How to Find Virginia Marriage Records
How To Find U.S. Marriage Records How To Find Virginia Marriage Records
Finding Virginia Marriage Records
- 1660 - Colonial government required church officials to record all marriages in church registers
- 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.
|More marriage information is usually found on the marriage license application or the marriage register. Less information is found on the marriage certificate.|
Next Step: When did the marriage occur?
Marriages Before 1853
If you cannot locate your ancestor in the databases below, try searching for marriage information in other records.
|1. Look first in||2. Then search|
| Church Records
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|
|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, to view coverage table||1,219,044|
|Ancestry, Marriages, 1851-1929||Free using Ancestryinstitution at FamilySearch Centers||$, Use your own Ancestry subscription||29,984|
|Can't access Ancestry?||Visit your local Family History Center or your local public library.|
|No marriage record for your ancestor?|
If you did not find your ancestor in the above indexes, try searching for marriage information in other records.
STEP TWO: Obtain the Record
|When ordering Virginia marriage records:|
For marriages after 1865, ask for the marriage license or the marriage register not the marriage certificate. The license or register usually contains more information.
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 Family History Library Catalog (FHLC) to see what is available.|
| Option B:
||Order from the County or City||
Order the marriage record for a fee from the county probate judge's offices 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
Restrictions for Obtaining Birth Records
If you know the marriage date, copies of marriage records are available to the public 25 years after the event at the Virginia Office of Vital Records. For marriage records within the last 50 years, only immediate family members with valid ID can request a copy.
Immediate family members include:
If you do not want to order the marriage record, you can search other records with marriage information.
- Learn more about U.S. marriage records
- How to find U.S. birth records
- How to find U.S. marriage records
- How to find U.S. death records
- United States Record Selection Table
- United States, How to Use Marriage Records
- United States Marriage Records
- United States Vital Records
- U.S. Vital Records Overview
- Locating United States Vital Records
- 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).