Virginia Marriages (FamilySearch Historical Records)
|Access the Records|
Virginia, Marriages 1785-1940 .
|This article describes a collection of records at FamilySearch.org.|
|Virginia, United States|
|Flag of Virginia|
|Location of Virginia|
|Record Type||Marriage Index|
|Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City|
- 1 What is in the Collection?
- 2 Collection Content
- 3 What Can this Collection Tell Me?
- 4 How do I Search the Collection?
- 5 What Do I Do Next?
- 6 Known Issues with This Collection
- 7 Citing This Collection
- 8 How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
What is in the Collection?
This collection is an electronic index of marriages for the years 1785 to 1940 taken from the following sources:
- Indexed church records
- Civil registrations
- The Internet indexing project sponsored by the LDS Church
Church records and civil registration were official sources and are some of the most reliable sources of family history information.
This index is not complete for any particular place, region or time period. This collection may include information previously published in the International Genealogical Index or Vital Records Index collections.
A Coverage table for this collection is available in the wiki article Virginia Marriages, Coverage Table (FamilySearch Historical Records)
To see a coverage map of FamilySearch's holdings of Virginia county marriages, click here.
What Can this Collection Tell Me?
For details about the contents of these records and help using them see the wiki article Marriages Vital Record Index Collections (FamilySearch Historical Records).
Marriage entries usually contain some or all of the following:
- Date and place of marriage
- Name and age of groom
- Groom's race and marital status
- Birthplace and birthdate of groom
- Names of groom's parents
- Name and age of bride
- Bride's race and marital status
- Birthplace of and birthdate of bride
- Names of bride's parents
- Family History Library Microfilm and item numbers for the source materials
How do I Search the Collection?
To use these records it is helpful to know:
- 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 by Name by visiting the Collection Page:
Fill in the requested information in the initial search page. This search will return a list of possible matches. Compare the information about the ancestors 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.
- 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.
- Remember this is only an index, not the original records.
Finding the Original Source for an Entry in This Collection
Each entry in this index has a source listed which includes a batch number. You will need to trace the batch number for the individual entry to learn its source. Please see the following wiki articles for more information on batch numbers:
If an FHL film number is given in the entry for your ancestor, search for it in the FamilySearch Catalog.
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. Print or download a copy of the record, or extract the genealogical information needed. Add this new information to your records of each family.
I Found Who I was Looking for, What Now?
- 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.
- Use the parent’s birth places to find former residences and to establish a migration pattern for the family.
- Use the marriage number to identify previous marriages.
- The information in marriage records is usually reliable, but depends upon the reliability of the informant.
- There is also some variation in the information given from one marriage record to another record.
- 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.
I Can't Find Who I'm Looking for, What Now?
- The records are very brief, so it is easy to confuse individuals in the index. In addition, an individual may be listed multiple times with slight spelling variations of their name.
- Look for variant spellings of the names. You should also look for nicknames and abbreviated names.
- Look for another index. Local genealogical and historical societies often have indexes to local records.
- Search the indexes and records of nearby counties.
- Be aware that, as with any index, transcription errors may occur.
- Try alternative search methods such as only filling in the surname search box (or the given name search box) on the landing page leaving the other box empty and then click on search. This should return a list of everyone with that particular name. You could then browse the list for individuals that may be your ancestor.
- Search the FamilySearch Catalog to see if other records for this place are available.
For a summary of this information see the wiki article United States, How to Use the Records Summary (FamilySearch Historical Records).
Known Issues with This Collection
For a full list of all known issues associated with this collection see the attached Wiki article. If you encounter additional problems, please email them to email@example.com. Please include the full path to the link and a description of the problem in your e-mail. Your assistance will help ensure that future reworks will be considered.
Citing This Collection
Citations help you keep track of places you have searched and sources you have found. Identifying your sources helps others find the records you used.
- Collection Citation
- "Virginia Marriages, 1785-1940." Database. FamilySearch. http://FamilySearch.org : 14 June 2016. Index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City.
When looking at a record, the citation is found below the record.
How Can I Contribute to the FamilySearch Wiki?
| 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.