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Archiver > GENUKI > 1996-07 > 0836450691

From: Charles Ellson <>
Subject: Re: What happens to bigamous marriage records in the UK?
Date: Thu, 4 Jul 1996 03:24:51 GMT

In article <>
"David Harris" writes:

> If the authorities are aware of the fact it was a bigamous marriage, ie:
> someone was prosecuted or their attention was brought to it after the
> parties were dead, a 'holding order' is placed on the record by OPCS. The
> record still physically exists, but they will not issue a certificate or
> details to anyone, not even an official body, (apart from the police
> investigating a crime, which of course bigamy is).
> I've tried to get hold of such records myself. Sometimes the records are
> present in the St. Catherine's index but unobtainable. Personally, if the
> parties are all long since dead I do not know why, for the purposes of
> family history, they could be released. It would not matter if it had a
> note included stating it was not a legal marriage. The authorities do not
> seem to see it that way though.
Moving north to Scotland, the records would in practice be available
to anyone doing a general search at the local registrar, and also to
anyone doing a general search in Edinburgh even if only because they were
looking at an adjacent entry. ISTR seeing mention of general searches
being allowed in England subject to the registrar having the time and
effort available; if this is correct, then the records can probably also
be seen in England.
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