Do you have ancestors who’s whose banns were read out or did they marry in Kent? These records may reveal when and where your relative’s banns were read, as well as who announced them. These records may also reveal when and where your ancestor married, as well as the bride’s and groom’s full names and names of their fathers. These records constitute a valuable resource for researching ancestry in Kent and have been provided in association with Canterbury Cathedral Archives, Kent County Council and the North West Kent Family History Society and Val Brown. For a full list of all parishes and date ranges currently covered, view our parish list.
These records provide both transcripts and images of the original registers where available. The amount of information listed varies, but the records usually include a combination of the following information about your ancestor:
You may find Otp listed in the parish field. Otp is an abbreviation for 'off this parish', meaning that either the bride or the groom resides in the same parish where the reading of the banns took place.
Kent is a county in the southeast of England. It borders London, Essex, Surrey, and Sussex, and nominally France, midway through the Channel Tunnel. Maidstone is the county town of Kent.
An ancient legal tradition, banns are an announcement in church of a couple’s intention to marry. The reading of the banns provides an opportunity for anybody to put forward a reason why the marriage may not lawfully take place. Banns must be read in the parish (or parishes) in which the couple lives and in the parish where they will marry, on three Sundays in the three months before the wedding. This is useful for those records which do not include the wedding date. By recording the banns, you now have an estimation of when your ancestors were married.
For events that occurred prior to the introduction of civil registration in 1837, parish registers are the best resource for discovering your ancestors. Registration of life events – births, marriages, and deaths – began in the Church of England in 1538. In 1754, Lord Hardwicke’s Marriage Act passed in order to prevent clandestine marriages. This act declared that those of all denominations, except Jews and Quakers, were obligated to register their marriage with the Church of England. For this reason, even if your ancestors were Roman Catholic or non-conformist, Church of England registers are a relevant and valuable resource.
Included in this collection of records is the Archdeaconry of Canterbury. Before 1841, Canterbury was the only archdeaconry in the diocese of Canterbury. From 1841 until 2011, the diocese of Canterbury was divided into two archdeaconries: Canterbury in the east and Maidstone in the west. In 2011, the Archdeaconry of Ashford was created and the archdeaconry boundaries redrawn.
The records include all parishes that are within the Archdeaconry of Canterbury and agreed to online publication. There are four parishes that withheld consent for publishing images of their records. As such, where provided, you will only be able to search transcripts of their records: Cheriton St Martin, Harbledown St Michael, Ramsgate St Luke, and Shepherdswell (also known as Sibertswold) St Andrew. Original records for each of these four parishes can be consulted on microfilm at Canterbury Cathedral Archives.
Three ancient Thanet parishes can be found within these records: St John in Thanet, St Lawrence in Thanet, and St Peter in Thanet (rather than under the names Margate, Ramsgate, and Broadstairs respectively).
Included in these records are also the baptism registers at the Buckland (Dover) Workhouse between 1855 and 1912. These may be beneficial if your ancestors were from anywhere within the extensive catchment area of Dover Union: the parishes of Alkham, Buckland, Capel le Ferne, Charlton by Dover, Coldred, Denton, Dover, Guston, Hougham, East Langdon, Lydden, Oxney in Dover, Poulton, Ringwould, River, St Margaret at Cliffe, Shepherdswell (Sibertswold), Temple Ewell, Westcliffe, West Langdon, Whitfield, and Wootton.
These records constitute a valuable resource for researching ancestry in Kent and have been provided in association with Canterbury Cathedral Archives, Kent County Council and the North West Kent Family History Society and Val Brown.
The banns register for Robert Augustus de Lasaux, famous as an English cricketer, can be found within these records. He married Louisa Dadds on 13 February 1873. Banns were read on 19 January, 26 January, and 2 February of 1873. By looking at the image of the original register, we learn that Robert was a bachelor and Louisa was a widow.
The register for Robert Cushman’s first marriage can be found within these records. Cushman helped organize the 1620 voyage of the Mayflower. He acted as the Chief Agent in London for both the Leiden Separatist contingent and the Plymouth Colony. From these records, we learn that he married Sara Reder on 31 July 1606 at Canterbury, St Alphege. Sara lived within the precinct of Christ Church. There is a handwritten note alongside this entry in the marriage registry: "Probably the 'Apostle' of the Pilgrim Fathers, 1620."
Begin your search broadly with just a first and last name.
You can narrow your results if needed by adding a year, place, or spouse’s name.
Be sure to explore the image, if provided, of the original register to discover more details.