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Overseas marriage records go online

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Overseas marriage records go online

Christopher Tatham's declaration. Catalogue reference RG 34/1

Christopher Tatham's declaration. Catalogue reference RG 34/1

14 August 2009

The overseas marriage records of more than 38,000 people have been added to the online service at BMD Registers. Searching the records is free, but there is a charge to download images of the original documents.

The records cover British subjects marrying abroad and come from various sources worldwide. They include marriage registers from British churches abroad and records of marriages of British soldiers in France, Flanders and Holland during and after the First World War, many of whom had been prisoners of war.

The records were previously only viewable on microfilm at The National Archives as the RG 34 series.

Safekeeping

Some British subjects who married abroad sent evidence of their marriage directly to the Registrar General for safekeeping, including a Mr Christopher Tatham who married in Colombo in 1867. He sent the documents because the original in the church register was, 'I believe subject only to the old and very unsafe regulations of the Island of Ceylon.'

He was right to be concerned, because this document is the only one in the whole collection to come from Ceylon. He also helpfully enclosed a Statutory Declaration with details of his and his wife's ancestry.

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