Discover your ancestors in banns records dating from between 1558 and 1969 and covering 67 parishes in Kent, England, particularly for West and Mid-Kent. View the parish list for details on the full scope of this collection. For East Kent, click on Canterbury Archdeaconry banns in Useful links and resources. Banns records may tell you your ancestor’s banns dates, marriage date, and marital status prior to marriage.
Each record includes a transcript of the original banns book. The information in each transcript may vary, but most will include the following information:
Groom’s marital status
Bride’s marital status
Place - the parish of the banns announcement
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.
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.
View the Kent parish lists in Useful links and resources for a full list of the parishes found in Kent Banns.