This database includes marriages from a variety of sources. Most of the marriages come from the surviving Charles City Marriage bonds (1762-1849) and from Marriage Books 1, 2, and 3 and licenses on file in the Charles City Circuit Court Clerk’s Office (1850-1954). Marriages of individuals born in, or resident of, Charles City also are included from New Kent County Marriage Book 1, from newspaper announcements and from records of religious institutions. This is an active database and we welcome additions and corrections.
Before 1850 when the modern marriage license system began persons wishing to be married in Virginia were required to obtain a license from the clerk of court. To receive a marriage license the parties were required to post a bond with security to assure that no lawful reason existed why the marriage could not take place. The bondsman was usually a family member related either to the groom or the bride. Consents were required for individuals under the age of 21. Women over that age were commonly described by the unfortunate term “spinster.” If the bride’s father was a surety his separate consent was not required. The bonds and consents remained on file in the Clerk’s Office. During a Union occupation of the Clerk’s Office in the Civil War, most of the marriage bonds were taken as souvenirs or destroyed. Only 137 bonds/consents survive.
Total records: 4,383
Last updated: April 2009