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Containing the names of approximately 75,000 persons, Boston Marriages can be likened to an encyclopedic directory of that town's 18th-century population. The marriages derive from various sources, the vast majority from records in the custody of the Registry Department of the City of Boston. Bulking almost equally large are those records which derive from published marriage intentions. These have been compared with the official marriage records, with spelling differences and other discrepancies noted. Those intentions for which no subsequent record of marriage appears are printed separately. In instances where marriage records or intentions were not available, the compiler consulted church and court records.