In response to requests concerning records for genealogical research, the following information should be noted:
The Archives Division, The Library of Virginia, 800 East Broad Street, Richmond, Virginia 23219-1905, (804) 692-3500, has copies of surviving Virginia birth and death records for the period 1853 to 1896 and marriage records prior to 1936. These records are public information and are available on microfilm for use by the public. The Library of Virginia does not have copies of birth and death records from the Office of Vital Records for public use after 1896. There is no charge for viewing the microfilm of these records. Copies of the microfilm may be lent to other libraries from The Library of Virginia – Archives Division, Inter Library Loan Department. They lend the microfilm to libraries nationwide for 28 days with no renewals and there is a limit of 5 reels per patron which are sent at no charge.
For most areas of the State, records are available for the years 1853 to 1896. Any “Marriage Bonds” prior to 1853 that are still in existence would also be in the Virginia State Library and Archives, as would war records prior to and including the Civil War, deeds, wills and other court records. Events that occurred in the portion of Virginia that is now West Virginia are recorded in the Archives of the Division of Culture and History, Capitol Complex, 1900 Kanawha Boulevard East, Charleston, West Virginia 25305-0300. With the exception of the years 1896 to 1912, the Office of Vital Records has records of births, deaths, and marriages since 1853. Vital Records has divorce records on file from 1918 to the present. There are no records prior to 1853 and there was no law for the registration of births and deaths between 1896 and June 14, 1912.
The Virginia Office of Vital Records is not equipped to do genealogical research; any such research should be done in the Archives Division of The Library of Virginia as indicated above. Certified copies of records which are known to be on file by a review of the Archives Division microfilm may be obtained from the Office of Vital Records upon application and payment of the fee of $12.00 per copy. The fee of $12.00 is charged by the Office of Vital Records for a certified copy and/or search of the files whether or not a copy of the record is furnished. Applications for copies of records must include full names and dates and places (cities or counties) of the events. In the Office of Vital Records, marriage, divorce and death data becomes public information twenty five (25) years from the date of the event and birth data becomes public information one hundred (100) years from the date of the event (Section 32.1-271 of the Code of Virginia). The Virginia Office of Vital Records is not associated with any web site or addresses promoting genealogy.