The Resource Goochland County (Va.) Ministers' Returns

Goochland County (Va.) Ministers' Returns

Goochland County (Va.) Ministers' Returns, 1794-1853
Goochland County (Va.) Ministers' Returns
Inclusive dates
  • Goochland County (Va.) Ministers' Returns, 1794-1853, records the returns made by individual ministers of marriages performed within the county. The majority of returns are in the form of lists which record the date of marriage and names of both parties. In the process of preparing and sending the returns, the name of the minister and the minister's denomination are also recorded. As part of the return process, ministers filed marriage certificates with the county clerk. These signed documents certified that a minister had performed the actual marriage ceremony between the named individuals on a certain date
  • There is a note on the first page of the volume which indicates that the earliest marriages recorded in the county, from February 1788, are found in Deed Book 15. The note further explains that these early recordings are found in deed books until 1793 (see Deed Book 16.) From 1793 until July 21st 1794, marriages were recorded in order books (see Order Book 19.) There is an internal index to the volume which is organized alphabetically A-Y, by the bride or groom's surname, according to the order of the page numbers in the volume. This index lists marriages recorded prior to 1794 in Deed Books 15 and 16 and Order Book 19
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Biographical or historical data
  • Goochland County was formed from Henrico County in 1728. The county was named for Sir William Gooch, lieutenant governor of Virginia from 1727 to 1749.
  • 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 permitted to perform marriage ceremonies. In order to have a record of all marriages, ministers were required to sign a certificate to be filed with the county clerk. Initially, ministers sent marriage certificates to the clerk every three months. 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. Beginning in 1784, marriage certificates were returned annually. The law was rarely enforced, and ministers' returns were sometimes late, incorrect, incomplete and in many instances, not made at all. County clerks compiled a register of marriages based, in part, on ministers' returns.
  • The original ministers' returns, from which this volume was compiled, were created by the County Court.
Cataloging source
Location of other archival material
  • Additional Goochland 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.
  • This volume is located at the State Records Center. Please contact Archives Research Services.
Goochland County (Va.) Ministers' Returns
This photostatic copy was created by the staff of the Virginia State Library's (now the Library of Virginia) Archives Division
Arranged chronologically by date received and recorded.
  • The Library of Virginia
Governing access note
There are no restrictions
Immediate source of acquisition
Virginia State Library
Reproduction note
Photostat (negative)
Terms governing use
There are no restrictions.
Type of unit
v. (86 p.)

Library Locations

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