Discover if your ancestors declared their intention to marry in the British county of Yorkshire. Find their names, parishes and marital statuses with more than 625,000 banns records.
Each record contains a transcript and an image of the original record. The information contained can vary but you could find out the following about your ancestor:
Archive and reference
There are over 625,000 records in the marriage banns covering Anglican parishes across the three historic Yorkshire counties as well as records from some Roman Catholic parishes. This record set brings together the parish records held in six separate Yorkshire archives and family history societies to create a comprehensive collection of parish records for the whole county.
Yorkshire, in the north of England, is the largest British county. Historically Yorkshire was divided into the three Ridings. The word “riding” comes from the old Danish “Threthingr” meaning a third. The three ridings were called North Riding, West Riding and East Riding; there is no South Riding, although there is a book of that name.
The East and North Ridings were separated by the River Derwent, while the West and the North were separated by the Ouse and the Ure/Nidd watershed. The historic Ridings were abolished in 1974.
Banns of marriage are the public announcement in a Christian parish church of a forthcoming marriage. They are commonly known simply as "banns”, the word deriving from a Middle English term for a proclamation. The idea was to prevent anyone from marrying when there was a legal impediment to them doing so. These impediments might include a pre-existing marriage that hasn’t been either dissolved or annulled, a vow of celibacy, a lack of consent or the couple being related within the prohibited degrees of kinship. Banns were read on three consecutive Sundays in the church of both bride and groom to allow anyone to raise a canonical or civil legal impediment to the forthcoming nuptials.
Marriage licences were introduced in the 14th century to allow the banns to be waived, on payment of a fee together with a sworn declaration that there was no canonical impediment to the marriage.
Borthwick records are from records in the custody of the Borthwick Institute for Archives, University of York.
Doncaster records reproduced with permission from Doncaster Borough Council.
East Riding records reproduced with the permission of The East Riding Archives & Local Studies Service, East Riding of Yorkshire Council.
North Yorkshire images copyright North Yorkshire County Record Office.
Sheffield records reproduced with permission from Sheffield City Council Libraries Archives and Information Services.
Teesside records reproduced with permission from Teeside Archives.
Ripponden transcripts have been created by the Calderdale Family History Society.