The Resource Henrico County (Va.) Marriage Bonds, Consents and Index, Vols. 1-7 and A-Y, 1781-1831.
- Henrico County (Va.) Marriage Bonds, Consents and Index, Vols. 1-7 and A-Y, 1781-1831.
- Inclusive dates
- Marriage records -- Virginia | Henrico County
- Marriage consents -- Virginia | Henrico County
- Marriage. -- Virginia | Henrico County
- Free African Americans. -- Marriage -- Virginia | Henrico County
- Indexes (reference sources) -- Virginia | Henrico County
- Marriage bonds -- Virginia | Henrico County
- Free African Americans. -- Virginia | Henrico County
- Henrico County (Va.)
- Henrico County (Va.) -- History
- Local government records -- Virginia | Henrico County
- Henrico County (Va.) Marriage Bonds and Consents, Vols. 1-7 and A-Y, 1781-1830, record the original bonds of marriage between a bride and groom within the county. These volumes also contain original marriage consents. These volumes and indexes cover only the years 1781-1830. All original bonds and consents were arranged in numerical order (as they appear in the volume) by the alphabetical letter of the groom's surname and placed in the pages of nineteen volumes by means of an adhesive. Because of the adhesive technique used, it is possible to view the back of all these documents. When the volumes were restored, typewritten indexes were created for each volume and reflect the order of arrangement of the original documents in the volumes. Typewritten indexes for Volumes 1-7, however, were not microfilmed. Free African American marriages are found throughout the volumes from 1797-1830. Also of note, Volume 1, 1781-1799, contains a marriage bond and consent for Patrick Henry's daughter Elizabeth on page 34. Original bonds, now found in Volumes 1-7 but previously found in the Circuit Court Clerk's Office, were microfilmed by the Virginia State Library's Photographic Division and are found on Microfilm Reel 89a
- Index to Marriage Bonds and Consents, 1781-1831, is a separate index. As indicated, it contains marriage bonds and consents found in all nineteen volumes as well as bonds and consents from 1831 not included in these volumes. The index is arranged only by the alphabetical letter of the groom's surname and then the bride's surname, A-Y. In order to find a specific page number in the volumes, the typed index found in the front of all volumes must be utilized by finding the groom's surname. The index lists the date of the marriage bond and any remarks--such as the status or parents of the bride or groom and the race of the couple. The volume was not microfilmed
- Biographical or historical data
- Henrico County was one of the eight original shires, or counties, first enumerated in 1634. The county was named for Henry, Prince of Wales, eldest son of James I.
- 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.
- 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 and consents, from which these volumes were compiled, were created by the County Court.
- Cataloging source
- Location of other archival material
- Additional Henrico 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.
- Additional Henrico County Marriage Records can be found in the Henrico County deeds, wills, order books and records of the Orphan's Court.
- Henrico County is one of Virginia's Lost Records Localities. Additional Henrico County Court Records may be found in the Virginia Lost Records Localities Collection at the Library of Virginia. Search the "Lost Records Localities Database" found at the Library of Virginia web site.
- All volumes are located at the State Records Center. Please contact Archives Research Services for access information, directions and hours.
- See also "Marriages of Henrico County, Virginia, 1680-1808" by Joyce Lindsay in the Library of Virginia's book collection.
ContextContext of Henrico County (Va.) Marriage Bonds, Consents and Index, Vols. 1-7 and A-Y, 1781-1831.
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