Why search and send off for a copy marriage certificate?

As we start to go back in time, through a few generations, it is easy to not be quite sure that we have the right individuals who we feel may be that missing great grandparent for example.  It can often be that we find 10 or even hundreds  of couples who married around the time our couple may have married, and in the same vicinity.  The only sure way to find out is to send off for a copy marriage certificate, which in the U.K. you can find records recorded on and after 1837, when formal civil registration became the law.

Firstly, you should try and find out the volume number and page number where the marriage is recorded, known as the Indexes. This information can be found out by doing a simple search on one of the on-line genealogy sites.  You can now go onto the GRO (General Register Office) web site.  This is the site where you order your certificates and is the cheapest method.  You will find a couple of simple forms to fill out and currently a charge of £9.45 at time of writing.  If for some reason the certificate cannot be found your payment is refunded.  Currently it is taking about 10 days to receive the ordered copy certificate.  It is exciting when the envelope arrives. I can help you do this by filling out the contact form here.

A marriage certificate will give you a lot of information and very importantly the maiden name of the bride, and of the couples fathers and their occupation.  The occupation of the bride and groom is also recorded which is a useful tool for cross referencing our couple on the census returns.   This can be a wonderful resource to help us to go back a further generation and be confident that we have the right people added to our line before we attempted to go back further.