Research: Research Tips:

Research Tip #5

Marriage Bonds

Prior to 1784 couples intending to marry, yet not announcing the impending marriage in a church, were required to obtain licenses from and file bonds with the provincial secretary/secretary of state.  Series A1893, Marriage bonds, 1753-1783, is the sole surviving record of these bonds.  Only 19 of the 40 original volumes survived the 1911 State Capitol fire.  Little visible text remains in the surviving records.

The publication, New York Marriage Bonds, 1753-1783, comp. Kenneth Scott (New York: 1972) abstracts data on marriage bonds.  To search for a record, researchers need the name of the party or parties and date of the event (or the relevant page from Scott’s publication).  If a record is found, the best available photocopy can be provided at $1.00 each.