Marriage indexes can be extremely helpful for locating an ancestor's whereabouts in England. Some are now available on the internet. These indexes allow for quick searching. This article will focus on marriage indexes for counties in Northern England, focusing primarily on internet options and then on other available indexes. This article is not comprehensive, but I have tried to find the best indexes available (although it should be remembered that most indexes are not complete). I have not included any services that charge research fees, although some are available and can often be found online.
Marriages, in all of England, that took place from 1837 forward are found at www.freebmd.org.uk. This index is not complete, and the site includes graphs that show the percentage of coverage by year. This site also indexes births and deaths.
Pre-1837 marriages are best found through records of the Church of England. Other church records and record types will not be discussed in this article. Available pre-1837 indexes are discussed below by county.
1) The best available index is on compact disc. Bibliographic information: Merrell, Bertram. Bertram Merrell Cheshire Marriage Index. Knutsford, Cheshire: Family History Society of Cheshire, 2001. Covers years 1580-1837. Available at the Family History Library (FHL) in Salt Lake City, Utah.
1) Boyd, Percival. Boyd's Marriage, Index, Derbyshire. Indexed by brides and grooms, 1538-1837. Available at FHL and through www.englishorigins.com (subscription site).
2) http://homepage.ntlworld.com/sherwoodoutlaw/derbyshiremarriageindex.htm, for Southern Derbyshire parishes, 1500s to 1800s; indexed by bride and groom.
3) British Vital Records Index, 176 record collections for Derby, at FHL.
1) The Joiner Marriage Index, website.lineone.net/~jjoiner/mindex/mindex.html covers Southern Durham, 1800-1837. Also, Boyd's Marriage Index, Durham. Years 1538-1837. Available at FHL and through www.englishorigins.com.
2) Yellowly, Carol and George Bell. Durham Marriages, 1798-1812: Selected Registers not on Boyd's Marriage Index. Tyne and Wear, England: 1997, at FHL.
1) Herefordshire Register Pages Extracts, http://homepages.rootsweb.com/~slkarner/HEF_Parish/
2) Bertram Merrill's Marriage Index of Herefordshire, 1701-1837. Taken from 188 parishes; at FHL.
3) British Vital Records Index, 141 record collections, at FHL.
1) Boyd's Marriage Index, Lancashire. 1538-1837; available at FHL and through www.englishorigins.com.
2) Rossendale Society for Genealogy and Heraldry. Lancashire Marriage Index, 1813-1837. Birkenhead: Cull Reprographics. Indexed by parish; available at FHL.
3) British Vital Records Index, 244 record collections, at FHL.
1) Makins, R.E.A. Leicestershire Marriage Index, 1801-1837. Indexed by bride and groom; available at FHL.
1) Dickinson, George C. Marriage Index of Lincolnshire, 1600-1699. England: Lincolnshire Family History Society, 1966-1997.
2) Miller, Vera E. Marriage Index of Lincolnshire, 1700-1753. Lincoln: Lincolnshire Family History Society, 1994.
3) Lincolnshire Family History Society. Marriage Index of Lincolnshire, 1754-1812.
4) Lincolnshire Family History Society. Marriage Index of Lincolnshire, 1813-1837. All available at FHL.
5) British Vital Records Index, 216 record collections, at FHL.
1) Over 40,000 marriages indexed at http://www.genealogy.doun.org/transcriptions/index.php.
2) Phillimore's Marriage Registers. Information about this database can be found through www.genuki.org.uk.
3) British Vital Records Index, at FHL.
4) Boyd's Marriage Index, Norfolk. Years 1538-1837; at FHL and www.englishorigins.com.
1) Boyd's Marriage Index, Northumberland. Years 1538-1824; FHL and www.englishorigins.com.
2) Bell, George. Northumberland Marriages, 1798-1812: Selected Registers not on Boyd's Marriage Index. Tyne and West, England. Available at FHL.
1) Nottinghamshire Family History Society. Nottinghamshire Marriages Index up to 1699. Other marriage indexes by the same society to 1837. All available at the FHL.
2) British Vital Records Index, 122 record collections, at FHL.
1) Boyd's Marriage Index at www.englishorigins.com.
2) Schultka, Hettie and Sue Brown, Rutland Marriage Index, 1754-1837. Available at FHL.
1) Boyd's Marriage Index, Shropshire. Years 1538-1837; at FHL and www.englishorigins.com.
2) indexes of many parishes at www.ancestry.com (subscription site) under "Shropshire, England: Parish and Probate Records."
1) British Vital Records Index, 98 record collections for Stafford, at FHL.
1) British Vital Records Index, 111 record collections, at FHL.
1) Some parishes indexed at www.ancestry.com.
1) The Joiner Marriage Index, website.lineone.net/~jjoiner/mindex/mindex.html. North Yorkshire, 1813-1837.
2) Boyd's Marriage Index, Yorkshire. Years 1538-1837 (grooms only). At FHL and www.englishorigins.com.
3) British Vital Records Index, including 265 record collections, at FHL.
A few notes on the information above:
The International Genealogical Index, which is found at www.familysearch.org, includes extracted marriage record information for much of pre-20th century England. I advise searching this database before looking at the other indexes mentioned.
Those records are available through the Family History Library in Salt Lake City, Utah and can often be ordered, for a small fee, from LDS Family History Centers located worldwide. Call number information for these items is found through www.familysearch.org
Boyd's Marriage Index is not complete. A list of parishes and years included can be found at: http://www.englishorigins.com/help/bmi parishstats.asp?county (no charge).
Copies of the British Vital Records Index on CD are inexpensive and can be ordered online at www.ldscatalog.com. This index includes records for all the parishes included in this article, although those with few collections in the index were not mentioned. Record collections include conformist and non-conformist (non-Church of England) records.
Indexes are constantly being updated, so don't forget to check for new material in the future!
See also, Southwestern England Marriage Indexes.