How to Find Virginia Marriage RecordsEdit This Page

From FamilySearch Wiki

How To Find U.S. Marriage Records go to Virginia Gotoarrow.png Virginia Marriage Records

Finding Virginia Marriage Records

  • 1660 - Colonial government required church officials to record all marriages in church registers (few colonial records survive)
  • 1780 - Law required ministers report all marriages to county clerk
  • 1853 - State law required clerk of the court in the county or independent city to issue marriage licenses and keep marriage records
  • Gretna Greens. When an eloping Virginia couple's marriage is not in their home county, search for it in alternate places like Manassas, Prince William, Virginia, or Howard County, Maryland, or Mount Airy, Surry, North Carolina, or Pike County, Kentucky.[1]
  • Marriage records are restricted for 25 years from the time the event occurred. Only family members may obtain these records.

Next Step: When did the marriage occur?

Choose a time period to search for your ancestor's marriage record:
|
Marriage Records
Choose a time period:

Learn more about U.S. Marriage Records

Marriages Before 1853

If you cannot locate your ancestor in the databases below, try searching for marriage information in other records.

STEP ONE: Find Marriage Information
Try these databases.
Marriage information is taken from substitute records such as church records.
Database Name Link or links to access database # of records 
Ancestry, Marriages, 1660-1800 Free using Ancestryinstitution at FamilySearch Centers $, Use your own Ancestry subscription 88,130
Ancestry, Marriages, 1700-1850 Free using Ancestryinstitution at FamilySearch Centers $, Use your own Ancestry subscription 33,706
Ancestry, Marriage bonds, 1700s-1824 Free using Ancestryinstitution at FamilySearch Centers $, Use your own Ancestry subscription 4,496
Ancestry, Marriages, 1740-1850 Free using Ancestryinstitution at FamilySearch Centers $, Use your own Ancestry subscription 337,520
FamilySearch, Marriages, 1785-1940 On FamilySearch, free, incomplete, view coverage table 1,219,044
Ancestry, Marriages, 1851-1929 Free using Ancestryinstitution at FamilySearch Centers $, Use your own Ancestry subscription 29,984
Library of Virginia, Marriages On Library of Virginia, free, incomplete, county coverage Undisclosed
Can't access Ancestry? Visit your local Family History Center or your local public library.
No marriage record for your ancestor?

Search for Gretna Greens-- locations away from the home county where marriage laws were less restrictive.
Search other records with marriage information.

If you did not find your ancestor in the above indexes, try searching for marriage information in other records.

1. Look first in 2. Then search
Church Records

Newspapers
Military Records
Obituaries

Census Records

Cemetery Records
Death Records
Bible Records

Return to the Top: Choose another marriage year

Marriages from 1853 to Present

STEP ONE: Find Marriage Information
Try these databases.
Marriage information is taken from substitute records such as church records.
Database Name Link or links to access database # of records 
FamilySearch, Marriages, 1785-1940 On FamilySearch, free, incomplete, view coverage table 1,219,044
Ancestry, Marriages, 1851-1929 Free using Ancestryinstitution at FamilySearch Centers $, Use your own Ancestry subscription 29,984
Library of Virginia, Marriages On Library of Virginia, free, incomplete, county coverage Undisclosed
Can't access Ancestry? Visit your local Family History Center or your local public library.
No marriage record for your ancestor?

Search for Gretna Greens-- locations away from the home county where marriage laws were less restrictive.
Search other records with marriage information.

If you did not find your ancestor in the above indexes, try searching for marriage information in other records.

STEP TWO: Obtain the Record


PART A: You know the approximate or exact date and place of marriage from your records or the above indexes
With date and place of marriage,
order a copy of the marriage from one of the following:
Option A: Marriage Records on Microfilm Some county marriage records may be available on microfilm at your local Family Search Center. If you know the county and approximate date where the marriage took place, use the FamilySearch Catalog to see what is available.
  • Search the FamilySearch Catalog by county.
  • Select the topic Vital Records. Look for records authored by the county clerk.
  • For a small fee, order the microfilm to view at a local Family Search Center.
Option B:
Order from the County or City

Order the marriage record for a fee from the county court clerk in the county the marriage took place.

Option C:
Order from the State of Virginia

Order the marriage record for a fee from the Virginia Office of Vital Records.


PART B: You don't know the exact date or place of marriage

  • If you do know the county or independent city of marriage, you can request a search for a fee from the county clerk.
  • If you don't know the date or county of marriage, you can also try searching for marriage information in other records.
Return to the Top: Choose another marriage year

Wiki Articles

References

  1. Arlene H. Eakle, "Have you searched and searched for a marriage without finding it?" in Genealogy Blog at http://www.arleneeakle.com/wordpress/2007/02/19/have-you-searched-and-searched-for-the-marriage-without-finding-it/ (accessed 8 January 2011).

 

Need additional research help? Contact our research help specialists.

Need wiki, indexing, or website help? Contact our product teams.


Did you find this article helpful?

You're invited to explain your rating on the discussion page (you must be signed in).

  • This page was last modified on 8 October 2014, at 17:25.
  • This page has been accessed 7,557 times.