This series of books consists primarily of marriage licenses , as well as a few certificates of publication of banns . A marriage can only be solemnized in Ontario after one of the following has occurred: a marriage license is obtained prior to the event or banns are announced in the church in which the marriage is to be solemnized.
The license was issued after the persons to be married completed an affidavit on the back of the licence concerning “affinity, consanguinity, prior marriages or other lawful cause or legal impediment to the marriage.” It was returned to the Registrar General after the wedding and after a declaration on the back of the license was completed by the clergy (includes date and place of the ceremony, names and addresses of the witnesses, and name and address of the person who solemnized the marriage).
When a marriage was solemnized after the announcement of banns, a certificate of publication of banns was returned to the Registrar General, usually by the person who performed the marriage. This certificate includes: the date on which the banns were proclaimed, the names of the bride and groom; their residences, a declaration concerning the bride's or groom's residence during the fifteen days immediately preceeding the announcement of the banns, the name and address of the person who solemnized the marriage, and the name of the church.
Licenses and certificates may be accompanied by an affidavit signed by the groom stating that he is presently single and intends to marry a particular person on or by a particular date.
These volumes are arranged by year, and within each year alphabetically by county or district. Within counties and districts, the licenses and certificates, with accompanying affidavits, are arranged alphabetically by the surname of the groom.
The marriage licenses are generally filed by the county or district where the marriage took place , not by the county or district where the license was issued; licenses for some marriages which took place in the Nippissing or Sudbury Districts, or other locations in Northern Ontario, are filed with the “Algoma” licenses; licenses found in “Book 1” of 1907 are filed in no apparent order; and the counties and districts in the 1910 volumes are not arranged in true alphabetical order.
The documents found in these volumes do not constitute a registration of marriage, nor have they been indexed. The practice of transferring the information found in marriage licence books into separate registers was stopped in 1910, resulting in the discontinuance of this series.