The Latin Initiation

The Latin Initiation

Parish Registers are the genealogical backbone to research before civil registration began on 1st July 1837.  The earliest parish records date back to the first half of the 16th century.  The history of parish registers is long and complicated.  Latin was the language in which registers were recorded until 1733 when English became the preferred language.

Today, for the first time in 9 years I have come across a parish register relating to two of my ancestors… it is written in Latin.

It’s a first for me but an exciting first.  I will be honest, it left me scratching my head at first.  All I knew what that it was the marriage between John Brown and Joyce Bond.

The marriage took place in Northampton, All Saints.

John Browne Joyce Bond 1

In Latin:

“John Browne of Paulusperry & Joyce Bond alis Ward nupti fuerunt vicesimo nono vie mensis Augusti 1667”


In English:

“John Brown of Paulusperry & Joyce Bond alis Ward were married on the 29th day of the month of August 1667”

The translation was a small victory, with the help of members in Genealogy Addicts UK and Worldwide on Facebook.  It does open up a bit of a question though.

Joyce has a curious phrase following her name:  ‘alis Ward’.  I have a theory on it…

A quick google translate tells me that ‘alis’ is Latin for wings.  However wings really doesn’t fit here.

Could it be that Joyce Bond was also known as Ward, meaning  ‘alis’ is actually ‘alias’?

I don’t really know whether it is the definitive answer and maybe I will never find out.  I’ll be looking at Joyce Bond or Ward in more detail in the coming days so may have an update soon.

Although, if you have any ideas that could help please don’t hesitate to let me know.