The Marriage Index Project was started a long time ago, and you may be forgiven for thinking that it was also completed a long time ago but several factors conspired to force the Society to resurrect the project.
The Index was in the form of a giant card index, comprising some 158,000 cards in two large wooden cabinets. One of the problems associated with this situation was that there could only be one copy of the Index. A microfiche version was made available, but each frame of the microfiche comprised only four of the index cards. Thus the new index comprised 39,500 frames, which, even at 14 x 7 fiche format, represented over 400 microfiche.
A decision was made to computerise the data and at the same time to carry out exhaustive quality assurance checks.
In order to avoid the Society’s members and the public at large having to wait until the whole project was completed before they could start taking advantage of the new index, it was decided that the results of the new project would be made available in three stages. The first stage covered the parishes of the Diocese of Bristol and the period from 1813 to 1837 and the resulting CD is available under the title ‘Marriage Index Vol 8’. The second CD (under the title ‘Marriage Index Vol 9’) covers the same parishes but for the period from 1754 to 1813. The third CD covers the parishes of Bath and North Somerset from 1754 to 1837, and this third CD has been published under the title ‘Marriage Index Vol 10’.
Click here to see a map of the area covered by these indexes.
Whilst the cut-off point for most of the Society’s indexing projects has traditionally been 1837 (when Civil Registration commenced), a collaborative pilot project between the Bristol and Gloucester Records Offices, assisted by the Bristol & Avon and Gloucester Family History Societies, yielded an index to marriages for the South Gloucestershire parishes of the Diocese of Bristol covering the period from 1837 to 1901. Unfortunately, this pilot project did not lead on to the complete project (due mainly to lack of funding), but the results of the limited pilot project have been published as transcripts, and an index to them, on a CD-ROM, under the title ‘Marriage Index Vol 11’.
Revised 10 May 2011