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Marriage Bond
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• banns
• consent affidavit
• dowry
• marriage record

Definition: In earlier times, a marriage bond was given to the court by the intended groom prior to his marriage. It affirmed that there was no moral or legal reason why the couple could not be married and it also affirmed that the groom would not change his mind. If he did, and did not marry the intended bride, he would forfeit the bond. The bondsman, or surety, was often a brother or uncle to the bride, not necessarily a parent. The bondsman could also be related to the groom, or even be a neighbor or friend, but those situations occurred less often.

Pronunciation: [ma-rij bond] • (noun  

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