top of page
Anchor 1

Marriage Law for Genealogists: The Definitive Guide


ISBN 978-0-9563847-1-3

The indispensable guide for all family historians tracing the marriages of their English and Welsh ancestors between 1600 and the twentieth century. Based upon years of painstaking primary research, including new studies of thousands of couples, this book explains clearly and concisely why, how, when and where people in past centuries married. Family historians just starting out will find advice on where ‘missing’ marriages are most likely to be found, while those who are already well advanced in tracing their family tree will be able to interpret their discoveries to better understand their ancestors’ motivations. How, for example, should we interpret our ancestors’ decisions to marry in a particular form or place, or at a particular time? Did their choices make them exceptional or normal for their day? Might their marriages have been bigamous, clandestine, or void? Or might they have conscientiously followed the rules set down by Church and State? Professor Rebecca Probert explains the mistakes and confusion found in most genealogical guides, and thoroughly rewrites how family historians should understand their ancestors’ lives in this most personal and universal of areas.

Anchor 2

Divorced, Bigamist, Bereaved? The Family Historian's Guide to Marital Breakdown, Separation, Widowhood and Remarriage: from 1600 to the 1970s


ISBN 978-0-9931896-0-9

In this follow-up to the bestselling Marriage Law for Genealogists, Rebecca Probert explains marital breakdown, separation, divorce, bigamy, bereavement and remarriage from the 1600s through to the late twentieth century. From the evidential requirements of the divorce courts through to the testimonies of convicted bigamists, and from men who married their late wife's sister through to couples who went through more than one wedding ceremony together, this book examines law and social custom from every angle. Rebecca Probert is the leading authority on the history of marriage law and practice in England and Wales. She holds a chair in family law at the University of Warwick and regularly appears on TV and radio.

bottom of page