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Hanover County Virginia


Map of Va: Hanover CountyHanover County was created on 1 May 1721 from the western portion of New Kent County. The new county was named for the Elector of Hanover, the future King of England. In 1742 Hanover was subdivided, with its own western portion becoming Louisa County. Thereafter, the county boundaries stabilized, except for a slight adjustment of the Hanover-Henrico county line in 1787. Virtually all of Hanoverís court records were lost in the Richmond fire in April, 1865. the only records which survived were the circuit court records, beginning in 1809, which remained in Hanover, and records found in the U.S. Court records which were housed in the Main Street Post Office building, one of the few structures to survive the Richmond disaster.

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HANOVER CO., VA 1810 CENSUS transcribed, with an index by John Vogt. 10 1/2 x 8 1/2, x, 37 pages, illustrations, maps, index. This is the first surviving census for Hanover, since both the 1790 and 1800 censuses have been lost. A complete index is included for easy access. Hanover was an important county on the outskirts of the state capital (Richmond). Its records have suffered greatly from the depredations of several wars and the disastrous Richmond fire of 1865. This document should be a fine complement to the abstract of Roger Ward (below) on land taxes in the county.
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HANOVER COUNTY, VIRGINIA SUPERIOR COURT RECORDS Edited with an introduction by Richard Slatten. Transcribed and indexed by Janice Luck Abercrombie. 2 volumes. v, 28cm. 257+172 pp., soft cover, 1987.
vol. 1: Superior Court of Law, 1809-1826; 1815-1826.
vol. 2: Superior Court of Law and Chancery, 1831-1838.
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COHABITATION LISTS OF FORMER SLAVES IN GOOCHLAND, HANOVER, AND LOUISA COUNTIES, VIRGINIA, AS RECORDED BY THE FREEDMEN'S BUREAU Transcribed by Janice Abercrombie, 2002, 8"x11" format, 140 pages, index.In February, 1866 the General Assembly passed an act that called for the registration of marriages of former slaves who wished to have their unions recorded This fell under the jurisdiction of the Freedmen's Bureau. These lists provide an unparalleled window into the patterns of slave marriages. For example, in the Hanover list, in addition to the ages and full names of husband and wife, it records the date and place of marriage, the couple's places of birth and residence, marital status (single or widowed), and husband's occupation. The Goochland and Louisa lists record similar date in most cases.
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Hanover Co. 1815 Directory of Landowners by Roger G. Ward. 2005. 29 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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Hanover Co. Revolutionary Public Claims transcribed by Janice L. Abercrombie and Richard Slatten.. 2005. 116 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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BURNED COUNTY DATA, 1809-1848 (AS FOUND IN THE VIRGINIA CONTESTED ELECTION FILES) by Benjamin B. Weisiger,III, 1986. 100 pages, index. The author has examined a previously unexplored source of information for valuable genealogical information regarding "burned counties." The bulk of the data consists of depositions regarding qualifications of the voter (e.g., land ownership, age, length of residence in the county, etc.) as well as data gleaned from a number of attached wills, deeds, and even a Bible register.

From the authorís introduction-

Genealogical research in the burned record counties of Virginia poses a real challenge. Any data that can add to our store of knowledge in this area is always helpful. An unexplored source of information is in the State Contested Election Files. These are found in boxes dating from 1790 to 1950. Data of a genealogical nature is found in the depositions regarding land ownership, age and length of residence in the county, as well as in a number of attached wills, deeds and even a Bible register.

The General Assembly in 1818 updated the election laws in regard to voter qualification. White male landowners had always been the only voters. The law of 1818 spelled out qualifications as follows:

"Every male citizen of the Commonwealth, aged twenty-one years (other than free negroes or mulattoes, or such as have refused to give assurance of fidelity to the Commonwealth), being possessed or, whose tenant for years at will or sufferance is possessed of twenty-five acres of land, with house, the superficial content of the foundation of which is twelve feet square, or equal to that quantity, and a plantation thereon, or fifty acres of unimproved land, or a lot or part of a lot in a city or town by act of General Assembly with a house thereon of the like superficial quantity, having in such land an estate of freehold at least, and unless the title shall have come to him by descent, devise, marriage or marriage settlement, having been so possessed for 6 months; and no other person shall be qualified to vote for delegates to serve in General Assembly for the county, city or borough respectively in which the land lieth. If the fifty acres of land, being one entire parcel, lie in several counties, the holder shall vote in the county where the greater part of the land lieth only; and if the twenty-five acres, being one entire parcel, be in several counties, the holder shall vote only in the county wherein the house standeth. In the right of land holden by parceners, joint tenants or tenants in common, but one vote shall be given by all the holders capable of voting, who may be present and agree to vote for the same candidate, or candidates, unless the quantity of land in case partition had been made thereof, be sufficient to entitle every holder to vote separately, or unless some one or more of the holders may lawfully vote in right of another estate or estates in the same county; in which case the others may vote, if holding solely they might have voted; provided nevertheless that no person inhabiting the District of Columbia or elsewhere not within the jurisdiction of this Commonwealth shall be entitled to exercise the right of suffrage therein, except citizens thereof employed abroad in the service of the United States or of this Commonwealth, and whose foreign residence is occasioned by such service."

The procedure in contested elections was also specified in the law. There was no secret ballot, so that the contestants knew who voted for and against them.

The following counties and elections are included in the current volume: Hanover (1825); Buckingham (1809, 1840, 1848); Charles City (1821, 1838); Gloucester (1827); New Kent (1838); James City (1845); and Caroline (1843).
In the preparation of this book only the burned record counties were surveyed, up to 1850.

The reader is advised to go to the original if he or she finds data of interest here.

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SOME WILLS FROM THE BURNED COUNTIES OF VIRGINIA compiled by William Lindsay Hopkins. 6x9 format. Wills from circa 1670-1830. Brunswick, Buckingham, Caroline, Charles City, Dinwiddie, Elizabeth City, Gloucester, Hanover, Henrico, James City, King George, King and Queen, King William, Mathews, Nansemond, New Kent, Prince George, Prince William, Stafford, and Warwick Counties, Va.

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For more records pertaining to HANOVER COUNTY, VIRGINIA see also:


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