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[1] Go to the website www.1837online.com and open the search page.

[2] Searching for 1837 online's page covering Adolphs in the September quarter of 1877 throws up one match - Albert Adolph.

[3] The General Registration index page itself. The September quarter page reveals a reference to Albert Joseph Adolph.

irregular and clandestine marriages.

Most Anglican and some surviving non-conformist marriage registers are in country record offices and have been indexed on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints' website, www.familysearch.org. Many more surviving non-conformist registers are at The National Archives in class RG 4, almost all of which are indexed in FamilySearch. This index is neither complete, nor highly accurate, and its entries don't give the extra information found in the original registers, which should always be checked.

There are many other indexes to marriages besides FamilySearch. Most counties have one, compiled by enthusiasts or family history society volunteers. Percival Boyd's Marriage Index provides patchy coverage of 15 per cent of the whole country, and Pallot's Marriage Index focuses on London. The best overall guide is Gibson and Hampson's book (see 'Contacts'). And, if indexes don't lead you to the right entry, there's also the traditional method of choosing the marriage register where you think the marriage was likeliest to have taken

THE VERGER TAKES NOTES: Marriage, 1920s style. A couple prepare for their big day

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