Berkeley County was formed from Frederick County, Virginia in 1772 and remained a part of Virginia until the state of West Virginia was created in 1863. Because of its location, Berkeley County was a natural magnet for migration and a focal point of westward expansion. Much of the action of this legendary drama took place in the eastern panhandle of what is now West Virginia, and the first great migrations to the West cut right through Berkeley County, originating for the most part in Pennsylvania and Maryland.
The bulk of Berkeley County’s early records–including its marriage records–can be found today in the courthouse in Martinsburg, West Virginia. The marriage records commence in 1781 and are recorded in marriage bond books, church record books, and a miscellaneous volume of marriage records, and are more or less complete up through 1854. The present work is a digest of the marriage records for the entire period from 1781 through 1854. It is arranged in alphabetical order by the names of both brides and grooms and contains the records of nearly 6,000 marriages. In addition to the names of the bride and groom, information given with each entry includes the date of the marriage bond, the date of the marriage itself, the names of suretors or bondsmen, the name of the performing minister, and a reference to the location of the actual marriage record. At least 15,000 persons are mentioned in this work, not counting ministers.