The Resource Caroline County (Va.) Marriage Bonds, Certificates and Consents, Nos. 1-3

Caroline County (Va.) Marriage Bonds, Certificates and Consents, Nos. 1-3

Caroline County (Va.) Marriage Bonds, Certificates and Consents, Nos. 1-3, 1795-1860
Caroline County (Va.) Marriage Bonds, Certificates and Consents, Nos. 1-3
Inclusive dates
Caroline County (Va.) Marriage Bonds, Certificates and Consents, Nos. 1-3, 1795-1860, record the original bonds of marriage between a bride and groom within the county. These volumes also contain original marriage consents and marriage certificates issued by individual ministers. All original marriage bonds, certificates and consents found in the Circuit Court Clerk's Office were numbered chronologically and placed in the pages of three volumes by means of an adhesive. The staff likely undertook this procedure to try and preserve the original documents. Because of the adhesive technique used, it is possible to view the back of all these documents. Volume Nos. 1 (1795-1805, 1-251) and 2 (1805-1819, 252-464) were originally the only volumes microfilmed. Volume No. 3 (1819-1860, 465-693) was filmed at a later date by a different vendor
Member of
Biographical or historical data
  • Caroline County was formed from Essex, King and Queen, and King William Counties on 1 May 1728, and additional parts of King and Queen County were added in 1742 and 1763. The county was named for Caroline of Anspach, wife of King George II.
  • Most loose records and deed books prior to 1836 and will books prior to 1853 were stolen, mutilated, and/or destroyed by Union troops who ransacked the courthouse in May 1864. A near-complete run of order books exists.
  • 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 bond was pledged, with two or more sufficient securities (or witnesses), but no money was exchanged. The license, issued then by the clerk, was given to the minister who performed the service. The practice of bonding was discontinued in 1849, although in some communities bonds were pledged into the 1850s. This practice insured against legal action should the marriage not take place, if either party declined to go through with the union, or if one of the parties was found to be ineligible for marriage--if either the bride or groom was already married or was underage and lacked approval to wed. The marriage certificates record the names of both parties celebrating the rites of matrimony, the date of the marriage, the name of the minister who performed the ceremony and the minister’s religious denomination.
  • According to Virginia law, individuals under the age of twenty-one needed the consent of a parent or guardian to marry. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, officials were especially concerned about females under the age of 16 marrying without consent. County clerks were not authorized to issue a marriage license without certificate (permission) from the parent, master or guardian. In the nineteenth century, a parent or guardian could give consent verbally to the clerk of the court, or provide written consent in front of one to two witnesses; the consent was then delivered to the county clerk.
  • The original bonds, certificates and consents, from which these volumes were compiled, were created by the County Court.
Cataloging source
Location of other archival material
  • Marriage Bonds, Certificates and Consents, Nos. 1 and 2 are found in the Circuit Court Clerk's Office.
  • Volume No. 3 is located at the State Records Center. Contact Archives Research Services for access information, directions and hours.
  • Additional Caroline 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.
  • Caroline County is one of Virginia's Lost Records Localities. Additional Caroline County Court Records may be found in the Virginia Lost Records Localities Digital Collection.
Caroline County (Va.) Marriage Bonds, Certificates and Consents, Nos. 1-3
  • Volume No. 3, 1819-1860 (465-693) was compiled in the Circuit Court Clerk's Office. It came to the Library of Virginia in a transfer of court papers from Caroline County
  • Reel 64 was generated by a field operator, from the Virginia State Library's Microfilm Section, while filming in the Circuit Court Clerk's Office
  • Reel 80 was generated by Backstage Library Works through the Library of Virginia's Circuit Court Records Preservation Program
Arranged chronologically and individual items are numbered consectively.
  • The Library of Virginia
  • 1
  • 2
Governing access note
There are no restrictions
Immediate source of acquisition
  • Caroline County Circuit Court
  • Virginia State Library's Microfilm Section
  • Backstage Library Works
Terms governing use
Use microfilm copies, Caroline County (Va.) Reels 64 and 80.
Type of unit
  • v. (229 individual items)
  • microfilm reels

Library Locations

    • Library of VirginiaBorrow it
      800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA, 23219, US
      37.5415632 -77.4360805
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