The Resource Greensville County (Va.) Ministers' Returns and Certificates of Strays

Greensville County (Va.) Ministers' Returns and Certificates of Strays

Greensville County (Va.) Ministers' Returns and Certificates of Strays, 1781-1851
Greensville County (Va.) Ministers' Returns and Certificates of Strays
Inclusive dates
Ministers' Returns, 1785-1851, 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, the names of the parties married and the county of origin. In the process of preparing and sending the returns, the name of the minister, the minister's denomination and date of return are also recorded. Between pages 4 and 5 of the volume is located an internal index. The index is arranged alphabetically (A-Y) by the groom's surname according to the order of the page numbers in the volume. A loose estray record, dated 1813, is found in the front of the volume. Estray certificates, 1781-1831, are found in the second half of the volume. Estray records were generated by a locality to "give public notice of valuable, tame animals, either lost or found wandering and presumed escaped from their owners, allowing the owners to reclaim the animals." Both halves of the volume were microfilmed separately and spliced together to create one reel
Member of
Biographical or historical data
  • Greensville County was formed from Brunswick County on 28 November 1780. The county court first met on 22 February 1781. Subsequent additions were made from Brunswick (1787) and Sussex (1802) Counties.
  • 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 on 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 records, from which this volume was compiled, were created by the County Court.
Cataloging source
Location of other archival material
  • This volume is located at the State Records Center. Contact Archives Research Services for access information, directions and hours.
  • Additional Greensville County Marriage Records and Miscellaneous 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.
Greensville County (Va.) Ministers' Returns and Certificates of Strays
  • This original volume came to the Library of Virginia in a transfer of court papers from Greensville County
  • Reel 75 was generated by Backstage Library Works through the Library of Virginia's Circuit Court Records Preservation Program
  • The Library of Virginia
  • 1
  • 1
Governing access note
There are no restrictions
Immediate source of acquisition
  • Greensville County Circuit Court.
  • Backstage Library Works
  • Backstage Library Works
Terms governing use
Due to extensive conservation work on the original volume, use microfilm copy, Greensville County (Va.) Reel 75.
Type of unit
  • v. (44 p.)
  • microfilm reel.

Library Locations

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