Marriage Records Collection
This database is a compilation of various card index files to marriages, formerly available to researchers in the Library’s reading room, that were created over the years by different individuals. It indexes selected information found in a variety of collections and sources at the Library of Virginia.
The card index files were originally organized by county. The number of entries listed under each county varies greatly, with the following counties having the largest indexes: Augusta, Caroline, Cumberland, Dinwiddie, Gloucester, Hanover, Northumberland, Prince George, Spotsylvania, Stafford, and Sussex.
There are also indexes for the following counties: Accomack, Amelia, Bedford, Brunswick, Buckingham, Charlotte, Culpeper, Elizabeth City, Essex, Fairfax, Fauquier, Fincastle, Goochland, Halifax, James City, King and Queen, King George, Loudoun, Lunenburg, Nottoway, Powhatan, Prince Edward, Prince William, Pulaski, Richmond (County), Shenandoah, and Warren.
Because these indexes were compiled by different people using different sources, the dates covered and the amount of information vary with each county. In addition, this index does not exhaust all available sources for the counties, nor is it a comprehensive index to Virginia marriages. For more information on the extent of the indexing, please see “More Information about the Marriage Records Collection.”
This database was compiled from card index files created by people of varying skills. Some obvious errors have been corrected in the transition from card index file to database, but researchers should use caution in accepting the information in the index as accurate without consulting the original source material. Original sources were not referenced in the creation of the database from the card files.
Search by County:
Searching by county displays a listing for all entries from that particular county.
Search by Bride or Groom Name:
Name searches may be performed by using a first or last name only or a combination of the two. Searches may be performed by using a single letter in the first name field and a full or partial name in the last name field. For example: bride first name “M” and bride last name “Will” returns all results for brides with first names that begin with the letter M and whose maiden or husband’s last name is Will, Wills, Williams, or Williamson.
Free Negroes Listing:
This search displays a list of all the marriages from this database indicated to have taken place between free people of color.
The keyword search looks across all name fields and the notes field. This search function is useful for seeking results such as every occurrence of the surname Smith in the database or for information solely from the notes field, such as an alternative spelling of a bride or groom’s name, the name of a guardian, or the county of residence if different from that in which the marriage took place. Search results can be quite numerous, particularly if common words are used as search terms (for example: Mary, John, or County). If conducting a county name search in the keyword search, omit the word “county” for best results. This search seeks only words that are directly next to each other, so use as few search terms as possible for best results (for example: a search for “New Kent spinster” would return an entry with the notes field: Mary Smith, New Kent spinster, but would NOT return an entry with the notes field: Mary Smith, spinster, of New Kent County).
Date Field in Database:
The dates listed in the marriage card files are not necessarily marriage dates. The date given could refer to the date of a marriage bond, to the date that an announcement of the marriage was published in a newspaper, or to some other date. Researchers must consult the source listed for an entry to determine what the date indicates.
Notes Field in Database:
This field contains additional information listed in the marriage card files, such as an alternative spelling of a bride or groom’s name, the name of a guardian, the county of residence if different from that in which the marriage took place, etc. Clarifying information is also present in the notes field, for example, to explain a particular date or spelling of a name. This information varies widely, with some entries providing no additional information. The notes field is searchable only by using the keyword search function.
The source from which a particular entry in the index was taken is noted in full in the source field. Entries for which no source could be determined are noted as such in the source field. Please consult the original source indicated in these instances.
Cumberland County (1841–1866)
- The marriage information from this marriage card file was compiled from various sources which are not listed on the cards and are therefore unknown.
Dinwiddie County (1818–1852)
- This index was compiled by Mrs. Sallie E. H. Short from ministers’ returns as found in Dinwiddie County Deed Books 1–6 and the Dinwiddie County Marriage Register, 1850–1867. The dates in the index (the date of the minister’s return) and the date of the marriage may differ. Also published in the Virginia Genealogical Society Quarterly (Vol. 8, no. 1–4, 1970).
Hanover County (1720–1904)
- Marriage information for Hanover County was indexed from a variety of collections and sources at the Library of Virginia. The index was compiled by Mrs. S. Wirt Yates for the Virginia Historical Society.
Prince George County (1789–1841)
The specific source for each Prince George County marriage entry within the database is not specified, but is one of the following:
- Records transcribed from the marriage bonds in the Prince George County courthouse by William Macfarlane Jones.
- Virginia Marriages in Reverend John Cameron’s Register and Bath Parish Register (Virginia Genealogical Society, 1963).
- Information compiled by Ann Bradbury Peebles in 1954 from the Eppes Society Papers (Library of Virginia accessions 38083, 41107, 41501). Checked August 23, 1973, by Prentiss Price and discrepancies noted.