|Marriage Records||States Genealogy||Genealogy Directory||Search for Ancestors||Surname Queries|
Some records for Virginia genealogy will go back to the 1800s but the official state collection of vital registrations starts in mid-1912 for births and deaths. You can typically get marriage records back to 1853.
Virginia Vital Records
The privacy restrictions in Virginia can be a problem when you are looking to get copies of birth, death and marriage records (aka vital records). Birth registrations have to be 100 years old before they are open to the public, though death and marriage records will become public in only 50 years.
During these times, the only people who can request any records are children, parents, spouses, siblings and grandparents. Other relations are not permitted.
If you are in that group, you can make a request by paying the search fee and submitting the completed forms. The state Department of Health's website has the forms for you to download and print, and they will list all the current requirements in case something has recently changed. Currently, the fee is $12 to get a copy of any vital record. You can pay in cash if you are going directly to their office in Richmond but should pay with a check or money order if sending by mail. Have it made out to the State Health Department.
Along with the form and the fee, you need to supply a copy of your own photo ID, your contact information (name, address, phone) as well as necessary proof to establish your relationship to the person on the record.
At their counter you will get your papers back right away. Mailed in applications will take up to a month to get your files. If they can't find the records you want, you'll get a notice to that effect (but no refund).
Library of Virginia
For all vital records that have passed into public domain, as well as a large collection of other Virginia genealogy material, you can visit the State Archives at the Library of Virginia.
You can find newspaper archives, military records, city directories, county government records, tax records, old maps and architectural plans, published biographies, local genealogy books, and a lot more. Their facility is in Richmond, and they are open 6 days a week (closed on Sundays) for typical business hours.
Virginia Genealogy Groups
To do more in-depth research, you can often get access to unique reference material through genealogy groups. The Virginian Genealogy Society and the Virginia Historical Society are the two main state-wide groups.
Beyond them, there are smaller groups for just about every county in Virginia if you need to focus more closely on a particular region.
Not all groups are going to be free to join, but even just getting in touch with them can lead you to new places to search for records. Joining usually means you will get access to private references as well as regular newsletters or even journals regarding new research into Virginia genealogy.
State Resources Sites
Death Records and Obituaries
Other Virginia Genealogy Resources