The Society of Genealogists
St Andrew Holborn Marriage Index 1754-1812
The church of St Andrew Holborn is the largest of Sir Christopher Wren's London parish churches and stands at the western end of Holborn Viaduct by Holborn Circus. It also served one of the biggest parishes in London (it actually spanned the boundary of London and Middlesex) out of which five new parishes were eventually formed.
The registers are large and contain many thousands of entries, as the parish has always been a popular place to marry. More significantly, the entries from the marriage registers do not appear on the International Genealogical Index or in Boyd's Marriage Index. Pallot's Marriage index has entries for 1780-1837 but these give only year and omit many of the details from the original registers. It is for these reasons that the Society of Genealogists decided to embark a project to transcribe and index the registers in 2003.
This index is for the period 1754-1812, comprising 18,724 marriages and around 75,000 names.Search St Andrew Holborn Marriage Index now
What the records contain
The St Andrew Holborn marriage index records contain much more information than many other marriage indexes. For both bride and groom the following information is provided:
- Full name - including any title
- Age - this is simply 'full age' (i.e., over 21), 'minor' or unknown
- Status - i.e., spinster/bachelor, widow/widower, or unknown
- Occupation - although rarely stated
- Parish and county - over 4% of grooms and nearly 3% of brides come from outside London or Middlesex
- Parish and county as in the register - these are not always exactly the same as the standardised parish and county names. For example, because St Andrew Holborn is split between the City of London and Middlesex, sometimes the county is shown in the register as London and sometimes as Middlesex. For searching, we have included St Andrew Holborn in London.
- Whether the register has been signed - in only a handful of cases has the register not been signed by both parties, but quite often only a mark is made - i.e., because the party cannot write their name. In 13% of cases the groom 'made [his] mark', but in 32% of cases the bride made a mark, showing how widespread illiteracy was among women in the late 18th century.
- How they were married - by banns or by licence
- Date of the marriage
- Name of the officiating clerk or minister who conducted the ceremony
- Names of witnesses - names of two witnesses are generally present (missing in under 1/2% of cases), but the remarks field will often contain further witnesses' names
- Remarks - this section contains miscellaneous information, including, for example:
- Name of the person or persons who gave permission for the marriage where one or both parties were minors (usually a parent but can be someone else if the parents were dead)
- Names of further witnesses
- More details of where a party came from
- A fuller name for the party (e.g., if they were titled or had academic qualifications)
The source documents
This index is a finding aid and users should always refer back to the original material. An interesting idiosyncrasy of this parish is that after 1754 two sets of registers were kept and the registers for marriages by licence are separated from those by banns. Around two thirds of the marriages were by banns and one third by licence.
The original registers are held at the Guildhall, because the parish church itself is in the City. Microfilmed copies of both sets of registers are kept at the Guildhall and the Society of Genealogists' Library. The London Metropolitan Archives has microfilm copies of the registers for marriages by banns only.
Here is an example image of a St Andrew Holborn marriage record. Click on the image to enlarge it:
A volunteer project of this nature, involving as it does many tens of thousands of entries, requires the cooperation of many people. Nothing would have been achieved without Colin Allen FSG, who managed the project from conception to completion. The transcription work has taken much time and effort by many Society of Genealogists volunteers: Sue Gibbons and Else Churchill, as officers of the society, provided encouragement, advice and resources; David Squire FSG authored the inputting software, wrote the project website, and prepared the final data.Search St Andrew Holborn Marriage Index now