The intent of a marriage bond is to protect the Register of Probates from liability of authorizing an unlawful marriage. In a bond, the groom binds himself to the court, attesting that there should be no lawful impediment to the marriage. The information recorded in most marriage bonds includes: names of two persons binding themselves to the Register of Probates or Court of Ordinary (usually the groom and another man), date of the bond, amount of the bond (usually substantial), name of the bride and groom to be married, and conditions of the obligation. Marriage bonds were recorded from the Colonial Period through roughly the 1840’s. However, few of these early marriage bonds exist. Those that exist for the Colonial Period are found in Colonial miscellaneous legal documents.

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