My colleague Roz and I have in recent weeks begun to undertake a project which will hopefully increase the usage and visibility of the archives – importing volunteer enhanced records onto our database. Over the next few months, we aim to import much of the hard work our volunteers have put into making our collections more detailed and accessible for researchers.
Our first project was marriage licence allegations and bonds. These are useful additions to marriage registers, as an allegation or bond can provide details such as place of residence, occupation, age, and the occasional family member. As such, they can be a great resource. Or rather, they can be a great resource once you have sifted through thousands upon thousands of entries. To help mitigate this, our volunteers had painstakingly listed each and every entry for the usage of our visitors, and now they have been imported onto our online catalogue for you to see. If you click this link, then enter GDR/Q1, or GDR/Q2, or GDR/Q3 in the Finding Ref field, then click search, you can see for yourself the records, and refine the search by year, narrowing down the massive series.
Therefore, if you search for GDR/Q1, you will find over 21,300 individually recorded entries for each marriage bond we hold, from 1730 to 1823. If you search GDR/Q2, you will find over 18,400 marriage licence allegations (or affidavits) sworn before surrogates, from 1747-1837. Some of the allegations from September 1822 to March 1823 have certified copies of the baptismal entries of both parties attached, as required by the Confirmation of Marriages Act 1822. If you search for GDR/Q3, you will find over 36,800 entries from our volumes of marriage licence allegations (or affidavits) sworn at the Diocesan Registry in Gloucester before the Chancellor and his surrogates between 1637 and 1823. The records have been transcribed in their entirety, and as such there is now no need for the originals to be brought out to view in person. All the information provided in these documents is contained in each entry on our database.
So, let’s provide some context and more details for these records.