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What is the marriages index?

Local and family history A-Z > Births, marriages and deaths > Civil registration > Marriages index
  • Grey-white open bookThe marriages index is an index to the marriages registers that have been produced since compulsory civil registration of marriages began in England and Wales on 1st July 1837 (although penalties for non-registration were not introduced until 1875)
  • The index is maintained by the General Register Office (GRO)
  • The marriages registers themselves are not available to the public but anyone can inspect the index to the registers
  • The details given in the marriages index may be helpful in themselves but they are usually used to find the details necessary for ordering a copy of a marriage certificate
  • In particular, the marriages index gives you the 'GRO index reference' for each marriage. The 'GRO index reference' consists of the details given in the volume and page columns for each marriage entry
  • There is an explanation of the indexes at the Gov.UK site in the section 'Research your family history using the General Register Office' pages on the General Register Office web site

Page last updated: 1st July 2020