Early Virginia Marriages
In colonial Virginia, unless the participants in the marriage were Anglicans, there was a possibility that the marriage was not legally recognized by the church or state. Thus, marriages among Quakers and other sects frequently cannot be found in the records, making it appear that there was lots of illegitimacy. In earliest days, marriages were made by the couples announcing their intent publicly in church three times before living together.
After the Revolution, all marriages, Anglican or not, were legal. Often, however, the preacher tying the knot would not get the marriage recorded at the county court house, or, as in some instances, fail to record it until months after the marriage. One has to assume that if his ancestor couples were living together, they were married, even if a record cannot be found.
Perhaps in the eyes of God --- whether the state recorded it or not --- the fathers and mothers of future generations of American were married!