Mumsnet Logo
My feed

to access all these features

Petitions and activism

To think there is no excuse for mothers names not being on marriage certificates when fathers names are requested?

34 replies

nameequality · 01/05/2014 17:51

How did we get to 2014 and still on marriage certificates in England & Wales the names & occupations of the father of the bride and groom are requested and expected but the name and occupation of the mother of the bride and groom are not allowed to be recorded.

Shocking shocking sexism that has persisted for years.

Civil servants are citing cost as a reason.

The public sector Equality Duty came into force across Great Britain on 5 April 2011. It means that public bodies have to consider all individuals when carrying out their day-to-day work – in shaping policy, in delivering services and in relation to their own employees.
It also requires that public bodies:
have due regard to the need to eliminate discrimination and
advance equality of opportunity.

In fact according to my FOI request a different electronic system is used for civil partnerships.

If this was used then the only costs would be printing new marriage certificate stock.

Nearly 25,000 people have signed a campaign calling for this to change.


OP posts:

Andrewofgg · 01/05/2014 21:22

Blu Better replace the House of Lords with a Senate elected by proportional representation and a veto on non-Money Bills; after which the succession to the peerage would not matter.


surromummy · 01/05/2014 21:34

if I got married, both our fathers are deseased, what then, they just leave blank??


ebwy · 01/05/2014 22:09


I was 12 when my father died. The registrar was quite put out that i couldn't tell him my father's occupation - but honestly most 12 year olds wouldn't know details and I was 12 the last time dad's job was mentioned to me. "He worked in an office at " was all I managed to say. To be honest I didn't need the registrar having a go at me for not knowing his actual job title in the middle of the wedding. If I'd been told in advance that I needed to know then I would have asked but no-one ever told me


PartialFancy · 01/05/2014 22:11

No, surro, they fill in the section with "(deceased)" after parent's name or not, if they're trying to wind up future historians.

The reason for asking at all is that parents are still a good additional identifier of which Jane Smith you are: Jane Smith dau of John Smith and Margaret maiden surname Macdonald.

But there's Smith the baker and Smith the post, so occupations are added as well, to help distinguish.

I suppose it could be replaced by, say, NI numbers now. But not everyone present in the UK has an NI number, especially if they're only visiting to get married in British partner's childhood town.

And NI numbers aren't visible in the other BMD records, where almost everyone has the same parents at birth as at marriage, so the certificates match and you can follow people through.


PartialFancy · 01/05/2014 22:12

Sad ebwy. How pointlessly mean.


ChutesTooNarrow · 01/05/2014 22:35

It can be left off. My father is not on my marriage certificate; he had such a vague appearance in my life that I felt very strongly he had no place in my marriage. The registrar's only concern was that people might use my marriage certificate in the future for tracing family history, that wasn't a good enough reason for me. My birth certificate could be used for that.

Tbh even if I had an amazing relationship with my dad I would still have been raging about the sexism and left him off.


ebwy · 01/05/2014 23:16


Yeah, most of the guests thought so too. One of the ushers (a cousin) had to be talked out of "showing him he can't get away with upsetting the bride like that!"

I put my mother on the spot asking her, she was embarassed and upset so her mind went blank... so he was put down as "clerk" when in fact he was a purchasing manager.

I had to tell the idiot to add "(deceased)" and spell it for him!


nameequality · 12/05/2014 21:00

Bumping if anyone is here in this graveyard section of MN.

The petition is at and now has 28,000 signatures and has been in the Independent, The Times and possibly tomorrow will be in the Telegraph which maybe featuring a picture of me in my wedding dress . Tomorrow Caroline Criado-Perez will be talking about this on Woman's Hour and I will be on BBC Radio Solent at 7:30am.

OP posts:

PartialFancy · 15/05/2014 14:00

So you understand just how poor the England and Wales records are in comparison to the Scottish ones. And how women's information is valued on the Scottish certificates and absent from the E&W ones.

England & Wales marriage (format since 1837)

When married: First May 1910
Groom's name: Charles James Johnson
Age: 21
Condition: Bachelor
Profession: Brass Dresser
Groom's residence: St Gabriels parish Birmingham
Groom's father: Charles Johnson decd, Labourer

Bride's name: Phoebe Horton
Age: 20
Condition: Spinster
Profession: -
Bride's residence: St Gabriels parish Birmingham
Bride's father: Henry Morton, Galvaniser
[minister, witnesses, place...]

Scotland marriage (format since 1855)

When, Where and How Married:
1897 on the Twenty-third day of December at Bridge Street Station Hotel, Glasgow, After Publication according to the Forms of the Free Church of Scotland

Groom's Signature, Rank or Profession, Whether Single or Widowed:
Robert Hamilton, Colliery Salesman (Bachelor)
Age: 27
Usual Residence: 19 Abbotsford Place, Glasgow
Father: Peter Hamilton, Wright & Builder, and
Mother: Elizabeth Hamilton M[aiden] S[urname] Mellor

Bride's Signature, Rank or Profession, Whether Single or Widowed: Elizabeth Marchbank, Tailoress (Spinster)
Age: 25
Usual Residence: 133 Hospital Street, Glasgow
Father: James Marchbank, Grocer (Retired), and
Mother: Elizabeth Marchbank, M.S. Baillie (deceased)
[minister, witnesses...]

Similar story with death certificates.

England & Wales death certificate

Date and place of death: Eighteenth of November 1841 at Cheetham
Name: Duncan Campbell
Sex: Male
Maiden name: -
Age: 44 years
Occupation: Shopkeeper
Informant and their usual address: Jane Campbell Daughter Present at the Death 2 Johnson Street Cheetham
Cause of Death: Asthma

Scottish death certificate (format since 1855)

Name, Rank or Profession, Whether Single or Widowed:
John Grant Higgins, Cutlery Grinder (Married to Ellen Keenan)
When and Where Died: 1902 October Seventeenth 0h 15m a.m. Victoria Infirmary, usual residence 105 Wolseley Street Glasgow
Sex: M
Age: 36 years
Father: Henry Higgins, Marine Engineer (deceased)
Mother: Sarah Higgins M.S. Grant (deceased)
Cause of Death: Fractured Ribs Shock as cert byThos Anderson MN, ChB
Informant and their usual address: Ellen Higgins, Widow (Present), 105 Wolseley Street Glasgow

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

We're all short on time

Log in or sign up to use the 'See Next' or 'See all' posts by the OP (Original Poster) and cut straight to the action.

Already signed up?

Sign up to continue reading

Mumsnet's better when you're logged in. You can customise your experience and access way more features like messaging, watch and hide threads, voting and much more.

Already signed up?