Tag Archives: Digital Projects

- First Scott Co. Chancery Images Have Arrived!


View of Moccasin Gap, Clinch Mountain in Scott County, Va. (Image used courtesy of Wikipedia/author Mark Lindamood.)

The Library of Virginia is pleased to announce that the first digital images, covering the years 1816-1857, from the Scott County chancery causes digitization project have been added to the Chancery Records Index. The Scott County chancery index covers the years 1816 through 1942 (bulk 1816-1912). The records will be scanned through 1912.

The following are a few suits of interest found in the newly added Scott County chancery digital images. In suits 1828-001, Madison Hill vs. Heirs of Joseph Johnson, and 1830-017, Joseph Jones & wife vs. Thomas M. Carter, one will find references to confrontations between Native Americans and the early settlers of Scott  County. Chancery causes 1831-009, 1832-009, 1837-001, and 1852-004 concern a free African American mother’s determined effort to liberate her two children from slavery.

Additional Scott County chancery images will be available in the coming months. Stay tuned for future Out of the Box posts on this valuable and interesting collection of historic Virginia court records.

The Circuit Court Records Preservation Program (CCRP), funded through a $1.50 of the clerk’s recordation fee, is committed to efforts, like the Scott County chancery causes digitization project, that preserve and make accessible permanent circuit court records. Unfortunately, the downturn in the real estate market and the General Assembly’s diversion of CCRP funds have negatively impacted … read more »

- Not in my Backyard!


Plat from Augusta County Chancery Cause 1899-070, Lambert Bros. vs. Ford & McDowell etc.

The latest images from the Augusta County Chancery Causes are now available on the Chancery Records Index. This latest addition of Augusta County chancery causes covering the time period from 1896 through 1902 joins the 1867-1895 causes already available online. Following are a few suits of interest found in this latest addition.

In 1898, Betty E. Arey proclaimed that a cemetery would not be built in her backyard when she and her husband brought suit against the Town of Waynesboro in R. E. Arey and wife vs. Town of Waynesboro etc., 1898-004. The Areys attempted to halt the construction of a cemetery behind their property and brought as evidence a plat showing the proximity of graves to their house, garden, and well.

In her bill for divorce, Annie B. Black wrote that she was persuaded to elope by John B. Black who later “willfully deserted and abandoned her at the youthful age of thirteen” after having only been married for two months. In Annie B. Black vs. John B. Black, 1900-054, Annie Black claimed that her husband obtained their marriage license without her presence and falsely represented her as being twenty when she was actually not yet thirteen at the time of their marriage.

In Frank H. Bailey vs. Nannie C. Bailey, 1902-004, the Baileys argue over who abandoned … read more »

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- Grant Awarded to Aid in Digitizing Augusta County Chancery

A broadside advertising a land sale made by decree of the Augusta County Circuit Court circa 1856.

The Library of Virginia’s Local Records Services Branch was recently awarded a $150,000 grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC) to support the scanning of the Augusta County Chancery Causes dating from 1745 to 1912.  NHPRC, the grant funding arm of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), recognized the national significance of the Augusta County collection and validated the importance of and great benefits provided by LVA’s ongoing digital chancery initiative.  

Chancery causes are invaluable to family historians and those interested in studying the history of a locality or region and its inhabitants. Chancery causes are legal proceedings that could not be decided readily by existing written laws. Decisions were made by a county justice or judge, not a jury, and on the basis of fairness, or equity, in place of the strictly formulated rules of common law.  

The Augusta County chancery causes are the most voluminous of any locality in Virginia and are one of the longest and most complete continuous collections of chancery records of any locality in the country. They document an unusually large geographic area. For the period 1745 to 1770, the boundaries of Augusta County encompassed most of western Virginia and what became the states of West Virginia, Kentucky, Illinois, and Ohio, and parts of present-day Pennsylvania as far north as Pittsburgh. In fact, the Augusta … read more »

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- Charlotte County Chancery Causes Now Available

The Library of Virginia (LVA) is pleased to announce the completion of an additional digital scanning project. The processing, indexing, and digital reformatting of the Charlotte County chancery causes is now complete. The images have been added to the Chancery Records Index (CRI) on Virginia Memory. The Charlotte County chancery images span the years 1765 through 1912 (the index covers through 1914).

This locality joins forty-five counties and cities whose chancery causes have been digitally reformatted and made available through the Library’s innovative Circuit Court Records Preservation Program, which seeks to preserve the historic records of Virginia’s Circuit Courts. 

To date, The Library of Virginia has posted over 4.9 million digital chancery images. Additional localities are presently being scanned and will be posted in the coming months. However, due to the recent reductions to the Library of Virginia’s budget, the pace of the agency’s digital chancery projects will necessarily proceed more slowly. Please know these projects remain a very high priority for the agency and it is hoped that the initiative can be resumed in full when the economy and the agency’s budget situation improve. Please see the Chancery Records Index for a listing of the available locality chancery collections.

Chancery causes are cases that are decided on the basis of equity and fairness as opposed to the strictly formulated rules of common law … read more »

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- Russell County Chancery Causes Now Available

The Library of Virginia (LVA) is pleased to announce the completion of an additional digital scanning project.  The processing, indexing, and digital reformatting of the Russell County chancery causes is now complete.  The images have been added to the Chancery Records Index (CRI) on Virginia Memory.  The Russell County chancery images span the years 1864 through 1933 (the index covers through 1960).

This locality joins forty-four counties and cities whose chancery causes have been digitally reformatted and made available through the Library’s innovative Circuit Court Records Preservation Program, which seeks to preserve the historic records of Virginia’s Circuit Courts.

To date, the Library of Virginia has posted over 4.8 million digital chancery images.  Additional localities are presently being scanned and will be posted in the coming months.  However, due to the recent budget reductions to the Library of Virginia’s budget, the pace of the agency’s digital chancery projects will necessarily proceed more slowly.  Please know these projects remain a very high priority for the agency and it is hoped that the initiative can be resumed in full when the economy and the agency’s budget situation improve.  Please see the Chancery Records Index for a listing of the available locality chancery collections.

Chancery causes are cases that are decided on the basis of equity and fairness as opposed to the strictly formulated rules of common … read more »

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