Monday, October 31, 2005

Banns and Bonds

From Lucinda (Lucinda []):

I thought I would post the info about banns and bonds for those of you who are new to genealogy, as I get questions weekly on the differences:

Marriage Banns, an announcement to marry was read before the church congregatoin for 3 consecutive Sundays, and if no objections arose, a certificate to marry was issued at the end of the 3 weeks. authorizing the the marriage to take place. The fee in NC for banns was 1 shilling and 6 pence compared to 20 shillings paid to the Governor for each bond issued plus 5 shillings to the Clerk of Court for issuing the bond and recording it. Marriage by banns eliminated the time and expense of traveling to the county seat to post bond. The problem for genealogist is that few of these banns exist today outside the Quaker or Church of England records. Even though the law did require the marriage be filed with the county clerk it was rarely done.

Marriage bonds required travel to the county seat to secure the bond, the groom and his bondsman usually a male relative or close friend would sign the bond. The name of the bride would also be recorded. Parents names were not recorded unless the bride was under age. The bond was for the sum of 50 pounds then raised to 50pounds under the Act of 1778. It was not until after 1868 that marriage records became more complete and included parents names. However some counties were still slow to include names of parents. NC did away with marriage bonds after 1868.

It has been estimated that 2/3 of nc marriages were by banns and have been lost to time.

(Source: General Statutes of NC, Chaper 51; Dr. Norman E Wright of History Department of Brigham Young University; Liahona Research, Inc)


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