Gillman's Index to Marriage Licence Bonds - Cork and Ross

Published in 1896-7, Herbert Webb Gillman's Index to the Marriage Licence Bonds of the Diocese of Cork and Ross contains an index of marriage licence bonds made in Cork and Ross between the years 1623 and 1750. Although the marriages in question were usually between Protestants, the author notes in his preface that some Catholics also entered into these bonds; this might have been the case if, for instance, the couple did not wish to have their banns of marriage read. However, the religion of the parties involved is not indicated in the bonds themselves.

Select an option from the panel on the left to view the surnames included in Gillman's index. If you wish to browse through the index itself, select the Index option. The index is available in PDF format and is text searchable.

Alternatively, select the appropriate link below to view the full index as an interactive Flipping Book publication or as a PDF (size 42Mb)

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From the Preface (pages iii to v):

'Owing to circumstances peculiar to the county of Cork, the Marriage Licence bonds between the above dates [1623 to 1750] are in most cases the only official evidence now available of the marriages to which they refer. The best evidence of a marriage in past times is of course the entry thereof in a Parish Register, but in county Cork very few of these registers contain records earlier than about A.D. 1800, and none, except Christ Church, Cork (A.D. 1643 to 1878, but with a large chasm from 1666 to 1708), St. Mary Shandon, Cork (1671 to 1873), St. Multose, Kinsale (1684 to 1875), extend back into the seventeenth century. Kilgariffe (Clonakilty) begins in 1700, but has a chasm between 1753 and 1794. The next best evidence is a Marriage Licence, but the Grant Books for Cork Marriage Licences, preserved in the Public Record Office, only commence in 1750, so that before that date this class of evidence also is wanting in most cases in county Cork.

In the absence of Parish Registers and of Marriage Licence Grants, the next best evidence (which in such absence becomes then primary presumptive evidence) is a Marriage Licence Bond. [...] These bonds contain the names of the respective persons proposing to be married, and of the surety who joins, generally with the intending bridegroom, in the bond, and the residences or parishes of these persons, with occasionally other particulars relative to them.'


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