UK Marriage Witness Index

Submitting new data for the UK Marriage Witness Index

In preparation for the MWI search engine’s appearance on this site, we welcome all comers to contribute additional records to the database. Here’s how.

The MWI database, to be hosted on this site, is stored in a MySQL database. The good news is that you don’t have to know SQL to submit more data – although we won’t complain if you do!

File formats

We can accept contributions in these forms:

  • Comma-separated values (.CSV);
  • MS Access (.MDB);
  • Excel spreadsheet (.XLS);
  • SQL (see later);
  • OpenOffice/LibreOffice database or spreadsheet (.ODS, .SXW).

If you want to submit in a different format from these, please contact us to discuss it. We can probably work with more-or-less anything, provided we understand it.

The long and the short of it is: we can accept contributions in more-or-less any format, but it would be nice if you could help us by getting as close to ours as you can before submitting, as we’ve a lot of work ahead of us, and anything that can ease our burden is very, very welcome! With that in mind, please read the rest of this article before submitting, as it gives a lot of tips on how to provide us the data in the best possible format.

Database or spreadsheet structure

It will help us hugely if you can structure your database/spreadsheet to mirror ours. Because Ted Wildy’s field names (SURNAME1, SURNAME2, and so on) were a bit opaque, we’ve used our own, more reader-friendly, ones.

You can download an Excel spreadsheet template that includes all the correct field names. You can submit Excel spreadsheets, made using this template, to us without having to worry about converting to CSV first.

If you’re using our template, please use the value “0” for the “tag” field, and enter all dates in the format YYYY-MM-DD. Don’t convert the “married” or “date_entry” fields to Excel’s “date” format – that starts in 1900!

Here’s the field structure that we use. It’s written in SQL, but the same field names apply to spreadsheet submissions too:


witfirst VARCHAR(50), # Witness’s personal name

Unknown – leave as 0 (zero)

witsur VARCHAR(50), # Witness’s surname/family name
groomfirst VARCHAR(50), # Groom’s personal name
groomsur VARCHAR(50), # Groom’s surname/family name
bridefirst VARCHAR(50), # Bride’s personal name
bridesur VARCHAR(50), # Bridge’s surname/family name
married DATE, # Date of marriage, in YYYY-MM-DD form
church VARCHAR(50), # Name of church or other wedding ceremony venue
town VARCHAR(50), # Name of town where wedding ceremony held
cty CHAR(3), # Three-letter abbreviation for county (or country or other location if outside UK)
remarks VARCHAR(50), # Any relevant comments – ideally the origin of the entry data (e.g. source of marriage cert.)
entered_by VARCHAR(255), # Contributor’s name
member_no VARCHAR(50), # Membership number of contributor in their genealogy society (optional)
gensoc VARCHAR(50), # Contributor’s genealogy society (optional)
date_entry VARCHAR(50) # Date of creation of this entry);

This should be fairly self-explanatory, but note that the “cty” field is for the county, not the city, and uses the three letter abbreviations for county given at the end of this article. For locations outside the UK, the “cty” field can represent the country or location within a country.

VARCHAR and CHAR mean text fields (the number’s the maximum length). I have absolutely no idea what the “tag” field is for: it was in the original data with no explanation. The DATE format is “YYYY-MM-DD”. If your software can’t export a date in exactly that form, please try to get it as close as possible (numeric only, with obvious year, month and date) to make our conversion process easier.

Exporting in SQL

If your software can export in SQL, use the above schema, and create lines like this sample:

INSERT INTO ukwit97 (witfirst, tag, witsur, groomfirst, groomsur, bridefirst, bridesur, married, church, town, cty, remarks, entered_by, member_no, gensoc, date_entry) VALUES (“John”,”1″,”ABDALLA”,”Abraham”,”ABBOTT”,”Bridget”,”JORDAN”,”1857-05-26″,”Cathedral”,”Manchester”,”LAN”,NULL,”CURRAN Bryan, 7 Liston Cres, Hillcrest, Hamilton, NZ”,”434″,”NZ”,”89060″);

If you need to include double-quotes in the text itself, put a backslash before them. So, for example:

“This contains a \”double-quoted\” string.”

Submitting your data

Please email us (at [email protected] )to let us know in advance that you want to send us a file – and tell us how large it is. Please don’t send the file until we say you can, as our mailbox isn’t infinitely elastic!

Whichever the original format of the file, we strongly recommend that you send it in a .ZIP attachment (we can also deal with .tar.gz, .tgz, .tar.bz2 and .tbz2), to save our mailbox space, and to ensure that the email process doesn’t danage the file in transit. If you don’t know how to create a .ZIP attachment, please ask!

When you get the go-ahead, please email the file to the same address.

Thank you for helping and contributing to this project!

County abbreviations

The “city” field needs a three-letter county abbreviation. These are the valid values:

  • Abbreviation County (or country)
  • ABD Aberdeenshire, Scotland
  • AGY Anglesey, Wales
  • ALD Alderney, Channel Islands
  • ANS Angus, Scotland
  • ANT Co. Antrim, Northern Ireland
  • ARL Argyllshire, Scotland
  • ARM Co. Armagh, Northern Ireland
  • AVN Avon, England
  • AYR Ayrshire, Scotland
  • BAN Banffshire, Scotland
  • BDF Bedfordshire, England
  • BEW Berwickshire, Scotland
  • BKM Buckinghamshire, England
  • BOR Borders, Scotland
  • BRE Breconshire, Wales
  • BRK Berkshire, England
  • BUT Bute, Scotland
  • CAE Caernarvonshire, Wales
  • CAI Caithness, Scotland
  • CAM Cambridgeshire, England
  • CAR Co. Carlow, Ireland
  • CAV Co. Cavan, Ireland
  • CEN Central, Scotland
  • CGN Cardiganshire, Wales
  • CHS Cheshire, England
  • CLA Co. Clare, Ireland
  • CLK Clackmannanshire, Scotland
  • CLV Cleveland, England
  • CMA Cumbria, England
  • CMN Carmarthenshire, Wales
  • CON Cornwall, England
  • COR Co. Cork, Ireland
  • CUL Cumberland, England
  • CWD Clwyd, Wales
  • DBY Derbyshire, England
  • DEN Denbighshire, Wales
  • DEV Devon, England
  • DFD Dyfed, Wales
  • DFS Dumfries-shire, Scotland
  • DGY Dumfries and Galloway, Scotland
  • DNB Dunbartonshire, Scotland
  • DON Co. Donegal, Ireland
  • DOR Dorset, England
  • DOW Co. Down, Northern Ireland
  • DUB Co. Dublin, Ireland
  • DUR Co. Durham, England
  • ELN East Lothian, Scotland
  • ENG England
  • ERY East Riding of Yorkshire, England
  • ESS Essex, England
  • FER Co. Fermanagh, Northern Ireland
  • FIF Fife, Scotland
  • FLN Flintshire, Wales
  • GAL Co. Galway, Ireland
  • GLA Glamorgan, Wales
  • GLS Gloucestershire, England
  • GMP Grampian, Scotland
  • GNT Gwent, Wales
  • GSY Guernsey, Channel Islands
  • GTM Greater Manchester, England
  • GWN Gwynedd, Wales
  • HAM Hampshire, England
  • HEF Herefordshire, England
  • HLD Highland, Scotland
  • HRT Hertfordshire, England
  • HUM Humberside, England
  • HUN Huntingdonshire, England
  • HWR Hereford and Worcester, England
  • INV Inverness-shire, Scotland
  • IOM Isle of Man
  • IOW Isle of Wight, England
  • IRL Ireland
  • JSY Jersey, Channel Islands
  • KCD Kincardineshire, Scotland
  • KEN Kent, England
  • KER Co. Kerry, Ireland
  • KID Co. Kildare, Ireland
  • KIK Co. Kilkenny, Ireland
  • KKD Kirkcudbrightshire, Scotland
  • KRS Kinross-shire, Scotland
  • LAN Lancashire, England
  • LDY Co. Londonderry, Northern Ireland
  • LEI Leicestershire, England
  • LET Co. Leitrim, Ireland
  • LEX Co. Laois, Ireland
  • LIM Co. Limerick, Ireland
  • LIN Lincolnshire, England
  • LKS Lanarkshire, Scotland
  • LND London, England
  • LOG Co. Longford, Ireland
  • LOU Co. Louth, Ireland
  • LTN Lothian, Scotland
  • MAY Co. Mayo, Ireland
  • MDX Middlesex, England
  • MEA Co. Meath, Ireland
  • MER Merionethshire, Wales
  • MGM Mid Glamorgan, Wales
  • MGY Montgomeryshire, Wales
  • MLN Midlothian, Scotland
  • MOG Co. Monaghan, Ireland
  • MON Monmouthshire, Wales
  • MOR Morayshire, Scotland
  • MSY Merseyside, England
  • NAI Nairn, Scotland
  • NBL Northumberland, England
  • NFK Norfolk, England
  • NIR Northern Ireland
  • NRY North Riding of Yorkshire, England
  • NTH Northamptonshire, England
  • NTT Nottinghamshire, England
  • NYK North Yorkshire, England
  • OFF Co. Offaly, Ireland
  • OKI Orkney, Scotland
  • OXF Oxfordshire, England
  • PEE Peebles-shire, Scotland
  • PEM Pembrokeshire, Wales
  • PER Perth, Scotland
  • POW Powys, Wales
  • RAD Radnorshire, Wales
  • RFW Renfrewshire, Scotland
  • ROC Ross and Cromarty, Scotland
  • ROS Co. Roscommon, Ireland
  • ROX Roxburghshire, Scotland
  • RUT Rutland, England
  • SAL Shropshire, England
  • SCT Scotland
  • SEL Selkirkshire, Scotland
  • SFK Suffolk, England
  • SGM South Glamorgan, Wales
  • SHI Shetland, Scotland
  • SLI Co. Sligo, Ireland
  • SOM Somerset, England
  • SRK Sark, Channel Islands
  • SRY Surrey, England
  • SSX Sussex, England
  • STD Strathclyde, Scotland
  • STI Stirlingshire, Scotland
  • STS Staffordshire, England
  • SUT Sutherland, Scotland
  • SXE East Sussex, England
  • SXW West Sussex, England
  • SYK South Yorkshire, England
  • TAY Tayside, Scotland
  • TIP Co. Tipperary, Ireland
  • TWR Tyne and Wear, England
  • TYR Co. Tyrone, Northern Ireland
  • WAL Wales
  • WAR Warwickshire, England
  • WAT Co. Waterford, Ireland
  • WEM Co. Westmeath, Ireland
  • WES Westmorland, England
  • WEX Co. Wexford, Ireland
  • WGM West Glamorgan, Wales
  • WIC Co. Wicklow, Ireland
  • WIG Wigtownshire, Scotland
  • WIL Wiltshire, England
  • WIS Western Isles, Scotland
  • WLN West Lothian, Scotland
  • WMD West Midlands, England
  • WOR Worcestershire, England
  • WRY West Riding of Yorkshire, England
  • WYK West Yorkshire, England
  • YKS Yorkshire, England
  • IND India