Additional images of documents from counties or incorporated cities classified as “Lost Records Localities” have been added to the Lost Records Localities Digital Collection available on Virginia Memory. The bulk of the new addition consists of copies of wills from the following localities: Botetourt, Buckingham, Dinwiddie, Fairfax, Gloucester, Hanover, James City, King and Queen, King George, King William, Prince George, Prince William, Rockingham, and Spotsylvania counties. These wills were used as exhibits in Augusta County and City of Petersburg chancery causes. The index number of the chancery suit that the “Lost Record Locality” document appeared in is included in the catalog record. Be sure to search the Chancery Records Index for the chancery suit to learn how, for example, a will from King and Queen County recorded in 1749 ended up as an exhibit in an Augusta County chancery case that ended in 1819.
Also, images of Buckingham County (Va.) Tithable List A-G, 1764 have been added to the Lost Records Localities Digital Collection. Most of the early court records from Buckingham County were destroyed during a courthouse fire in 1869. The 1764 tithable list was spared destruction because, at the time of the fire, it was located in the Prince Edward County courthouse. From 1789 to 1809, Prince Edward County was the seat of a district court that heard civil and criminal suits from the following localities: Buckingham, Charlotte, Cumberland, Halifax, and Prince Edward counties. It’s possible the tithable list might have been an exhibit in a Buckingham County suit heard in the district court, but no style of suit or exhibit number is found on the document. More likely, the Buckingham County clerk was preparing either a large suit or a group of smaller suits to be heard in the Prince Edward County District Court, and he needed something to keep the bundle of documents together. The tithable list was the right size and so he used it as a wrapper for the bundle and sent it on to Prince Edward County, and there the tithable list remained until the Prince Edward County District Court records were transferred to the Library of Virginia and eventually discovered by one of our archivists. Perhaps due to the need of a wrapper, a valuable record from Buckingham County’s colonial era exists today and can now be viewed online.
Additional records will be added to the digital collection periodically as our archivists continue to identify “lost” documents in the records they process. Please check back as this is an ongoing project. For more information on the Lost Records Localities Digital Collection, see the earlier blog post “Finding What Was Lost.”
-Greg Crawford, Local Records Coordinator