There is currently the following record (link which is likely to change/break) in the Marriages database of the Cornwall Online Parish Clerks:

Day Month          01-Nov 
Year               1642 
Parish             Truro, St. Mary 
Groom Fn           Johannes 
Groom Sn           PENHALYNNA 
Bride Fn           Peternella 
Bride Sn           LANG 
Other Information  matr. contraxerunt

Does anyone know the meaning of the term matr. contraxerunt used near the end?

I think the abbreviation matr. is matrimonium and, on a Google translated page in Dutch, I found:

matrimonium contraxerunt = have entered into a marriage

but wouldn't this apply to any marriage record? Is there a reason why it might have been noted on this one?

  • Note the transcription says: "Please DO NOT link to indvidual records, as the numbers change when corrections are uploaded." Perhaps linking to the search page would be more appropriate?
    – Jan Murphy
    Commented Sep 19, 2015 at 6:23
  • 2
    Is it possible that a single register was in use for more than one purpose (it seems early enough for that to be the case). If that were so, you might expect to find some identification of the type of record.
    – user104
    Commented Sep 19, 2015 at 6:41
  • Find My Past's transcription of this record cites FamilySearch. There is a film number listed; the catalog entry says "The Register of marriages, baptisms & burials of the parish of St. Mary, Truro, Co. Cornwall, 1597 to 1837" and is a publication of the Devon and Cornwall Record Society (transcribed and edited by Susan E. Gay, et al.). A quick search of Discovery at TNA (filtered for other archives) did not have any results from the 1600s; I haven't checked ArchiveGrid yet.
    – Jan Murphy
    Commented Sep 19, 2015 at 6:56
  • @ColeValleyGirl I think you are right. I just searched for all Truro St Mary Marriages in 1642 - there were only seven and they all had the same note. I did not check all 39 baptisms and all 35 burials for the same year but, as expected, none that I checked had the comment.
    – PolyGeo
    Commented Sep 19, 2015 at 7:19

1 Answer 1


As this is Cornwall we have the advantage that images of the original registers are available on Familysearch, and after a bit of digging I found the relevant page.

The transciption is pretty much as you've already seen:

Johannes Penhalynna et Peternella Lang matr. contraxerunt 1 Nob. 1642

As has already been suggested I think it is literally just stating that it is a record of them contracting marriage, both because it is a mixed register and just because it's written as a sentence describing the event.

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