north east and Hampshire to the east.
It has been inhabited since Stone Age times. More recently the Industrial Revolution largely by-passed the county and it remains largely rural to this day. The farming economy however provided the spark for the trade union movement when, in the 1820s, a group of farm labourers formed one of the first unions. Unions were outlawed in 1832 and the six men, known now as the Tolpuddle Martyrs were transported.