A Guide to the Princess Anne County (Va.) Certificates of Marriage Returns, 1786-1850 Princess Anne County (Va.) Certificates of Marriage Returns, 1786-1850 1146832

A Guide to the Princess Anne County (Va.) Certificates of Marriage Returns, 1786-1850

A Collection in
the Library of Virginia
Barcode number 1146832


Library of Virginia

The Library of Virginia
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Richmond, Virginia 23219-8000
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Email: archdesk@lva.virginia.gov(Archives)
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© 2006 By The Library of Virginia. All Rights Reserved.

Processed by: Library of Virginia staff

The Library of Virginia
Barcode number
Princess Anne County (Va.) Certificates of Marriage Returns, 1786-1850
Physical Characteristics
1 vol. (140 p.) This volume is a negative photostatic copy.
Virginia Beach (Va.) Circuit Court.
Library of Virginia

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open to research.

Use Restrictions

Use microfilm copy, Princess Anne County (Va.) Reel 53.

Preferred Citation

Princess Anne County (Va.) Certificates of Marriage Returns, 1786-1850. Princess Anne County (Va.) Reel 53, Local government records collection, Virginia Beach (City)/Princess Anne County Court Records. The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Va. 23219.

Acquisition Information

This negative photostatic copy was created by the Virginia State Library's (now the Library of Virginia) Archives Division from the original volume delivered from the City of Virginia Beach's Circuit Court Clerk's Office under the accession number 25560. The microfilm copy of this volume was generated by The Genealogical Society of Utah--while filming in the Princess Anne County (now City of Virginia Beach) Circuit Court Clerk's Office.

Historical Information

Princess Anne County was formed from Lower Norfolk County in 1691 and became extinct in 1963, after its consolidation with the city of Virginia Beach. Princess Anne County was named for Anne, daughter of James II, who became queen of England in 1702.

Prior to 1853, when the Commonwealth began recording vital statistics, Virginia marriages were recorded at the county or city level. Beginning in 1661, in order to be married by license, the groom was required to go before the county clerk and give bond with security that there was no lawful reason to prevent the marriage. The license, issued then by the clerk, was given to the minister who performed the service. Written consent from a parent or guardian was needed for individuals younger than twenty-one years.

Until 1780, marriages could be performed only by ministers of the Established Church, who were required by law to record marriages in the parish register. In 1780, dissenting ministers (only four per county from each sect) were first permitted to perform marriage ceremonies. Ministers' returns were required by law beginning in 1780, so all marriages from that date would be of record in the county court clerk's office--thereby creating an official record. Some ministers adopted a custom of making collected returns--a list of marriages performed within a period of time such as a year or several years.

The marriage record of Princess Anne County (Va.) described in this collection was created by the County Court.

Scope and Content

Princess Anne County (Va.) Certificates of marriage returns, 1786-1850, records the returns made by individual ministers of marriages performed within the county. The majority of returns in this volume are in the form of lists which record the date of marriage and names of both parties. However, a few returns take the form of registers which record the date of marriage, the names of both parties, the date of the marriage license and the date of the marriage ceremony. Other registers record the names of the persons married, the date of the marriage license, the date when the marriage ceremony took place and the name of the county clerk who issued the marriage license. In the process of preparing and sending the returns, the name of the minister and the minister's denomination are also recorded. There are no recorded returns for the year 1787. On page 94 (1828), page 96 (1823) and page 126 (1843) are noted marriages between free blacks or free persons of color.

Related Material

Additional Princess Anne County Marriage Records can be found on microfilm at the Library of Virginia. Consult "A Guide to Virginia County and City Records on Microfilm" found on the Library of Virginia's web site.

Separated Material

Index Terms

    Corporate Names:

  • Virginia Beach (Va.) Circuit Court.
  • Subjects:

  • Christian sects--Virginia--Princess Anne County.
  • Clergy--Virginia--Princess Anne County.
  • Free African Americans--Marriage--Virginia--Princess Anne County.
  • Free African Americans--Virginia--Princess Anne County.
  • Marriage--Virginia--Princess Anne County.
  • Geographical Names:

  • Princess Anne County (Va.)--History.
  • Genre and Form Terms:

  • Local government records--Virginia--Princess Anne County.
  • Marriage records--Virginia--Princess Anne County.
  • Ministers' returns--Virginia--Princess Anne County.
  • Added Entry - Corporate Name:

  • Princess Anne County (Va.) County Court.

Significant Places Associated With the Collection

  • Princess Anne County (Va.)--History.