Sunday, June 21, 2015


More than 16 million Virginia vital records have been digitized and indexed as a result of collaboration between Ancestry and the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). These records were officially released to the public on June 2, 2015.

For vital records which are now “open”, the image of the original vital record can be viewed online through Ancestry; for records which are still “closed’, an index with key information is available online through VDH. Virginia death, marriage and divorce records are “closed” for 25 years; Virginia births are “closed” for 100 years.

Virginia has required localities to maintain birth, marriage and death records in the 20th century since 1912. The Virginia vital records presently available through Ancestry are birth and death records from 1912 to 2014, divorce records from 1918 to 2014, and marriage records from 1936 to 2014. Presumably 1912-1936 marriages will be added later. The birth records released include delayed births going back to 1864, but recorded after 1912.

For those without an Ancestry subscription, try for the index. Library of Virginia patrons who are physically at the Library can also access the Ancestry database free of charge.

A link to the vital records index will subsequently be placed on the Library of Virginia website, and all original vital records will be turned over to the Library of Virginia by VDH as they become “open”, commencing later this year.


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