A Guide to the Petersburg (Va.) Ministers' Returns, 1850-1872 Petersburg (Va.) Ministers' Returns, 1850-1872 0007762464

A Guide to the Petersburg (Va.) Ministers' Returns, 1850-1872

A Collection in
the Library of Virginia
Barcode number: 0007762464


Library of Virginia

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The Library of Virginia
Barcode number
Petersburg (Va.) Ministers' Returns, 1850-1872
Physical Characteristics
1 v.
Petersburg (Va.) Circuit Court.
Library of Virginia

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Petersburg (Va.) Ministers' Returns, 1850-1872, Local government records collection, Petersburg Court Records. The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia 23219.

Acquisition Information

These items came to the Library of Virginia in a transfer from Petersburg Circuit Court under the accession number 52919.

Historical Information

Petersburg was formed from parts of Dinwiddie, Prince George, and Chesterfield Counties. A garrison and fur trading post called Fort Henry was established there in 1645 on the site of the Indian town Appamattuck. The present name, suggested in 1733 by William Byrd (1674-1744), honors Peter Jones, Byrd's companion on expeditions into the Virginia backcountry. Petersburg was established in 1748 and incorporated as a town in 1784. In the latter year the towns of Blandford, Pocahontas, and Ravenscroft were added to Petersburg. It was incorporated as a city in 1850.

Prior to 1780 marriages could only be performed legally in Virginia by ministers of the Church of England, who were required to record marriages in the parish register. After 1780, dissenting ministers were also permitted to conduct marriages. 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; beginning in 1784, marriage certificates were returned annually. The law was rarely enforced, and ministers’ returns were sometimes late, incorrect, incomplete, or, in many instances, not made at all. County clerks compiled a register of marriages based, in part, on ministers’ returns.

Scope and Content

Petersburg (Va.) Ministers' Returns, 1850-1872, record marriages performed by ministers and submitted to local court to be certified. Information recorded included name of minister, name of church the minister served, name of bride and groom, date of marriage, and date marriage was submitted to court by minister.

Related Material

Additional Petersburg Marriage and Vital Statistics 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 web site.

Index Terms

Adjunct Descriptive Data

Significant Places Associated With the Collection

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