Marriage Records Index Collection, 1719-1898 (bulk)

Search the Database

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 Tips

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 Blacks Listing:

This search displays a list of all the marriages from this database indicated to have taken place between free people of color.

Record-keeping practices prior to emancipation frequently included notations to indicate a record or event concerning a free Black individual whose legal rights and responsibilities differed from those of enslaved people. Due to the difficulty of tracing African Americans prior to 1866, most of whom were enslaved, indexers felt compelled to include this information in their indexes. We have retained this information as part of the historical record and to convey the relevance of the individuals' names to the time in which they were recorded.

Keyword Search:

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).

More Information About the Marriage Records Collection

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.

Source Field:

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.

All sources included are:

Notes on Specific Counties:

Cumberland County (1841–1866)

Dinwiddie County (1818–1852)

Hanover County (1720–1904)

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:

Related Resources

John Vogt, Marriage Records in the Virginia State Library: A Researcher's Guide 2nd ed. (Athens, Ga., 1988). A Guide to Church Records in the Archives Branch, Virginia State Library. Compiled by Jewell T. Clark and Elizabeth Terry Long (Richmond, 1981). Virginia Marriage Records from The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, the William and Mary Quarterly, and Tyler's Quarterly (Baltimore, 1982). Early Virginia Marriages. Edited by William Armstrong Crozier (New York, 1907; reprinted Baltimore, 1953). Dorothy Ford Wulfeck, Marriages of Some Virginia Residents, 1607–1800, Series 1–2 (1961–1967 and 1990). Series 2 is titled Wulfeck's Virginia Marriages. Also available is an in-house guide to Virginia marriages which contains definition of terms, general sources, and sources of marriage information for individual counties.

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