I have an (extraordinarily helpful) banns record from Llanfair Nant Y Gof in Pembrokeshire in 1825, transcribed as follows:

(Page 2) The year 1825 & 1826 [No. 3] Banns of Marriage between John James of the chapelry of Llanvair Bachelor aged 25, lived with his father at Trecwn Mill during that period, and Anne John of Little Newcastle Parish, Spinster, aged 20 and lived with her father in Little Newcastle Village during that period.

1st time, Sunday 31st of July by William Edwards Minister

2nd time, Sunday 7th of August by William Edwards Minister

3rd time, Sunday 14 of August by William Edwards Minister

It isn't clear to me what the phrases in bold mean. Are they referring to the banns period (July/August 1825) or the lifetime of the intending spouses?

Elsewhere on the same page of the Banns register (entries by the same minister), we find the same phrase repeated, but also "having lived there ten months", "lived there eleven months", "lived there nine years" and "lived there all that period".

Image of banns page

The previous page in the register (which is the first) contains similar phrases; the subsequent pages contain only the expected information (and were filled in by a different person).

  • 1
    "that period" is an odd way to describe a lifetime, but the "nine years" does go way beyond typical banns requirements. Quite intriguing. Were these banns from a Wales Church parish, rather than the non-conformist chapels that the bride and groom attended? If so, I assume it was (geographically) the groom's parish as an alternative parish isn't mentioned for him. Is the corresponding banns record from the bride's parish available? And do you have baptism records for any of the parties that might indicate that they had not lived in those areas for all of the relevant period?
    – AndyW
    Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 17:37
  • @AndyW Yes -- Welsh Parish church (chapels weren't allowed to conduct marriages at this time). Baptists, so no infant baptisms and chapel records have survived badly in this area so haven't found any birth registrations. Yes -- grooms parish. Brides parish banns not available but they married in her parish (where a lot less info was recorded).
    – user6485
    Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 18:06
  • Is there any pattern in the way that residence is described in the preceding or following pages of the register? I'd assume the Church of Wales minister was recording the information as it was reported to him, which is why I'd expect the phrase "during that period" to be referring just to the period of the banns where he would have personal knowledge of their residence. Commented Feb 14, 2018 at 2:07
  • @sempaiscuba See edit.
    – user6485
    Commented Feb 14, 2018 at 8:12
  • I'm trying to decide if "during that period" and "all that period" are simply phrasing variants or have different meanings. The latter could easily mean "whole life" whereas the former could just mean sufficient residency for marriage by banns. Or not. A flexible language is a right pain sometimes. :)
    – AndyW
    Commented Feb 14, 2018 at 9:24

1 Answer 1


It would have been for the period of the banns, rather than the lifetime of the parties.

Lord Hardwick's Marriage Act which came into effect in 1764 stated that a marriage could only take place in the parish church chapel of one of the parties after the publication of banns (or after the issue of a licence). As I understand it, for the purpose of the reading of the banns, the party who lived in the parish should have been resident, and regularly attending church/chapel in the parish for at least 6 months.

Lord Hardwicke's Act was amended by the Marriage Act, 1823, but the requirement for the parties to have been resident in the parish for the period of the banns was retained.

  • My confusion is based on the phrase 'that period' which would normally refer to the antecedent X years, plus it wasn't required to stipulate ages or exact places of birth so this isn't a standard form or banns or not one I'm familiar with.. As an aside neither groom nor spouse attended church in their respective parishes - they went to non-conformist chapels well outside their parishes.They might have turned up for three weeks but not for 6 months. The father of the groom was the minister at the Baptist chapel they attended. I'm about to upload an image of the banns page in question.
    – user6485
    Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 17:00
  • Hmm - not sure that I can be sure! Instinctively I was going for the period of the banns until I saw the other periods, which are well in excess of the banns period. And surely "that period" would normally refer to a period already mentioned, which is their current life (or age), not the banns period, which has not yet been defined. This may be the misleading hope of a mathematician and programmer, of course.
    – AdrianB38
    Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 18:17
  • @AdrianB38 Yes, us physicists and programmers have the same often-misleading hopes.
    – user6485
    Commented Feb 13, 2018 at 19:50

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