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Frederick County Virginia

Map of Va: Frederick CountyFrederick County was created from Orange County by an Act of the Virginia Burgesses in November, 1738. It was named for Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales and eldest son of George II. However, because the new county lacked sufficient tithables to support itself, the Governor and Council did not authorize the formal establishment of Frederick until November Court, 1743. In the interim, the first significant group of new settlers had arrived from Pennsylvania, Maryland, and other states north of Virginia. They followed the well-worn Indian trail along the Opequon Valley which became part of the later "Great Valley Road." Other settlers from the Piedmont and Tidewater areas of Virginia soon joined them In its original configuration, "Old" Frederick County encompassed the present counties of Frederick, Clarke, Berkeley (WV), Jefferson (WV), Morgan (WV), and portions of Warren, Hampshire (WV), and Hardy (WV). Frederick grew in size in 1754 when all of Augusta County's land within the boundaries of the Northern Neck were added to it. This brought most of Shenandoah and part of Page County within its jurisdiction. That same year Hampshire County was divided from Frederick. In 1772 Berkeley and Dunmore (later Shenandoah) counties were separated from Frederick. The final division of Frederick's lands came in 1836 with the creation of Clarke and Warren counties. This left Frederick in its present configuration (nine square miles of Frederick's land was annexed to the city of Winchester in 1970).

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compiled by Joy MacDonald, 2011.11x8 1/2, vi, 359 pages. Paperback; printed on acid-free stock.

The author has abstracted the information for free African-Americans in Frederick County, Virginia and has arranged them into nine categories:
last name;
first name;
occupation [only given infrequently on the rolls];
spouse [infrequent];
property description & value;
district in which taxpayer resided;
notes [oftentimes describing the exact location of the taxpayer or his former owners if freed in recent decades].

This volume is provided in three separate arrangements to facilitate genealogical research by African-American families; 1) chronologically by year; 2) sorted by last name of the individual; and 3) sorted by first name.

A similar volume is in preparation for the town of Winchester, which was taxed separately from Frederick County.

Information recorded in Virginia personal property tax records provide a wealth of information regarding the social status of an individual. The early laws required the tax commissioner in each district to record in "a fair alphabetical list" the names of the person chargeable with the tax, the names of white male tithables over the age of twenty-one, the number of white male tithables between ages sixteen and twenty-one, the number of slaves both above and below age sixteen, various types of animals such as horses and cattle, carriage wheels, ordinary licenses, and even billiard tables. Free Negroes are listed by name and often denoted in the list as "free" or "FN." By the 1850s, the personal property tax records contained detailed descriptions of personal property owned.

The most frequent use of personal property tax records is for the direct information recorded: name of the property owner, type and quantity of property owned, and amount of tax paid. Comparative analysis of personal property tax records from year to year may lead to conclusions about social, economic, and agricultural history, as well as the status of certain individuals or groups of property owners within a locality.

For genealogical researchers, personal property tax records may provide important data. Individuals with the same names in a locality may be distinguished by a junior or senior, residence in different tax districts, or geographical location. Parentage may be expressly or implicitly stated by either the name or number of male tithables between the ages of sixteen and twenty-one in the household of the taxpayer. The names of women appear occasionally when owning property in their own right or as the widow of a property owner. By studying the lists from year to year, researchers may trace an ancestor to determine the date of departure from a locality, or possibly the year of death. The name of a taxpayer will continue on the tax list, noted as "deceased" or "estate," until the estate is settled.

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compiled by Joy MacDonald, 2013.11x8 1/2, vi, 377 pages. Paperback; printed on acid-free stock.

The author has continued her research into Winchester City, which was taxed separately from Frederick County (see above for full description).
In the case of Winchester, the author has abstracted the information for free African-Americans into seven categories:
last name;
first name;
occupation [only given infrequently on the rolls];
property description & value;
memo [oftentimes describing the exact location of the taxpayer or his former owners if freed in recent decades].

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compiled by the Shenandoah Valley Genealogical Society, 2010.8x10, xiv, 133 pages, maps, index. Paperback; printed on acid-free stock.

Mount Hebron Cemetery, within the city limits of Winchester, Virginia, is the resting place for many of the earliest settlers of the Northern Shenandoah Valley. Officially part of the Virginia Landmark Register, including its dramatic gatehouse, the cemetery is a beautiful tribute to our earliest citizens. Its occupants include its share of Revolutionary War soldiers and their families, and people who deserve recognition as the founding families for the area.

The Shenandoah Valley Genealogical Society organized the project of transcribing all the legible stones that are inclusive of the 2 oldest sections of Mt. Hebron. The cemetery is now made up of 4 sections. The oldest areas are the German Reformed Church and the old Lutheran Church sections.

The Winchester congregation of the German Reformed church was formed under the name of Reformed Calvinists (or German Reform) about 1741. The building for this church no longer exists, but burials are handled through what is now the Centenary United Church of Christ, which sits on the corner of South Cameron Street and Cork Street in Winchester.

The Lutheran Church began building its church near the ruins of the older German Reformed Church in 1764. Following a fire in 1854, the remaining wall of that church still stands. There is a Memorial Garden formed within the lines of the old foundation of the church, and those cremations are included within this list of burials. Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church of Winchester held a fundraiser to restore the remains of the old church wall, create sidewalks, and upright and repair some of the oldest stones. Grace Lutheran Church is currently on Boscawen Street.

Mt. Hebron was created on a five-acre plot of land by the General Assembly in 1844, where the nonsectarian cemetery was built next to the older cemeteries. Following the Civil War, about 1866, another section of Mt. Hebron became the Stonewall Confederate Cemetery, and is believed to be the first memorial Confederate cemetery in the south. There is also a nearby area of Union burials along National Avenue (not considered part of Mt. Hebron). The total of 56 acres now remains a resting place for over 30,000 people.

Information on the history and development of the earliest sections of Mt. Hebron, which is the focus of this publication, can be found at the Stewart Bell, Jr. Archives of Handley Regional Library in Winchester. Newspaper articles, private collections, and photographs may be available as additional resources.

The following list is of the original sections from the two churches and does not include the main cemetery or the Civil War areas. Using the maps included, a researcher should be able to locate the gravesites. Although some more current burials rest along Morgan Lane (labeled as Section N), note that the older stones begin about four rows back from the road, and line up approximately with the Revolutionary War Marker towards N. East Lane. Also note that the plaque at the entryway does not include all the names of those who contributed to the Revolutionary War, and further research will be needed to make that list more accurate.

We hope that the work of diligent and dedicated volunteers who contributed their time and talents to this publication will result in successful researching for generations to come.

Susan L. McCabe
Founding Officer, Shenandoah Valley Genealogical Society

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Frederick County,Virginia Men in Gray
Thomas M. Spratt, 2008, ii, 223 pp., index, 8½" x 11" format. The author, who has already produced similar works on Shenandoah, Page, and Rockingham Counties (see the county pages for description), has drawn upon a number of original and printed sources to produce brief biographies of those men who served for the Confederacy and were born in Frederick county or later called Frederick their home. A brief sample excerpt for one of these soldiers, a certain William B. Mason, follows:

Born 1830 in Frederick County, VA, died 1/23/1909, buried in Shiloh Church Cemetery, Hampshire County, WV. Enlisted 3/25/1862 in Company D, 33rd Virginia Infantry Regiment. Present 4/1862. Absent without leave 5/1-9/25/1862 and 10/12-11/1/1862.Present 12/1862. Wounded in action 5/3/1863 at Chancellorsville, Va. In Chimborazo Hospital, Richmond, VA 7/1/1863. Taken prisoner of war 10/11/1863 in Hampshire County, WV, sent to Wheeling, WV 10/26/1863, sent to Camp chase Prison, Columbus, OH 10/28/1863, sent to Rock Island Prison, Rock Island, IL 1/22/1864. Released 5/25/1865
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Frederick County,Virginia Court Order Book One, 11 Nov. 1743 through 6 Dec, 1744
Charles and Virginia Hamrick, 2007, ii, 395 pp., index, 8½" x 11" format. The Hamricks have produced a careful transcription of the first legal volume for Frederick County. A full index of names is provided, as well as annotations and a glossary of arcane terms to explain the legal terminology. This is a most important work for those genealogists researching in this frontier area, for it transitions many of the early pionerrs out from their parent county records in Orange County, and it places them in space and time in the upper Shenandoah Valley. This will be a reference tool for many generations to come, as the original court hand is difficult to read and the original index with the manuscript copy in the archives is only a partial listing at best.
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Frederick County,Virginia 1810 Federal Census: A Transcription
John Vogt, 2007, viii, 55 pp., full name index, 8½" x 11" format, figures, map (1809). Census returns are some of the first records that a genealogist turns to when studying a new family line. Unfortunately for Frederick County, as well as Virginia as a whole, both the 1790 and 1800 census reports for that state are lost. While the reason for their loss is argued, they nevertheless no longer exist. While personal property tax and land tax lists (which date from 1782) can be used to give some information about individuals, they do not give the researcher a glimpse into family composition or a snapshot of the county as a whole Hence Frederick’s 1810 census is the first real window we have from the census records of this huge western county sitting astride the Shenandoah River and the Great Wagon Road west. With the advent of the computer age and the publication of most of these early censuses, one would expect that many of the genealogist’s problems would be resolved. Unfortunately, this has not happened. While many researchers rely completely upon online census records, these are often flawed by misread names and missing names altogether. The problem is the difficult reading of the documents, which often are written in a tight, cramped hand and with a myriad of possible readings. The close similarity between “S’ and “L,” “F” and “T”, and recognizing the secretarial s, which appears as “ss” in the middle of words but not as an ending, can lead to nightmares in translation. Oftentimes, there is no distinction between an “e”, an “o”, and an “a” unless the reader is familiar with the family names within the document. These are only a few visual issues facing the transcriber. The author has been fortunate to have a professional background in paleography and history, both medieval and modern. In transcribing the current volume, comparison was made with other documents, as well as carefully examining each questionable character under magnification to ascertain the true intent of the writer. In all, there were but four instances out of 2,696 names where the reading simply could not be made. In the process, it became apparent that sometimes the census recorder himself was not familiar with strange-sounding German names or heavy Scottish brogues. One spelling would appear in the first encounter with the family, and then later on in the document a different spelling would be given for the same family surname. In brief, computerized lists, while useful, do not give a total and accurate picture of the data. A second, and even more vexing problem, is the “bleed through” found on many pages of the document. The census was recorded in booklet form, consisting of twenty-five sheets of paper that were folded in the middle and written on in landscape fashion. So when the first half of the first page was filled with information and turned over, the back of that sheet became page two, with the upside-down writing of the first page often bleeding through to smear both names and data. In addition, the census enumerator conserved paper by writing in a very tiny hand, and herein lies the problem with “a”, “e” and “o” in the body of a name. Only by carefully examining the transitions between characters can an accurate reading be obtained. When a searched-for family name has been located in a county as large as Frederick, the first question which comes to mind is “In what part of the county did he or she live?” Was it a back-country mountain settlement, or did the ancestor reside near a huge plantation filled with slaves or industry? Did they live in one of the growing towns or in the countryside? Wills and deeds can give a good picture of the location, or you can use the census itself in conjunction with one other valuable source. This is the 1815 land tax. The early land tax laws required a tax commissioner in each district of a county to record a list of the names of persons owning land or town lots, the quantity of land owned and its value, and the amount of tax owed. By 1813, a brief geographic description (usually citing an adjacent stream, road, or other landmark) was required. In 1814, the distance and direction from the courthouse for each parcel were also added to the tax rolls. By checking with this land tax, which does not include all of the census names but does include the actual owners of property, a good idea of where an ancestor resided can often be obtained. The land tax lists for 1815 for every Virginia county existing at that time have been abstracted by Roger G. Ward and are available through New Papyrus Publishing Company. The current volume is a literal transcription of the original document with the following conventions. “Sr.” was substituted for “Senr”; line breaks were entered generally for every five records to give the reader better visual clarity; the secretarial s (ò) was replaced by “s”; and the document header which listed each category was entered on every page for easier identification. Finally, the pencilled number for each page (506-606) was inserted on every line for better reference. This number was selected over the printed number at the right corner of each sheet to better identify the source of the data. Where a name is clearly divergent from the accepted spelling, yet is as printed, a note of [sic] has been added to denote “thus”.

Statistical Summary of population.
Total number of heads of households listed - 2,696
Free White Males, 0-9 2,642 (11.7%)
Free White Males, 10-15 1,298 (5.7%)
Free White Males, 16-24 1,490 (6.6%)
Free White Males, 24-45 1,407 (6.2%)
Free White Males, 45+ 1,030 (4.6%)
Free White Females, 0-9 2,483 (11%)
Free White Females, 10-15 1,267 (5.6%)
Free White Females, 16-24 1,604 (7.1%)
Free White Females, 25-44 1,431 (6.3%)
Free White Females, 45+ 892 (4%)
Other Free Persons 620 (2.7%)
Slaves 6,457 (28.5%)
811 heads of households (30%) reported owning slaves, with the top five being Nathaniel Burwell, Sr.(325), Thomas Knight (146), Matthew Page (146), John Page (143), and Isaac Hite (103). Just less than 25% of the slave households (197) reported owning only one slave.
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FREDERICK COUNTY, VIRGINIA NORTHERN NECK (LAND) WARRANTS & SURVEYS, 1747-1780 by Peggy Shomo Joyner. 1985, xxxvii, 205 pp. Published as the second volume in a series of Northern Neck Warrants & Surveys, this collection has become a standard reference work for researchers in the period of colonial Frederick County history.
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[ENNW2] $20.00

TWO GOOD TREES, THEIR NINE BRANCHES AND THEIR SCATTERED LEAVES: DESCENDANTS OF PETER ROYSTON & ANN ANDERSON (married Frederick Co., Va. 1801 by Donald R. Royston. three volumes [1-121 pp., 2-457 pp., 3-456 pp., 8x10,indices for each volume.The three volumes in this work represent a lifetime of research into this author's ancestor from Frederick Co., Va. The descendancy chart and reference citations cover the nine children from this union: Uriah, Joseph, Frances, Matthew, Hannah, Mary, Peter, Sarah, and Anna. The scholarship is impeccable, and the result is a comprehensive study of an early Frederick Co. family.
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IN AND AROUND GERRARDSTOWN, WEST VIRGINIA (Southern Berkeley County, West Virginia and Northern Frederick County, Virginia) 1870's - 1905 by James V. Hutton, Jr. The compilation of the material contained in In and Around Gerrardstown began initially as a project to learn more about family connections, branches of whom resided there and in the adjacent areas of Arden, Jones Spring, the Virginia Line Road and at locations in Frederick County, Va. including DeHaven, Frog Hollow, Grimes (Bragtown), White Hall (The Loop) and the Apple Pie Ridge vicinity. The discovery and perusal some years ago of The Gerardstown Times (one "R") published in the latter 1800's and early 1900's by James Brainerd Morgan on microfilm loaned by West Virginia University at Morgantown was an exhilarating and productive experience, provoking attention sometime in the future. Upon completion of other projects, including In and Around the Loop, Northern Frederick County, Va., the overwhelming desire to compile the local newsbits of The Times and its contemporary newspaper, The West Virginia Good Templar, by the same editor, was given attention. In order to gain background and perspective prior to undertaking this work, a review of existing information was deemed necessary and included familiarity with the following: The History of the Presbyterian Church and Other Sketches of Gerrardstown, W.V. by Sarah Morgan Groff Gordon, 1939; The History of Gerrardstown and Historic Homes in Surrounding Area by Marshall J. Beverly, 1982; the Martinsburg Evening Journal Supplement by the Gerrardstown Men's Club, 1987; The Berkeley Journal - History of Gerrardstown, 1991 and the unpublished diary of Sarah Morgan McKown. After this exposure, innumerable visits were made to the Martinsburg, W.V. Public Library and the Berkeley County Historical Society to review, copy and record information from every issue of The Times and Good Templar known to exist, at least on microfilm - in an undertaking that took well over a year. Researchers will find this primary research to be as interesting and as helpful in understanding more about the life and times of the folk living at the time in Southern Berkeley County, W.V. and Northern Frederick County, Va
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FREDERICK COUNTY MARRIAGES, 1738-1850 John Vogt & T. William Kethley, Jr. 1984, ix, 461 pages, indices, appendices, figure, map. Although Frederick County was created in 1738, it did not begin to function as a political entity until about 1745. Frederick County and its seat at Winchester lay on a vital crossroads of colonial migration routes into the Ohio Valley and down the Shenandoah Valley into Kentucky and Tennessee. The current volume contains 8,093 marriages, consisting primarily of ministers' returns (with an occasional bond), compiled from a county register in the Virginia State Library, Archives Division. About 1,000 of the records are marriage bonds for which no corresponding minister returns have been found.
Surname list

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THE FEDERAL CENSUS OF 1850 FOR FREDERICK CO., VA. James V. Hutton, Jr. 1987, xii, introduction, index, 369 pages. The volume contains all of the data originally found in the federal census sheets, plus a section on the 1860 slaveholders for the county.
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TELL ME OF A LAND THAT'S FAIR James V. Hutton, Jr. 1987, 52 pages, appendix. The author has written an essay on the occasion of the 250th celebration of Frederick County's formation (1738-1988). He covers the broad panoply of the county's development, and his anecdotes at times include the gamut of life and customs of the county's population through the centuries.
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      Introducing a new historical study of
      Northern Frederick County, Virginia:
In and Around the Loop


8 1/2" x 11" format, 188 pages, index, charts, maps and many photographs including over 200 school portraits, © 1998.
The Loop was an early name for White Hall, Virginia. Initially, Court records indicate that the village was called Guadaloupe, translated over the years to Got-A-Loop, God's Loop and The Loop. It became White Hall when the post office was established in 1818.
      This text includes notes and stories collected and recorded from church, school and newspaper reportings, as well as oral accounts. The project has been ongoing for many years. As a matter of fact, some stories, articles and research extend backward to childhood.
      From histories of various institutions in the northern area of Frederick County, Virginia to previously unpublished material and lists, as well as more personal and entertaining stories related to people, places and things in and around White Hall, Virginia from the early days to the 1940's.
      With its complete index of names, Jim Hutton's creative and historically accurate account will prove both entertaining and an indespensible resource for those reasearching genealogies in Frederick County, Virginia and/or the life and times around Brucetown, Cedar Grove, The Ridge, Green Spring, Grimes, Welltown, Rest, Woodbine and White Hall.

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Frederick Co. 1815 Directory of Landowners by Roger G. Ward. 2005. 44 pages, map, 5 1/2X8 1/2.
For a full description of the 1815 LAND DIRECTORY Records and a listing of available counties, see:
Individual County Booklets, 1815 Directory of Virginia Landowners

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Frederick Co. Revolutionary Public Claims transcribed by Janice L. Abercrombie and Richard Slatten. 2005. 45 pages, 5 1/2X8 1/2.
For a full description of the Virginia Revolutionary Public Claims and a listing of available counties, see:
Revolutionary "Publick" Claims series

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