A Collection in
the Library of Virginia
Collection numbers: Barcode numbers 1100409 and 1100407/Arlington County (Va.) Reel 23
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Use microfilm copy, Arlington County (Va.) Reel 23.
Arlington County (Va.) Marriage Registers, 1850-1881. Arlington County (Va.) Reel 23, Local government records collection, Arlington County Court Records. The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia, 23219.
These items came to the Library of Virginia in a transfer of court papers from Arlington County.
Microfilm Reel 23 was generated by the Genealogical Society of Utah while filming in the Arlington County Circuit Court Clerk's Office.
Arlington County was originally named Alexandria County. The county was formed from a portion of Fairfax County that Virginia in 1789 ceded to the federal government for use as the site of a new national capital. In 1801, the area officially became part of the District of Columbia, although Congress named it Alexandria County. By an act of 9 July 1846, Congress returned the county to Virginia, and the General Assembly extended the commonwealth's jurisdiction over the region effective 20 March 1847. The county's name was changed by an act of assembly passed 16 March 1920 to Arlington, the name of the Custis family mansion (the home of Robert E. Lee) , which is located in the county.
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 neeeded for individuals younger than twenty-one years.
The original marriage records, from which these volumes were compiled, were created by the Alexandria County Court.
Arlington County (Va.) Marriage Registers, 1850-1881, consist of two separate volumes. The first volume dates from 1850-1865 and includes 210 pages. This volume is divided into three distinct sections. Pages 1-74, 1850-1854, include the date of the marriage license, names of groom and bride, record of ministers' returns and written consents from parents. On page 7, there are listed two marriage returns from the Quakers or Society of Friends. In the 1850s, marriages between persons of Irish descent are noted. Beginning in 1852, page 26, information is added under the bride's name regarding her age. Pages 75-132 1/2, 1854-1861, include the date of the marriage license, the names of the groom and bride and whether a consent was given. Pages 134-210, 1861-1865, include the number of the marriage license--a consective numbering system used for each year, the date when the license was issued, the names of the groom and bride, the ages of the groom and bride, information on the parents' consent, date of ministers' returns and record of ministers' returns (including date and by whom married.) There are numerous references to marriages between "free persons of color" throughout the volume. This volume also contains an internal index arranged alphabetically (A-Y) by groom's name according to page number.
The second volume dates from 1865-1881 and includes 154 pages. This volume continues the same structure found in the first volume's latter section. These records include the number of the marriage license, the date of issue, the names and ages of the groom and bride, information on the parents' consent, date of ministers' returns and record of ministers' returns. In addition, numerous references to African American marriages are noted.
Additional Arlington County Court Records can be found on microfilm at the Library of Virginia. Consult "A Guide to Virginia County and City Records on Microfilm"
The volumes are currently housed at the Library of Virginia's State Records Center, Archives Annex.
- Arlington County (Va.) Circuit Court.
- African Americans--Marriage--Virginia--Arlington County.
- African Americans--Virginia--Arlington County.
- Christian sects--Virginia--Arlington County.
- Clergy--Virginia--Arlington County.
- Free African Americans--Marriage--Virginia--Arlington County.
- Free African Americans--Virginia--Arlington County.
- Irish--Marriage--Virginia--Arlington County.
- Irish--Virginia--Arlington County.
- Marriage--Virginia--Arlington County.
- Society of Friends--Marriage--Virginia--Arlington County.
- Society of Friends-Virginia--Arlington County.
- Alexandria County--History--19th century.
- Arlington County--History.
- Local government records--Virginia--Arlington County.
- Marriage records--Virginia--Arlington County.
- Marriage registers--Virginia--Arlington County.
- Alexandria County (Va.) County Court.