The Resource Powhatan County (Va.) Ministers' Returns Register

Powhatan County (Va.) Ministers' Returns Register

Powhatan County (Va.) Ministers' Returns Register, 1820-1850
Powhatan County (Va.) Ministers' Returns Register
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Powhatan County (Va.) Ministers' Returns Register, 1820-1850, was a volume used by the county clerk in the mid-nineteenth century to record the returns made by individual ministers of marriages performed within the county. The majority of returns were 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 were often included
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Biographical or historical data
  • Powhatan County was formed from Cumberland County in 1777, and part of Chesterfield County was added on 16 March 1850. The county was named for the paramount chief of the Powhatan Indians in the tidewater of Virginia in the late sixteenth and early years of the seventeenth century.
  • 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. 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
  • This volume is found at the State Records Center. Contact Archives Research Services for access information, directions and hours.
  • Additional Powhatan 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.
Powhatan County (Va.) Ministers' Returns Register
  • This item came to the Library of Virginia in a transfer of court papers from Powhatan County
  • Microfilm Reel 86 was generated by Backstage Library Works through the Library of Virginia's Circuit Court Records Preservation Program
  • The Library of Virginia
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  • 1
Governing access note
There are no restrictions
Immediate source of acquisition
  • Powhatan County Circuit Court
  • Backstage Library Works
Terms governing use
Use microfilm copy, Powhatan County (Va.) Reel 86.
Type of unit
  • v.
  • microfilm reel.

Library Locations

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