Information in a Napoleonic Marriage Registration

This list explains the information in the “ideal” civil register.

  • The place and date of registration of marriage were given, including time of day.
  • Two witnesses were named as were their occupations, ages, and residences.[i]
  • In some records the bride and groom presented themselves, and the witnesses were listed at the end of the statement.
  • The statement of marriage: If the marriage took place on a different day than the registration day, it was stated next.
  • The names of bridegroom and bride were given. Age, previous marital status, and residence were almost always given. Very often the entry gave the place of birth. Most records gave the names and residences of the parents of the bride and the groom. Sometimes the exact birth date and/or names of previous spouses were also given. All the information about the groom was always given first, followed by all the information about the bride.[ii]
  • Because marriages were preceded by three banns, public announcements in church, the dates of the banns were frequently given. Some records stated who gave permission for the marriage to take place.
  • The summation included a statement that there were no objections to the marriage. Sometimes it included the renaming of the witnesses with an occasional listing of the relationship to the bride or to the groom. Finally, it stated that the entry was read to witnesses and that they signed it or did not sign it depending on whether they could read or write.[iii]

 [i] Civil Registers in Russian-Ruled Poland, 5.

[ii] Civil Registers in Russian-Ruled Poland, 6.

[iii] Civil Registers in Russian-Ruled Poland, 7.


About suwalkigermans

I started family research in 1993. My first two books focused on my maternal grandparents. Both families came from Kreis Rosenberg, West Prussia, to Big Rapids, Michigan. I left the Spurgats from Wylkowiszki in the Russian Empire as the third book because of the difficult and challenging research it required. After I published the book in 2010, I wondered what to do next. I thought I might try to share some of my research with others and maybe at the same time, by going digital, someone would find me. When you read the comments, you will see that happened. The best part of all this is helping others.
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