Question: I have reviewed some early Massachusetts published vital records and found some ancestors marriages recorded. It states "intention not recorded". If the intention was not recorded I would like to know how the information was compiled ? Is there any record that may house more information such as grooms parents name for a marriage listed, but not recorded?
Answer: In this case the intention of marriage was not recorded in that town. In many cases the marriage intention was filed in the town of the groom or the bride. Prior to 1850 an intention of marriage in Massachusetts would list the names of both parties, and the date of the intention. If the person was African-American or Indian this may be indicated, if they were someone’s slave they will list the slave owner. But the only other fact you see is the residence of the other person if they were not living in the town the intention was filed at. Only on a rare occasion when the bride or groom is underage is a parent listed giving their permission in the early records.