About UK and Ireland, Newspapers.com™ Marriage Index, 1800s-current
General collection information
This Newspapers.com™ index contains marriage announcements published in newspapers in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and Ireland from the 1800s to present. Some marriage announcements provide only a brief statement of who was married and when and where the wedding took place, but others go into detail about the couple's families and the wedding ceremony. These are not government or church records. The announcements were traditionally submitted to newspapers by the bride and groom or their family.
Using this collection
Marriage announcements may include the following details:
Newspaper marriage announcements can provide family information that goes beyond the scope of official documents. They often include the bride's maiden name, which can lead to a new family tree branch. They can include wedding attendant names that might be family members.
The home address of a married couple can provide a geographic area to explore and can open up connections to land and census records. The church where the wedding occurred and the clergyman who participated in the ceremony can lead to other church records.
Collection in context
These marriage announcements were created by newspapers throughout the British isles. The index was created from images of original articles, which makes it a high quality primary source.
Newspaper marriage announcements are an extension of the long tradition of the reading of the banns. A couple's intention to be married was read aloud in church several times in the months before the wedding date to give other parishioners the chance to argue that the marriage wouldn't be lawful.
Especially during the 1800s, marriages were often business agreements between two families. Newspaper marriage announcements were a way to inform the public about the merger of the two families.
Photographs of the bride or the newly married couple began to accompany newspaper marriage announcements during the late 1800s and became common by the early 1900s.
Ashcraft, Jenny. "Newspaper Marriage Announcements: Using the Language of Love to Break Down Genealogical Walls." Fishwrap, the official blog of Newspapers.com. Accessed March 11, 2022. https://blog.newspapers.com/newspaper-marriage-announcements-using-the-language-of-love-to-break-down-genealogical-walls.
---. "Search the World’s Largest Archive of Historical Wedding Announcements." Fishwrap, the official blog of Newspapers.com. Accessed March 11, 2022. https://blog.newspapers.com/search-the-worlds-largest-archive-of-historical-wedding-announcements/.
Meleen, Michele. "Wedding Announcements in the Newspaper." LoveToKnow.com. Accessed March 11, 2022. https://weddings.lovetoknow.com/wiki/Wedding_Announcement_in_the_Newspaper.
The Church of England. "Reading of banns." Accessed March 11, 2022. https://www.churchofengland.org/life-events/your-church-wedding/planning-your-ceremony/reading-banns.
University of Southern California. "Research Guides: Evaluating Primary Sources." Accessed March 11, 2022. https://libguides.usc.edu/primarysources/evaluate.
29 Jun 2022: Added 2,884,870 new records from hundreds of newspapers.
6 Dec 2022: Added 1,295,705 new records from hundreds of newspapers.
23 Mar 2023: Added 765,773 new records from hundreds of newspapers.