Virginia, County Marriage Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|This article describes a collection of historical records scheduled to become available at FamilySearch.org.|
- 1 What is in the Collection?
- 2 Collection Content
- 3 How Do I Search the Collection?
- 4 What Do I Do Next?
- 5 What If I Can't Find Who I'm Looking For?
- 6 Related Websites
- 7 Related Wiki Articles
- 8 How You Can Contribute
- 9 Citing this Collection
What is in the Collection?
The Virginia, County Marriage Records, 1771-1943 collection consists of images of marriage records from county courthouses. The records include registers, bonds, licenses, and returns. This collection includes the following counties:
The content and time period varies by county.
|You will be able to browse through images in this collection when it is published.|
To see a coverage map of FamilySearch's holdings of Virginia marriages, click here.
The following information may be found in the records:
- Marriage date
- Marriage place
- Names of the bride and groom
- Name of the clerk or the person performing the marriage
Later records may also include:
- Name of the parents of the bride and groom
- Marital status
- Residence of bride and groom (some later records also give birth date)
How Do I Search the Collection?
To use these records it is helpful to know the following:
- The name of the person at the time of marriage
- The name of the intended spouse
- Other identifying information such as the approximate marriage date and place
Search the Collection
To browse by image:
To search the collection you will need to follow this series of links:
⇒Select "Browse through images" on the initial collection page
⇒Select the appropriate "County"
⇒Select the appropriate "Record Type, Year Range, and Volume number or letter" which takes you to the images.
Look at the images one by one comparing the information with what you already know about your ancestors to determine if the image relates to them. You may need to look at several images and compare the information about the individuals listed in those images to your ancestors to make this determination. Keep in mind:
- There may be more than one person in the records with the same name.
- You may not be sure of your own ancestor’s name.
- Your ancestor may have used different names or variations of their name throughout their life.
What Do I Do Next?
When you have located your ancestor’s marriage record, carefully evaluate each piece of information given. These pieces of information may give you new biographical details that can lead you to other records about your ancestors. Add this new information to your records of each family. For example:
- Use the marriage date and place as the basis for compiling a new family group or for verifying existing information.
- Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth of each partner to find a couple's birth records and parents' names.
- Use the birth date or age along with the place of birth to find the family in census records.
- Use the residence and names of the parents to locate church and land records.
Tips to Keep in Mind
- Occupations listed can lead you to other types of records such as employment or military records.
- The name of the officiator is a clue to their religion or area of residence in the county. However, ministers may have reported marriages performed in other counties.
- Compile the marriage entries for every person who has the same surname as the bride or groom; this is especially helpful in rural areas or if the surname is unusual.
- Continue to search the marriage records to identify children, siblings, parents, and other relatives of the bride and groom who may have married in the same county or nearby. This can help you identify other generations of your family or even the second marriage of a parent. Repeat this process for each new generation you identify.
- When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
- The information in marriage records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
- Earlier records may not contain as much information as the records created after the late 1800s.
- There is also some variation in the information given from one marriage record to another record.
What If I Can't Find Who I'm Looking For?
- Look for variant spellings of the surnames.
- Look for an index. There are often indexes at the beginning of each volume. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
|Don't overlook FHL Keyword Virginia, Marriage Records items in the FamilySearch Library Catalog. For other libraries (local and national) or to gain access to items of interest, see the wiki article Virginia Archives and Libraries.|
Related Wiki Articles
How You Can Contribute
| We welcome user additions to FamilySearch Historical Records wiki articles. We are looking for additional information that will help readers understand the topic and better use the available records. We also need translations for collection titles and images in articles about records written in languages other than English. For specific needs, please visit WikiProject FamilySearch Records. |
Please follow these guidelines as you make changes. Thank you for any contributions you may provide.
Citing this Collection
Citing your sources makes it easy for others to find and evaluate the records you used. When you copy information from a record, list where you found that information. Here you can find citations already created for the entire collection and for each individual record or image.
Collection citation for "Virginia, County Marriage Records, 1771-1943":
- “Virginia, County Marriage Records, 1771-1943.” Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing Circuit Court Clerk Offices, state-wide, Virginia.
Record citation (or citation for the index entry):
|The citation for a record is available with each record in this collection, at the bottom of the record screen. You can search records in this collection by visiting the search page for Virginia, County Marriage Records, 1771-1943.|