The Guild maintains a unique Marriage Index (GMI) to help link members' knowledge of post-1837 marriages and to help identify parishes via the GRO references.
The Guild Marriage Index allows members of the Guild to make available to other members information about marriages relating to their own research. In addition to standard GRO information, the Index also holds supplementary details such as the spouse's name and the date and location of the marriage.
The Index provides a way for members to exchange information and to contact others with whom their one-name studies have links. The marriages can be searched for any surname listed (although not the one registered by the submitter). Thus members can easily retrieve all the marriages of interest to themselves, without at the same time retrieving their own entries.
The Index also helps members to narrow down the search for the particular parish where a marriage occurred. While Guild members are likely to have extensive lists of marriages, these lists often have no more information than can be obtained from the GRO index. Rather than purchasing a certificate to obtain the additional information (name of the spouse, addresses, fathers' names and occupations, etc.), members can use the Guild Marriage Index to narrow down the likely location of the marriage.
An article in the July 2001 Guild Journal (vol.7,no.7, pages 6-9) explains how the GRO page number might be used to find the parish (or other place) of marriage. The article identified that marriages were not recorded by the GRO in a haphazard manner, but rather in a particular order. For each district, we have firstly Anglican marriages, in alphabetical order of parish, and then other marriages (non-conformist, Roman Catholic, other religions, civil ceremonies in register offices). The marriages for each church start on a fresh odd-numbered page. So, to locate a marriage, all we need is a table of places giving the page numbers used in each quarter. Even an incomplete table is of use, as it may give an approximate (alphabetical) position of a parish, and so reduce the number of registers to search.
As more members add their data to the Index, it will become even more useful.