The earliest Marriage Licence records in Devon Record Office.
Early marriage licences only gave exemption from one or two callings of banns, or allowed the ceremony to take place at seasons normally forbidden(but not both) Such licences are recorded in the Exeter Diocesan Records between 1523-1584. More general marriage licences with considerable and many complete with details may be found between 1595 and 1645 and for 1660 to 1912.
From 1714 Canon Law stipulated that marriage entries in Parish Registers should differentiate between marriage by licence and those after banns.
From the time of the earliest surviving records until December 1876,the Diocese of Exeter included the County of Cornwall. Therefore, marriage licences for ceremonies held in almost all Cornish Parish Churches were also issued by the Diocese of Exeter.
The only "peculiar" parishes, which belonged to other Dioceses outside the geographical area were St.Buryan in Cornwall and Dalwood, Stockland and Uffculme in Devon. Special licences coiuld be issued, but most couples applied for a Common or Ordinary Marriage Licence.
Devon - Marriage records licences issued between December 1523 and November 1550 and a Principal Registry Act book compiled between July 1568 and November 1584 give only partial and intermittent information but provide researchers with vital info on their ancestors that lived during the Tudor period. People are on hand to help with the interpretation of words that may otherwise mean nothing to the average researcher.
A problem exists for researchers searching records at the Devon Records Office between 15-6-1734 and 31-12-1842 as they have been extensively damaged, but over a long period of time have been translated to a book called "Mann's Transcriptions". Visitors, unfortunately canot photocopy these records but can view them and transcribe as much information as one wants to.
The Exeter Diocese Marriage Bonds and Allegations, covering overall the years 1660-1842, were sorted some years ago into a single chronological (date)series for Devon( in 169 boxes) and for Cornwall (in 32 boxes)
Please note when requesting information for any marriage records you should mention the County, the month and the year of marriage. This may take several attempts through emails etc, but once the marriage has been found a certificate can be ordered.
From 1799-1822 a remarkable amount of family information and baptismal certificates are on record for researchers.
I have been able to find out information on 5 of my Wills ancestors from the 1600s and 1700s over the past 4 months through contacting the Devon Record Office.
Anyone wishing to request information should contact the address below.
DEVON RECORD OFFICE, EXETER,ENGLAND.
Great Moor House
Bittern Road, Sowton, Exeter, Devon, England.
Phone +44 (0)1392 384253
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