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Source Information

Ancestry.com. Virginia Land, Marriage, and Probate Records, 1639-1850 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2004.
Original data:

Chalkley, Lyman. Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia, 1745-1800. Extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta County. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1965. Originally published in 1912.

Crozier, William Armstrong, ed. Virginia County Records - Spotsylvania County Records, 1721-1800. Being transcriptions from the original files at the County Court House of wills, deeds, administrators' and guardians' bonds, marriage licenses, and lists of revolutionary pensioners. New York, NY: Fox, Duffield & Co., 1905.

The will abstracts for Isle of Wight and Norfolk counties were taken from microfilmed copies of the original Will Books. Some of these records may be found at the Family History Library as well as other libraries and archives. The originals may be found at the appropriate county courthouses.

For individual sources please see the Notes section listed with each record.

About Virginia Land, Marriage, and Probate Records, 1639-1850

This data set contains information on approximately 135,000 individuals mentioned in abstracts of deeds, marriages, and wills from Virginia's Augusta, Isle of Wight, Norfolk, and Spotsylvania Counties.

Land Records

Thousands of Virginia's early settlers arrived in the colony as a result of the headright system. Under this system, anyone who paid his own way (or someone else's way) to Virginia received fifty acres of land. Millions of Virginia's acres were granted to individuals under this system in the 1600s and 1700s. Approximately 27,000 abstracts of selected deeds for Spotsylvania County (1722-1799) are included here. For genealogical purposes these land records can help establish relationships and approximate arrival times in the colony. The information included here was originally published in 1905 as part of "Virginia County Records - Spotsylvania County, 1721-1800, Volume I" edited by William Armstrong Crozier.

Entries often name other people listed (grantor, grantee, neighbors, witnesses, etc.), their relationship to the key person, role in the land transaction, residence, date and place of the transaction, and volume and page number of the original record.

Marriage Records

In Virginia, beginning in 1660, a couple could marry by posting a bond with civil authorities or publishing banns at church. In 1853 a state law was put in place requiring counties and independent cities to issue marriage licenses and record marriages performed. Here, you'll find approximately 15,500 abstracts of Augusta County marriage records and bonds from 1700 through 1853. Like the Augusta County will abstracts included here, this information was originally published as part of "Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia, 1745-1800. Extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta County" by Lyman Chalkley.

The records collected here often name other people listed in the marriage record, their relationship to the bride or groom, role in the event (such as bondsman, parent, guardian, etc.), date and place of the event, and the volumes and page number of the original record. Each individual associated with a particular marriage was given the same "Record ID Number." By searching on this ID Number, you'll be able to determine relationships between individuals and piece together quite a comprehensive record of a marriage.

Probate Records

This data set also includes more than 65,000 abstracts of wills from Augusta County (1743-1829), Isle of Wight County (1645-1895), and Norfolk County (1639-1856). The Augusta County abstracts were originally published as part of "Chronicles of the Scotch-Irish Settlement in Virginia, 1745-1800. Extracted from the Original Court Records of Augusta County" by Lyman Chalkley. The remaining records from Isle of Wight and Norfolk Counties were abstracted from microfilmed copies of the original Will Books.

These records often name other people listed in the will, their relationship to the decedent (heir, other relatives, executors, etc.), role in the event, residence, date and place, and volume and page number of the original record. Each individual associated with a particular will was given the same "Record ID Number." By searching on this ID Number, you'll be able to determine relationships between individuals and piece together quite a comprehensive record of an individual's will.

The "Record ID Number" assigned to each record in this data set allows you the unique opportunity to learn about more than just the primary individual involved in a marriage, deed, or will. If you search on Nicholas Smith, for example, you'll learn that his will was executed on November 19, 1695 in Isle of Wight County. By searching on his "Record ID Number," you'll learn who else was mentioned in his will. For example, you'll learn that Ann Smith was his wife, Thomas Powell was his son-in-law, and that Arthur Allen and John Davis were among four witnesses.

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