How to Find West Virginia Marriage Records

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United States Gotoarrow.png US Vital Records Gotoarrow.png How to Find United States Marriages Gotoarrow.png West Virginia Gotoarrow.png Vital Records Gotoarrow.png West Virginia Marriages

Finding West Virginia Marriage Records

  • In 1863, West Virginia was created from the state of Virginia
  • Marriages are kept by the county clerk for each county and usually begin at the creation of the county
  • Marriages before 1863 would have been recorded by county clerks in Virginia
  • 1964 - duplicate copies of the marriages were required to be sent to the state


Next Step: When did the marriage occur?

Marriage Records
Choose a time period:


Learn more about U.S. Marriage Records

Marriages Before 1963

  • In 1863, West Virginia was created from the state of Virginia
  • Marriages are kept by the county clerk for each county and usually begin at the creation of the county
  • Marriages before 1863 would have been recorded by county clerks in Virginia

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

For marriages that exist during the time period, try the following databases. Try each link.

Try 1st:


1853-1970 - At West Virginia Division of Culture and History Free; Also on FamilySearch.org; dates vary by county: some start before 1853 (as early as 1780) or do not go to 1970; list of database county coverage (right side of the screen)on WV website Index & images.
Try 2nd:


1674-1966 - At Findmypast.com ($); Index & images.
Try 3rd:
1780-1970 - At FamilySearch.org Free; Also on Ancestry.com ($), free at family history centers. Name index of West Virginia county marriage records. Index only.
Try 4th:
1854-1932 - At FamilySearch.org Free; Images of records available at FamilySearch Centers. Index only.
Can't find your ancestor in the online index? Tips for searching online indexes
No marriage record for your ancestor?

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

Found the couple in index but not image of the marriage record?
Some images of county marriage records may be available on microfilm at your local Family Search Center. If you know the approximate date and county 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.
  • Some microfilms may be available to view at a local FamilySearch Center.
Return to the Top: Choose another marriage year

Marriages 1964 to Present

  • 1964 - duplicate copies of the marriages were required to be sent to the state

STEP ONE: Find Marriage Information in Index

Some marriages with copies of digital images after 1964 are found in the following databases.

Try:


1853-1970 - At West Virginia Division of Culture and History Free; 1853-1970 - also on FamilySearch.org; dates vary by county: some start before 1853 (as early as 1780) or do not go to 1970; list of database county coverage (right side of the screen)on WV website Index & images.
Try Also:


1674-1966 - At Findmypast.com ($); Index & images.
Can't find your ancestor in the online index? Tips for searching online indexes
No marriage record for your ancestor?

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

STEP TWO: Obtain the Certificate

If you did not find your ancestor in the above database, follow the instructions below:

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

  • If you know the county of marriage, but not the exact date, you can request a search for a fee from the county clerk.
  • If you don't know the county or date of marriage, you can request a search for a fee from the West Virginia Department of Health State office.
  • If you don't know the date or county of marriage, you can also try searching for marriage information in other records.

PART B: You know the exact date and place of marriage from your records

  • Order a copy of a marriage record for a fee from the county clerk.

OR

To Order Marriage Certificates
From County of Marriage From WV Dept. of Health State office
Pros Cons Pros Cons
May be less expensive and faster than ordering from the state County websites can be more difficult to use Offers a search of the state index for an additional fee May be more expensive than ordering from the county
Return to the Top: Choose another marriage year

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