The 57,000 names in this database provide an index to marriage records available from Virginia between 1851 and 1929. The following counties are included in this collection:
Old Rappahannoch and Essex Counties, 1851-1900
Richmond City, 1851-1853
The majority of these records are quite complete because of a state law passed in 1853 required that county and independent city clerks issue marriage licenses and keep marriage registers. Before a license was issued, the parties to be married had to offer the following information: full names, ages, places of birth and residence, proposed marriage date and place, marital status (widowed or single), parents' names, groom's occupation, and minister's name. After the marriage ceremony, the minister returned the information to the clerk, who recorded it in a marriage register. Many counties have the original form on file at the courthouse.
The majority of pre-1853 Virginia marriage records have been published. The Library of Virginia and the FHL have the most complete collections of published Virginia marriage records; however, state and genealogical libraries nationwide also have excellent collections.