Virginia, Orange County Marriage Records (FamilySearch Historical Records)

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United States Gotoarrow.png Virginia Gotoarrow.pngOrange County

FamilySearch Record Search This article describes a collection of historical records available at FamilySearch.org.
Access the records: Virginia, Orange County Marriage Records, 1757-1938 .
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What is in the Collection?

The collection consists of a name index and images of marriage registers for Orange County, Virginia for the years 1757 to 1938.

It includes Certificates to Obtain a Marriage License, Marriage Bonds and Consents, Marriage Licenses, and Marriage Returns. The records are arranged by volume and year range. The type of record and time period varies between counties. Marriage records were generally well preserved, although fires, floods, or other disasters may have destroyed some records.

The earliest marriage bonds and licenses were usually handwritten on loose papers that were later bound into lettered volumes. Some marriage records had multiple entries on each page, while others had single records per page.

Coverage Map

To see a coverage map of FamilySearch's holdings of Virginia marriages click here.

Collection Content

Information usually found in marriage records:

  • Date and place (county) of marriage
  • Name and age (in years, months, and days) of husband
  • Name and age (in years, months, and days) of wife
  • Marital status of each
  • Husband's birthplace
  • Wife's birthplace
  • Names of husband's parents
  • Names of wife's parents
  • Residence of the husband
  • Residence of the wife
  • Name of person performing the marriage

Later records may also include the following:

  • Birthplace(s) of bride and groom
  • Occupation(s) of bride and groom
  • Number of times previously married
  • Witnesses to the marriage
  • Residence of witnesses

How Do I Search the Collection?

To begin your search it is helpful to know the following:

  • The name of the person at the time of marriage.
  • The approximate marriage date and place.

Search the Collection

To search the collection by name:
Fill in the requested information on the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the individuals in the list to what you already know about your ancestors to determine if this is the correct family or person. You may need to compare the information about more than one person to find your ancestor. 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.
  • If your ancestor used an alias or a nickname, be sure to check for those alternate names.
  • Even though these indexes are very accurate they may still contain inaccuracies, such as altered spellings, misinterpretations, and optical character recognition errors if the information was scanned.

For tips about searching on-line collections see the on-line article FamilySearch Search Tips and Tricks.

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 to find the family in census records.
  • Use the residence to locate church and land 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.
  • Use the marriage number to identify previous marriages.

Tips to Keep in Mind

  • When looking for a person who had a common name, look at all the entries for the name before deciding which is correct.
  • 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. *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.
  • The marriage date, place, and residence of the bride and groom are relatively reliable. Other information, such as age or birthplace, is dependent on the knowledge, memory, and accuracy of the informants, usually the bride and groom.

What If I Can't Find Who I'm Looking For?

  • Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for alias names, nicknames and abbreviated names.
  • 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 localities.


For a summary of this information see the wiki article: United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records)

Related Web Sites

Free Virginia Marriage Records Online

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:

"Virginia, Orange County Marriage Records, 1757-1938" Database with Images. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : accessed 2016. Citing County Clerk. County Courthouse, Orange.

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, Orange County Marriage Records, 1757-1938.