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Newport News Public Library: Local History & Genealogy

Virginiana Room

Digital Archive

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Local History

The search for vital records in Virginia depends a great deal on the time period you are researching. Virginia required registration of births, marriages and deaths from 1853 to 1896. No state registration was required from 1896 to 1912, but some counties and cities continued to collect information. Luckily, Warwick County and the city of Newport News are among those that did. Registrations were again required at the state level beginning in 1912. The following information will tell you where to find vital records for each of these time periods.

1853 - 1896

1.  The Virginia Department of Health - Office of Vital Records.

2.  We have the following registers on microfilm for you to view in the Virginiana Room:

Births:  Warwick County  1895 - 1854
  Newport News 1890, 1896
Marriages: Warwick County 1853-1899
  Newport News  1896-1926 & 1927-1935


Deaths: Warwick County 1853-1896 (missing 1855, 1860-1865, 1867-1870, 1873, 1881-1982) 
  Newport News 1896


3.  All counties and cities for this time period are available within Virginia through interlibrary loan from the Library of Virginia at no cost. If you want to request an interlibrary loan through us, you need to have a Newport News library card.

DRIP (Death Records Indexing Project) - sponsored by the Virginia Genealogical Society and made available online via the Library of Virginia's Digital Library Program.  This project is still in process - but there are several counties already available.  Check it out!

1896 - 1912

For 1896-1912 births, marriages, and deaths in Warwick County and city of Newport News contact:

Newport News Health Department
Vital Statistics & Records
416 J. Clyde Morris Blvd.
Newport News, VA  23601
Phone:  (757) 594-7314 

1912 - Present

Birth, marriage, and death records from 1912 to the present and divorce records from 1918 to the present are available from the Virginia Department of Health - Office of Vital Records.  **Be aware that by law birth records of the last 100 years are available to immediate family members only, and death, marriage, and divorce records are only available 50 years after the event. Contact the Virginia Department of Health for current costs to obtain records.

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Contact Us



Main Street Library 
110 Main Street, Newport News, VA 23601 
(757) 591-4858

Mon - Fri: 10-6 | Sat: 10-2 |

Sun: By Appointment

The Martha Woodroof Hiden Memorial Collection was dedicated on May 27, 1976, at the West Avenue Public Library. Mrs. Hiden was a member of Newport News Public Library, Inc., and had served on its board since 1917. Although the books for Virginiana were assembled over a 50-year period by this private corporation, Mrs. Hiden donated much of her private library and worked tirelessly to have the collection become one of the finest sources for genealogy and history in the state.

Today, the Virginiana Collection contains books, manuscripts, maps, periodicals, photographs, and microfilm on the history of Newport News and Virginia. A large variety of genealogical resources is available to assist researchers. The FamilySearch computerized genealogy program developed by the Family History Center of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is especially valuable to those patrons needing to search nationally and internationally.

The Martha Woodroof Hiden Memorial Collection moved from the West Avenue Library to the Main Street Library in February of 1996. The new Martha Woodroof Hiden Memorial Room is climate-controlled to better protect the many resources contained there. The Collection was rededicated on April 14, 1996.

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