Marriage license

Marriage license

Overview
A marriage license is a document
Document
The term document has multiple meanings in ordinary language and in scholarship. WordNet 3.1. lists four meanings :* document, written document, papers...

 issued, either by a church
Sacred Tradition
Sacred Tradition or Holy Tradition is a theological term used in some Christian traditions, primarily in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox traditions, to refer to the fundamental basis of church authority....

 or state authority
Authority
The word Authority is derived mainly from the Latin word auctoritas, meaning invention, advice, opinion, influence, or command. In English, the word 'authority' can be used to mean power given by the state or by academic knowledge of an area .-Authority in Philosophy:In...

, authorizing a couple to marry
Marriage
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

. The procedure for obtaining a license varies between countries and has changed over time. Marriage licenses began to be issued in the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, to permit a marriage which would otherwise be illegal (for instance, if the necessary period of notice for the marriage had not been given).

Today, they are a legal requirement in some jurisdictions and may also serve as the record of the marriage itself, if signed by the couple and witnessed.

In other jurisdictions, a license is not required.
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Encyclopedia
A marriage license is a document
Document
The term document has multiple meanings in ordinary language and in scholarship. WordNet 3.1. lists four meanings :* document, written document, papers...

 issued, either by a church
Sacred Tradition
Sacred Tradition or Holy Tradition is a theological term used in some Christian traditions, primarily in the Roman Catholic, Anglican, Eastern Orthodox and Oriental Orthodox traditions, to refer to the fundamental basis of church authority....

 or state authority
Authority
The word Authority is derived mainly from the Latin word auctoritas, meaning invention, advice, opinion, influence, or command. In English, the word 'authority' can be used to mean power given by the state or by academic knowledge of an area .-Authority in Philosophy:In...

, authorizing a couple to marry
Marriage
Marriage is a social union or legal contract between people that creates kinship. It is an institution in which interpersonal relationships, usually intimate and sexual, are acknowledged in a variety of ways, depending on the culture or subculture in which it is found...

. The procedure for obtaining a license varies between countries and has changed over time. Marriage licenses began to be issued in the Middle Ages
Middle Ages
The Middle Ages is a periodization of European history from the 5th century to the 15th century. The Middle Ages follows the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and precedes the Early Modern Era. It is the middle period of a three-period division of Western history: Classic, Medieval and Modern...

, to permit a marriage which would otherwise be illegal (for instance, if the necessary period of notice for the marriage had not been given).

Today, they are a legal requirement in some jurisdictions and may also serve as the record of the marriage itself, if signed by the couple and witnessed.

In other jurisdictions, a license is not required. In some jurisdictions, a "pardon" can be obtained, for marrying without a license and in some jurisdictions, common-law marriage
Common-law marriage
Common-law marriage, sometimes called sui juris marriage, informal marriage or marriage by habit and repute, is a form of interpersonal status that is legally recognized in limited jurisdictions as a marriage even though no legally recognized marriage ceremony is performed or civil marriage...

s and marriage by cohabitation
Cohabitation
Cohabitation usually refers to an arrangement whereby two people decide to live together on a long-term or permanent basis in an emotionally and/or sexually intimate relationship. The term is most frequently applied to couples who are not married...

 and representation are also recognised. These do not require a marriage license. There are also some jurisdictions where marriage licenses do not exist at all and a marriage certificate
Marriage certificate
In some jurisdictions a marriage certificate is the official record that two people have undertaken a marriage ceremony. This does include jurisdictions where marriage licenses do not exist...

 is given to the couple after the marriage ceremony did take place.

Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly . The Declaration arose directly from the experience of the Second World War and represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled...

 declares that "Men and women of full age, without any limitation due to race, nationality or religion, have the right to marry and to found a family. They are entitled to equal rights as to marriage, during marriage and at its dissolution. Marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses."

History


For most of Western history, marriage was a private contract between two families. Until the 16th-century, Christian churches accepted the validity of a marriage on the basis of a couple’s declarations. If two people claimed that they had exchanged marital vows—even without witnesses—the Catholic Church accepted that they were validly married.

State courts in the United States* have routinely held that public cohabitation was sufficient evidence of a valid marriage. Marriage license application records from government authorities are widely available starting from the mid-19th century with many available dating from the 17th century in colonial America. Marriage licenses from their inception have sought to establish certain prohibitions on the institution of marriage. These prohibitions have changed throughout history. In the 1920s, they were used by 38 states to prohibit whites from marrying blacks
Black people
The term black people is used in systems of racial classification for humans of a dark skinned phenotype, relative to other racial groups.Different societies apply different criteria regarding who is classified as "black", and often social variables such as class, socio-economic status also plays a...

, mulatto
Mulatto
Mulatto denotes a person with one white parent and one black parent, or more broadly, a person of mixed black and white ancestry. Contemporary usage of the term varies greatly, and the broader sense of the term makes its application rather subjective, as not all people of mixed white and black...

s, Japanese
Japanese people
The are an ethnic group originating in the Japanese archipelago and are the predominant ethnic group of Japan. Worldwide, approximately 130 million people are of Japanese descent; of these, approximately 127 million are residents of Japan. People of Japanese ancestry who live in other countries...

, Chinese
Chinese people
The term Chinese people may refer to any of the following:*People with Han Chinese ethnicity ....

, Indians
Demographics of India
The demographics of India are inclusive of the second most populous country in the world, with over 1.21 billion people , more than a sixth of the world's population. Already containing 17.5% of the world's population, India is projected to be the world's most populous country by 2025, surpassing...

, Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

ns, Malays or Filipinos
Filipino people
The Filipino people or Filipinos are an Austronesian ethnic group native to the islands of the Philippines. There are about 92 million Filipinos in the Philippines, and about 11 million living outside the Philippines ....

 without a state approved license. At least 32 nations have established significant prohibitions on same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage is marriage between two persons of the same biological sex or social gender. Supporters of legal recognition for same-sex marriage typically refer to such recognition as marriage equality....

.

England & Wales


A requirement for banns of marriage
Banns of marriage
The banns of marriage, commonly known simply as the "banns" or "bans" are the public announcement in a Christian parish church of an impending marriage between two specified persons...

 was introduced to England
England
England is a country that is part of the United Kingdom. It shares land borders with Scotland to the north and Wales to the west; the Irish Sea is to the north west, the Celtic Sea to the south west, with the North Sea to the east and the English Channel to the south separating it from continental...

 and Wales
Wales
Wales is a country that is part of the United Kingdom and the island of Great Britain, bordered by England to its east and the Atlantic Ocean and Irish Sea to its west. It has a population of three million, and a total area of 20,779 km²...

 by the Church in 1215. This required a public announcement of a forthcoming marriage, in the couple's parish church
Parish church
A parish church , in Christianity, is the church which acts as the religious centre of a parish, the basic administrative unit of episcopal churches....

, for three Sundays prior to the wedding and gave an opportunity for any objections to the marriage to be voiced (for example, that one of the parties was already married), but a failure to call banns did not affect the validity of the marriage.

Marriage licenses were introduced in the 14th century, to allow the usual notice period under banns to be waived, on payment of a fee and accompanied by a sworn declaration, that there was no canonical impediment
Canonical impediment
In the Canon Law of the Catholic Church, a canonical impediment is a legal obstacle that prevents a sacrament from being performed validly and/or licitly. The term is used most frequently in relationship to the sacraments of Marriage and Holy Orders...

 to the marriage. Licenses were usually granted by an archbishop
Archbishop
An archbishop is a bishop of higher rank, but not of higher sacramental order above that of the three orders of deacon, priest , and bishop...

, bishop
Bishop
A bishop is an ordained or consecrated member of the Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox Churches, in the Assyrian Church of the East, in the Independent Catholic Churches, and in the...

 or archdeacon
Archdeacon
An archdeacon is a senior clergy position in Anglicanism, Syrian Malabar Nasrani, Chaldean Catholic, and some other Christian denominations, above that of most clergy and below a bishop. In the High Middle Ages it was the most senior diocesan position below a bishop in the Roman Catholic Church...

. There could be a number of reasons for a couple to obtain a license: they might wish to marry quickly (and avoid the three weeks' delay by the calling of banns); they might wish to marry in a parish away from their home parish; or, because a license required payment, they might choose to obtain one as a status symbol.

There were two kinds of marriage licenses that could be issued: the usual was known as a common license and named one or two parishes where the wedding could take place, within the jurisdiction of the person who issued the license. The other was the special license, which could only be granted by the Archbishop of Canterbury
Archbishop of Canterbury
The Archbishop of Canterbury is the senior bishop and principal leader of the Church of England, the symbolic head of the worldwide Anglican Communion, and the diocesan bishop of the Diocese of Canterbury. In his role as head of the Anglican Communion, the archbishop leads the third largest group...

 or his officials and allowed the marriage to take place in any church.

To obtain a marriage license, the couple or more usually the bridegroom, had to swear that there was no just cause or impediment why they should not marry. This was the marriage allegation
Allegation
An allegation is a claim of a fact by a party in a pleading, which the party claims to be able to prove. Allegations remain assertions without proof, until they can be proved....

. A bond was also lodged with the church authorities for a sum of money to be paid if it turned out that the marriage was contrary to Canon Law. The bishop kept the allegation and bond and issued the license to the groom, who then gave it to the vicar of the church, where they were to get married. There was no obligation, for the vicar to keep the license and many were simply destroyed. Hence, few historical examples of marriage licenses, in England and Wales, survive. However, the allegations and bonds were usually retained and are an important source for English genealogy
Genealogy
Genealogy is the study of families and the tracing of their lineages and history. Genealogists use oral traditions, historical records, genetic analysis, and other records to obtain information about a family and to demonstrate kinship and pedigrees of its members...

.

Hardwicke's Marriage Act 1753
Marriage Act 1753
The Marriage Act 1753, full title "An Act for the Better Preventing of Clandestine Marriage", popularly known as Lord Hardwicke's Marriage Act , was the first statutory legislation in England and Wales to require a formal ceremony of marriage. It came into force on 25 March 1754...

 affirmed this existing ecclesiastical law and built it into statutory law. From this date, a marriage was only legally valid, if it followed the calling of banns in church or the obtaining of a license—the only exceptions being Jewish
Judaism
Judaism ) is the "religion, philosophy, and way of life" of the Jewish people...

 and Quaker
Religious Society of Friends
The Religious Society of Friends, or Friends Church, is a Christian movement which stresses the doctrine of the priesthood of all believers. Members are known as Friends, or popularly as Quakers. It is made of independent organisations, which have split from one another due to doctrinal differences...

 marriages, whose legality was also recognised. From the date of Lord Hardwicke's Marriage Act, up to 1837, the ceremony was required to be performed in a consecrated building.

Since July 1, 1837, civil marriages have been a legal alternative to church marriages, under the Marriage Act 1836
Marriage Act 1836
The Act for Marriages in England 1836 6&7WmIV, c85 was an act that legalised the concept of civil marriage into England and Wales from 1 January 1837....

, which provided the statutory basis for regulating and recording marriages. So, today, a couple has a choice between being married in the Anglican Church
Anglicanism
Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising churches with historical connections to the Church of England or similar beliefs, worship and church structures. The word Anglican originates in ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the English...

, after the calling of banns or obtaining a license or else, they can give "Notice of Marriage" to a civil registrar. In this latter case, the notice is publicly posted for 15 days, after which a civil marriage can take place. Marriages may take place in churches other than Anglican churches, but these are governed by civil marriage law and notice must be given to the civil registrar in the same way. The marriage may then take place without a registrar being present, if the church itself is registered for marriages and the minister or priest is an Authorised Person for marriages.

The license does not record the marriage itself, only the permission for a marriage to take place. Since 1837, the proof of a marriage has been by a marriage certificate
Marriage certificate
In some jurisdictions a marriage certificate is the official record that two people have undertaken a marriage ceremony. This does include jurisdictions where marriage licenses do not exist...

, issued at the ceremony; before then, it was by the recording of the marriage in a parish register
Parish register
A parish register is a handwritten volume, normally kept in a parish church or deposited within a county record office or alternative archive repository, in which details of baptisms, marriages and burials are recorded.-History:...

.

The provisions on civil marriage in the 1836 Act were repealed by the Marriage Act 1949
Marriage Act 1949
The Marriage Act 1949 is an Act of the Parliament of the United Kingdom regulating marriages in England and Wales. The act abolished marriages for those under 16 years of age in England and Wales....

. The Marriage Act 1949 re-enacted and re-stated the law on marriage in England and Wales.

Scotland


Marriage law and practice in Scotland differs from that in England and Wales. Historically, it was always considered legal and binding for a couple to marry by making public promises, without a formal ceremony. Church marriages "without proclamation" are somewhat analogous to the English "marriages by license", although licenses were not formally issued in Scotland. However, in modern times, the English and Scottish systems have been brought into line: all legal marriages in Scotland take place according to a similar system to that for English civil marriages.

United States


The specifications for obtaining a marriage license vary between states. In general, however, both parties must appear in person at the time the license is obtained; be of marriageable age
Marriageable age
Marriageable age is the age at which a person is allowed to marry, either as of right or subject to parental or other forms of consent. The age and other requirements vary between countries, but generally it is set at 18, although most jurisdictions allow marriage at slightly younger ages with...

 (i.e. over 18 years; lower in some states with the consent of a parent); present proper identification
Identity document
An identity document is any document which may be used to verify aspects of a person's personal identity. If issued in the form of a small, mostly standard-sized card, it is usually called an identity card...

 (typically a driver's license, state ID card, birth certificate or passport; more documentation may be required for those born outside of the United States); and neither must be married to anyone else (proof of spouse's death or divorce may be required, by someone who had been previously married in some states).

Many states require 1 to 6 days to pass, between the granting of the license and the marriage ceremony. After the marriage ceremony, both spouses and the officiant sign the marriage license (some states also require a witness). The officiant or couple then files for a certified copy of the marriage license and a marriage certificate with the appropriate authority. Some states also have a requirement that a license be filed within a certain time after its issuance, typically 30 or 60 days, following which a new license must be obtained.

The requirement for marriage licenses in the U.S. has been justified on the basis that the state has an overriding right, on behalf of all citizens and in the interests of the larger social welfare, to protect them from disease or improper/illegal marriages; to keep accurate state records; or even to ensure that marriage partners have had adequate time to think carefully before marrying.

Some states require a blood test to verify that the applicants are not carrying syphilis
Syphilis
Syphilis is a sexually transmitted infection caused by the spirochete bacterium Treponema pallidum subspecies pallidum. The primary route of transmission is through sexual contact; however, it may also be transmitted from mother to fetus during pregnancy or at birth, resulting in congenital syphilis...

, a sexually-transmitted disease. As of 2010, Mississippi
Mississippi
Mississippi is a U.S. state located in the Southern United States. Jackson is the state capital and largest city. The name of the state derives from the Mississippi River, which flows along its western boundary, whose name comes from the Ojibwe word misi-ziibi...

 and Montana
Montana
Montana is a state in the Western United States. The western third of Montana contains numerous mountain ranges. Smaller, "island ranges" are found in the central third of the state, for a total of 77 named ranges of the Rocky Mountains. This geographical fact is reflected in the state's name,...

 require blood tests; Connecticut
Connecticut
Connecticut is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Rhode Island to the east, Massachusetts to the north, and the state of New York to the west and the south .Connecticut is named for the Connecticut River, the major U.S. river that approximately...

, Wisconsin
Wisconsin
Wisconsin is a U.S. state located in the north-central United States and is part of the Midwest. It is bordered by Minnesota to the west, Iowa to the southwest, Illinois to the south, Lake Michigan to the east, Michigan to the northeast, and Lake Superior to the north. Wisconsin's capital is...

, Georgia
Georgia (U.S. state)
Georgia is a state located in the southeastern United States. It was established in 1732, the last of the original Thirteen Colonies. The state is named after King George II of Great Britain. Georgia was the fourth state to ratify the United States Constitution, on January 2, 1788...

, Indiana
Indiana
Indiana is a US state, admitted to the United States as the 19th on December 11, 1816. It is located in the Midwestern United States and Great Lakes Region. With 6,483,802 residents, the state is ranked 15th in population and 16th in population density. Indiana is ranked 38th in land area and is...

, Oklahoma
Oklahoma
Oklahoma is a state located in the South Central region of the United States of America. With an estimated 3,751,351 residents as of the 2010 census and a land area of 68,667 square miles , Oklahoma is the 28th most populous and 20th-largest state...

, Massachusetts
Massachusetts
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. It is bordered by Rhode Island and Connecticut to the south, New York to the west, and Vermont and New Hampshire to the north; at its east lies the Atlantic Ocean. As of the 2010...

, and the District of Columbia
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 have withdrawn the blood testing requirements in the last few years.

In the early part of the 20th century, the requirement for a marriage license was used as a mechanism to prohibit whites from marrying blacks
Black people
The term black people is used in systems of racial classification for humans of a dark skinned phenotype, relative to other racial groups.Different societies apply different criteria regarding who is classified as "black", and often social variables such as class, socio-economic status also plays a...

, mulatto
Mulatto
Mulatto denotes a person with one white parent and one black parent, or more broadly, a person of mixed black and white ancestry. Contemporary usage of the term varies greatly, and the broader sense of the term makes its application rather subjective, as not all people of mixed white and black...

s, Japanese
Japanese people
The are an ethnic group originating in the Japanese archipelago and are the predominant ethnic group of Japan. Worldwide, approximately 130 million people are of Japanese descent; of these, approximately 127 million are residents of Japan. People of Japanese ancestry who live in other countries...

, Chinese
Chinese people
The term Chinese people may refer to any of the following:*People with Han Chinese ethnicity ....

, Native Americans
Native Americans in the United States
Native Americans in the United States are the indigenous peoples in North America within the boundaries of the present-day continental United States, parts of Alaska, and the island state of Hawaii. They are composed of numerous, distinct tribes, states, and ethnic groups, many of which survive as...

, Mongolia
Mongolia
Mongolia is a landlocked country in East and Central Asia. It is bordered by Russia to the north and China to the south, east and west. Although Mongolia does not share a border with Kazakhstan, its western-most point is only from Kazakhstan's eastern tip. Ulan Bator, the capital and largest...

ns, Malays or Filipinos
Filipino people
The Filipino people or Filipinos are an Austronesian ethnic group native to the islands of the Philippines. There are about 92 million Filipinos in the Philippines, and about 11 million living outside the Philippines ....

. By the 1920s, 38 states used the mechanism. These laws have since been declared invalid by the Courts.

In the United States, until the mid-19th century, common-law marriage
Common-law marriage
Common-law marriage, sometimes called sui juris marriage, informal marriage or marriage by habit and repute, is a form of interpersonal status that is legally recognized in limited jurisdictions as a marriage even though no legally recognized marriage ceremony is performed or civil marriage...

s were recognised as valid, but thereafter the states began to invalidate common-law marriages. At present eleven states and the District of Columbia
Washington, D.C.
Washington, D.C., formally the District of Columbia and commonly referred to as Washington, "the District", or simply D.C., is the capital of the United States. On July 16, 1790, the United States Congress approved the creation of a permanent national capital as permitted by the U.S. Constitution....

 recognise common-law marriages. (See Common-law marriage in the United States
Common-law marriage in the United States
Common-law marriage in the United States was affirmed by the United States Supreme Court in Meister v. Moore , which ruled that Michigan had not abolished common law marriage merely by producing a statute establishing rules for the solemnization of marriages...

.) Common-law marriages, if recognised, are valid, notwithstanding the absence of a marriage license.

However, with the resurgence of the historical Supreme Court case Meister v. Moore in 1877, the Supreme Court has ruled that "marriage is a common right" and that the state laws or statutes that have been created before or since are not legal constraints, but "are mere directives," thereby retaining the legal weight of recommendation only. Because of this Federal license, it is illegal for any state to mandate any form of license or ceremony and, technically, all states must recognize "common law" marriages of all citizens.

Marriage licenses in the United States fall under provincial jurisdiction but are recognized across the country. Additional work is required to obtain the licenses when citizens from multiple states are being married. In any case, the state in which they are married holds the record of that marriage. Traditionally, law working with law enforcement was the only means of searching and accessing marriage licence information across state lines.

Controversy in the US


Some groups believe that the requirement to obtain a marriage license is unnecessary or immoral. The Libertarian Party
Libertarian Party (United States)
The Libertarian Party is the third largest and fastest growing political party in the United States. The political platform of the Libertarian Party reflects its brand of libertarianism, favoring minimally regulated, laissez-faire markets, strong civil liberties, minimally regulated migration...

, for instance, believes that all marriages should be civil, not requiring sanction from the state. Some Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 groups also argue that a marriage is a contract between two people and God, so no authorization from the state is required. In some US states, the state is cited as a party in the marriage contract which is seen by some as an infringement.

Marriage licenses have also been the subject of controversy for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT
LGBT
LGBT is an initialism that collectively refers to "lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender" people. In use since the 1990s, the term "LGBT" is an adaptation of the initialism "LGB", which itself started replacing the phrase "gay community" beginning in the mid-to-late 1980s, which many within the...

) community whose ability to marry is often limited by state regulations. Perhaps most notably, California's Proposition 8
California Proposition 8 (2008)
Proposition 8 was a ballot proposition and constitutional amendment passed in the November 2008 state elections...

 has been the subject of heavy criticism by advocates of same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage
Same-sex marriage is marriage between two persons of the same biological sex or social gender. Supporters of legal recognition for same-sex marriage typically refer to such recognition as marriage equality....

.

In October 2009, Keith Bardwell, a Louisiana
Louisiana
Louisiana is a state located in the southern region of the United States of America. Its capital is Baton Rouge and largest city is New Orleans. Louisiana is the only state in the U.S. with political subdivisions termed parishes, which are local governments equivalent to counties...

 justice of the peace
Justice of the Peace
A justice of the peace is a puisne judicial officer elected or appointed by means of a commission to keep the peace. Depending on the jurisdiction, they might dispense summary justice or merely deal with local administrative applications in common law jurisdictions...

, refused to issue a marriage license to an interracial couple, prompting civil liberties groups, such as the NAACP and ACLU, to call for his resignation or firing. Bardwell resigned his office on November 3.

The marriage laws and license requirements of many states originated from the ideas of eugenics
Eugenics
Eugenics is the "applied science or the bio-social movement which advocates the use of practices aimed at improving the genetic composition of a population", usually referring to human populations. The origins of the concept of eugenics began with certain interpretations of Mendelian inheritance,...

.

The Netherlands and Belgium


In the Netherlands and Belgium, couples intending to marry are required to register their intention beforehand, a process called "ondertrouw
Ondertrouw
Ondertrouw refers to the requirement in the Netherlands and Belgium to formally register the intention to marry.- Origin and development :...

".

See also

  • Banns of marriage
    Banns of marriage
    The banns of marriage, commonly known simply as the "banns" or "bans" are the public announcement in a Christian parish church of an impending marriage between two specified persons...

  • Birth certificate
    Birth certificate
    A birth certificate is a vital record that documents the birth of a child. The term "birth certificate" can refer to either the original document certifying the circumstances of the birth or to a certified copy of or representation of the ensuing registration of that birth...

  • Death certificate
    Death certificate
    The phrase death certificate can describe either a document issued by a medical practitioner certifying the deceased state of a person or popularly to a document issued by a person such as a registrar of vital statistics that declares the date, location and cause of a person's death as later...

  • Marriage certificate
    Marriage certificate
    In some jurisdictions a marriage certificate is the official record that two people have undertaken a marriage ceremony. This does include jurisdictions where marriage licenses do not exist...



People
  • Robert Stewart Sparks
    Robert Stewart Sparks
    Robert Stewart Sparks was a Los Angeles City Council member in the 1920s. He was the first person to represent the 5th District under a new city charter effective in 1925...

    , in charge of Los Angeles, California, marriage-licence division, 20th century

External links