Each of the records includes a transcript of the original marriage accounts. The amount of detail in each record can vary but most will usually include the following information:
In the transcripts the ‘Age’ field at times will list the Bride and Groom’s age as Full instead of giving an exact age, it means that the Bride or Groom were at full marriage age of 21 years old or older. Within the Bride’s and Groom’s parish fields some records use the abbreviation ‘OTP,’ meaning ‘of this parish,’ referring to the parish of the marriage. This phrase is often written on Banns records.
The ‘Description’ field will often include the name of the church in which the marriage took place. The ‘Notes’ fields usually lists ‘Banns’ or ‘Licence’ to explain whether the couple married by Banns or by licence. Marriage licences were created in the 14th century. Couples could obtain a marriage licence for a fee if they wished to waive the Bann period. Banns were announcements made in the church on three separate Sundays during the three months leading up to the wedding day. The announcements were made to give the congregation an opportunity to voice any objection to the marriage. Along with a marriage licence fee, the couples were obligated to sign a declaration stating that there were not lawful impediments to their marriage. There are different reasons why couples married by licence instead of by Bann; they may have wanted to get married quickly, they may have wanted to show that they could pay for a licence or the couple was getting married away from home.
Pontefract is located in the West Yorkshire county of England. The town’s motto in Latin is‘Post mortem patris pro filio,’ which means, ‘After the death of the father, support the son.’ The motto comes from the time of the English Civil War.