Most collections of marriage records derive from church records or marriage licenses, but not all early marriages were recorded in the traditional manner and not all records of marriage have survived. The gaps in the historical record, therefore, can be a huge obstacle in genealogical research.
Maryland Marriages, 1634-1777, published by Robert Barnes in 1975, is a compilation of all the marriages in existing church records and is a great example of a marriage collection deriving from traditional sources, but it is neither infallible nor comprehensive. What about marriages that do not appear in church records or church records that no longer exist? Where can we find evidence of these marriages?
These are questions Mr. Barnes posed when he set out to compile this complement to Maryland Marriages.. Maryland Marriage Evidences, 1634-1718 is a collection of 6,500 marriage records found in sources other than church records, closing the gap in the historical record and providing a clear alternative to traditional genealogical sources.
The records in this work are based on both direct and indirect references, and in the Introduction Mr. Barnes explains how they were found: “Direct records of marriage may be found in parish registers and administrative records of some denominations, in marriage licenses and allegations, in banns posted in the county court, and in pastoral registers. Indirect references to marriages can be found in land records, probate and court records, marriage contracts, Maryland state papers, and court reports. Marriages and marriage references may also be found in private records such as newspapers, diaries, letters, and family Bibles.”
With a bibliography and a full-name index of brides and others mentioned in the text, along with additions and corrections to Maryland Marriages, this work completes the tableau of sources available to the researcher in the area of colonial Maryland genealogy–the final installment of a resource that began to prove its usefulness thirty years ago.