Every record will include a transcript and an image of the bishop’s transcript. The original documents are held at the Norfolk Record Office. The detail in each transcript may vary, but most will include the following:
The images can reveal further information about your ancestor’s marriage, such as your ancestors’ occupations, your ancestors’ fathers’ names, and the names of the witnesses.
During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, all parishes were ordered to create copies of the parish register to be sent annually to the bishop of the diocese; these became known as bishop’s transcripts. The Norfolk bishop’s transcripts marriages has records from as early as 1583, however, records for all parishes are not available from the 16th century. For example, the records for Norwich are only available form 1693. To discover what years are available for each parish consult the Norfolk bishop’s transcripts parish list in the Useful links and resources section.
Not all bishop’s transcripts recorded the couple’s ages. It is good to remember that between the 16th and 19th century the average person was married in their twenties. In the 18th century, the average age for women to marry was 22 and 26 for men. In the Victorian period, it was common for women to marry around the age of 26 and 28 for men. When records do not provide an age, it is useful to know the average age of marriage. This will help you to calculate your ancestor’s birth year.