What is a Vital Record?
A vital record is either a birth certificate, a death certificate or a marriage license.
The Rockingham County Register of Deeds only holds vital records for
births and deaths that take place within Rockingham County and
marriage licenses that are issued in
the Rockingham County Register of Deeds office.
Birth Certificates (1913-Present)
The State of North Carolina officially began keeping birth certificates in 1913.
Death Certificates (1913-Present)
The State of North Carolina officially began keeping death certificates in 1913. Keep in mind that information supplied for the death certificate is given by an "Informant" and may contain inaccuracies. Local Register of Deeds offices and North Carolina Vital Records offer access to death certificates.
To locate a date of death for those ancestors who died prior to 1913, you may wish to use such records as wills, headstones, and family Bibles.
Marriage Records (1867-Present)
Rockingham County has marriage licenses beginning in late 1867.
Prior to that time, there is no official public record for marriages in North Carolina.
There were two common practices that preceded the marriage license. Originally, a marriage was announced in church three consecutive Sundays. If there were no objections, the couple was free to wed. A certificate was supposed to be prepared stating that this procedure had been followed, but did not have to be filed anywhere.
The second method was used from 1741-1868 and was called a marriage bond. The bridegroom obtained a marriage bond from the Clerk of the County Court in the county in which the intended bride resided, but the bond represented the couple’s intention to marry, not that the marriage actually occurred. Bonds contained such information as the names of the bride and groom, the name of the bondsman and of the witness (often the Clerk of Court), and date of bond.
The State Archives
has a microfiche statewide bride and groom index to these bonds and the Rockingham County Register of Deeds office has an index of bonds issued in Rockingham County, NC. Visit the office to view this book*.
*The Rockingham County Marriage Bonds were abstracted by youths of Wake County, North Carolina, working on a National Youth Administration project, alphabetized by workers on the Historical Records Survey project of the Works Progress Administration and checked by Miss Mary Jones Jeffreys employed by the Genealogical Society of Utah in cooperation with the Historical Commission.