Marriage authorisations


 Updated February 2018

Over 50,000 transcribed record indexes, 1880-1917 inclusive, are live at:  

The authorisations, if you know where to look, carry many genealogical clues for research. To that end Rabbi Jeremy Rosen (to whom I am indebted) and I decided to produce a crib sheet to aid researchers.

The images below are the layout with the printed text copied from an 1884 form that would have been filled in by the Registrar on a United Synagogue Marriage Authorisation: The first image is the form itself and includes a further page of explanations: the second a 'real' authorisation - that of my half Great Uncle*.  If you know where to look the form contains keys to clues for genealogical research and this is what we have tried to show.  To see a larger version of each image please click on it and remember to click with the magnifying glass in the new page that will open. By 1886 the certificates included a new observation as to whether the bride and groom were related to each other and if so, how.

Click here for the PDF version which reproduces the pages in a more readable format

The Authorisation (1884)

Authorisation and Explanations

An original*


© Jeremy Rosen and Louise Messik
All rights reserved


* I have included this image because it opened up a new line of research for me.  I had always understood that my grandfather's half brother Leopold had the surname Courts, as he did on the 1891 census.  However, as you will see his name shows as Leopold Coorts.  From this authorisation I was able to find the birth years of his children using the unusual spelling of the surname.