Over 272,000 new records have just been released in the third phase of our collection of Westminster Banns. The records will reveal where and when your Westminster ancestors announced their intention to marry, when they were married and where they lived.
Parish registers are a vital source for tracing your family history. The practice of recording baptisms, banns, marriages and burials in the Anglican Church was introduced by Thomas Cromwell in 1538. The events were recorded on loose paper until 1597 when bounded volumes were instituted. In 1753, it was decided that marriages and banns should be recorded separately from other life events. Then in 1812, printed register books were introduced. Banns announcements, which were a notice of a couple's intention to marry, took place on three successive Sundays prior to the wedding date. The existence of a banns record does not denote that a marriage undeniably took place. All of the Westminster banns are held by the Westminster City Archives.