Until now my only official source for the marriage of my great great grandparents, William Robb and Fanny Sarah Seager, has been Pallot’s Marriage Index, which provides the basic information that William and Fanny were married on 23 rd May 1836 at St. George the Martyr, Queen Square, Bloomsbury. Now that London parish records are accessible at Ancestry, it’s possible to see both the banns of marriage and the record of the event itself.

The banns of marriage were published on three successive Sundays: 24th April, 1st May and 8th May 1836.

William and Fanny were married by Charles Birch, curate, and seem to have signed their own names: William writing ‘Wm Robb’ with a decided flourish on the capital ‘R’ and Fanny inscribing her full name in smaller, less bold print. The witnesses to the marriage were Thomas Haslam and Sarah Weston. However, any hopes that these names might provide clues as to the marrying couple’s social circle are frustrated, when we realise that the same names appear as witnesses to other marriages at St. George’s on the same day. In other words, these are probably ordinary members of the regular congregation, not family or friends of William and Fanny. Why it is that no Robbs or Seagers are named as witnesses remains a mystery.

It’s interesting that both William and Fanny were said to be ‘of this parish’. I had assumed that St. George’s was chosen because the Seagers were resident in the area. But it seems that William also lived there. I’m intrigued to know exactly where, and also whether his parents and brothers were living with him, or whether they were already at 29 Charing Cross.