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King William County Virginia
In keeping with the prior name of the older county, the new portion divided from it in 1702 was titled in honor of the same king, William III. It was formed from the portion of King and Queen County lying in Pamunkey Neck, i.e., between the Pamunkey and Mattaponi rivers. In 1720 and 1727 upper portions of King William County were cut off to form parts of Spotsylvania and Caroline counties, respectively.
Most of the county's records were destroyed in a fire which gutted the county clerk's office on 17 January 1885. Only a few deed books survived the burning.
For a better understanding of county boundary changes, see our new section Virginia in Maps
KING WILLIAM COUNTY, VA 1810 SUBSTITUTE CENSUS [Abstracts from the 1810 Personal Property Tax List]
by John Vogt, 2011, 5 1/2"x8 1/2" format, viii, 10 pages, map.
King William is one of eighteen Virginia counties for which the 1810 census is lost. In August, 1814 British troops occupied Washington, DC and public buildings were put to the torch. In the destruction that followed, numerous early records of the government were lost, including all of Virginia’s 1790 and 1800 census reports, as well as eighteen county lists for the state's most recent  federal census. Although two “fair copies” of each county’s census had been left in the counties for public display, these were ephemeral lists and not preserved, and by 1814 they too had been mislaid, lost, or destroyed. Hence, the closest document available we have to reconstruct a partial image of the missing county lists is the personal property tax list.
According to research notes by Minor T. Weisiger, Library of Virginia archivist:
“Information recorded in Virginia personal property tax records changed gradually from 1782 to 1865. 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.”
The present abstract of King William's 1810 personal property tax list is NOT a transcript of the entire document; rather, it is a summary of three items important in delineating the 1810 "substitute" census for this county, i.e., number of male tithables 16 and older, number of slaves twelve years and older, and the number of horses. The original form of the census was in alphabetic order by date and letter. The substitute list presented here is in absolute alphabetic order for easy reference.
In the current volume, the data is recorded thus:
Beck, Robert                  1      -      2
Bellama, John                1      -      1
Booker, Richard E.        1      -      -
Bouldin, Green              2      6      5
Column one represents the tithable males (16 and over) in the household; column 2 is the number of slaves over 12; and the final column is the number of horses, mares or mules.
For genealogical researchers in this 1810 period, personal property tax records may provide additional important information. Oftentimes, juniors and seniors are listed adjacent to one another and recorded on the same day. When a taxpayer is noted as “exempt”, it can be a clue to someone holding a particular position in government or being elderly, infirm, or for some other reason no longer required to pay the tithable tax. Women, both black and white, appear occasionally as heads of households when they own property in their own right or as the widow of a property owner.
Another valuable source for filling in information about an ancestor is the land tax record, and especially the one for 1815. In that year, the enumerators began to add the location of the property in relation to the county court house. Roger Ward has abstracted all of the 1815 land tax records, and they are available from this publisher at www.iberian.com.
The 1810 substitute census list for King William County contains 766 households, 760 tithables, both white and free black, and 3,070 slaves over the age of twelve, and 1,793 horses.
SURNAMES included in the 1810 personal property list are:
Abraham; Abrahams; Acree; Adams; Alexander; Allen; Alvey; Ancarrow; Anderson; Armstrong; Atkins; Atkinson; Avera; Aylette;
Bagwell; Bailey; Ball; Banks; Barrett; Bassett; Batchelder; Beadles; Bennett; Berkeley; Bingham; Bird; Blackerby; Blackwell; Blake; Bond; Bosher; Boswell; Boudon; Bowen; Bowles; Bradberry; Bradford; Braxton; Brenan; Brett; Brisbon; Broach; Bromfield; Brooke; Brown; Buckner; Burke; Burnes; Burrus; Butler;
Camp; Campbell; Cardwell; Carter; Caslin; Catlett; Chamberlayne; Chick; Christian; Claiborne; Claybrooke; Clements; Cobb; Cobbett; Cocke; Cockrum; Coleman; Collins; Cottorell; Courtney; Crabbin; Crafton; Cragg; Crouch; Crow; Croxton; Crump; Custis;
Dabney; Daniel; Davis; Deffarges; Devenport; Devinport; Dew; Digges; Dogged; Dover; Dreevidz; Drewry; Driver; Dudley; Dugar; Duke; Dungey; Dylscow?;
Edmonds; Edwards; Ellett; Elliott; Eubank; Evans;
Fazer; Figg; Fleet; Floyd; Fogg; Foster; Fox; Frazer;
Gaines; Garlick; Garnett; Gary; Gatewood; Glover; Grant; Gravet; Gregory; Gresham; Grinstead; Gunn; Gunter; Guthrow; Gwathmey;
Hagenaw; Hargrove; Harris; Harvey; Hawes; Hay; Heath; Henley; Hickman; Hill; Hillard; Hillyard; Hinshaw; Hollins; Holt; Hoomis; Hooper; Horn; Hornet; Houchen; Howard; Huckstep; Hughes; Humphrey; Hutcherson; Huxter;
Lambeth; Landrum; Lane; Langborne; Langston; Leftwich; Leigh; Levert; Lipscomb; Littlepage; Longest; Lord; Lukhard; Lumpkin; Lyle; Lyons;
Madison; Mahon; Mallory; Manley; Mann; Mattox; McGeorge; McGraw; McNab; Meaux; Mennon; Meredith; Merick; Mill; Mills; Minor; Mitchell; Monday; Moore; Morrison; Morriss;
Napper; Neale; Nelson; New; Newman; Nunn;
O'Neale; O'Neil; Oliver;
Palmer; Pannell; Pannill; Parker; Patterson; Paye; Pemberton; Pendleton; Philips; Pigg; Pollard; Powell; Powers; Prince; Puller;
Redd; Reddock; Reynolds; Rice; Richards; Richardson; Richeson; Roane; Roberts; Robinson; Rogers; Rose; Row; Rowe; Roy; Ruffin;
Sale; Salewhite; Samuel; Saunders; Scott; Seale; Seaszor; Seay; Seazor; Segar; Shackleford; Shadwick; Shelton; Shirley; Simpkins; Skyren; Slaughter; Smith; Southerland; Spencer; Spiller; Spurlock; Starke; Starling; Stewart; Sullins; Sullivan; Swett;
Taliaferro; Taylor; Temple; Terry; Thomas; Tignor; Timberlake; Timmer; Todd; Toler; Tombs; Tomlin; Tompkins; Torrent; Trant; Trimmer; Tuck; Turner; Twisdale;
Waide; Walden; Walker; Waller; Ware; Wasley; Waters; Watkins; Webb; West; Wheeley; Wheiley; White; Whitlock; Willeroy; Williams; Williamson; Wilson; Winfrey; Winn; Wollard; Wood; Wooddy; Word; Wormley; Wright; Wyatt;
Also available as a digital e-book in PDF format:        HOW TO ORDER
KING WILLIAM COUNTY, VIRGINIA RECORDS, 1702-1806: Record Books 1-5 including surviving fragments
by Beverly R. Conolly, 2006. 149 pages, index. On the morning of 17 January 1885 a devastating fire swept through the clerk’s office in King William County, Virginia. When it was through, that county joined the ranks of “Virginia’s Burned Counties” and a treasure of genealogical information was lost to researchers. The earliest five Record Books, which cover the period of the county’s formation to the beginning of the nineteenth century, exist only in a fragmentary state, with huge gaps within the series. But they still provide a rich source of genealogical information. These were primarily deed books, filled with family references and relinquishments of dower, and an occasional odd marriage contract or prenuptial agreement. Occasionally, reference give information aside from the dry forms of protocol. Such was the case with William C. Pemberton, who signed over his property in 1805 in a deed of trust to Samuel and James Edwards because...
"being sensible of the great propensity which he has to gambling and being sensible also that by indulging this propensity he may involve himself, his wife and children in inextricable difficulties, if not total ruin, two tracts of land, one of 230 acres and the other of 275 acres together with household furniture, horses, stock, etc." (Record Book 3, pg. 310.)
The current compilation contains over seven thousand references to individuals in this burned county. It should become a valuable reference for researchers in eighteenth century Tidewater Virginia genealogy. Oftentimes, land purchases were made by individuals outside King William itself, and there are numerous references to relatives from Kentucky, North Carolina, and purchasers in the new nation’s capital transferring title in this county. Anyone with early landowning colonial family in the region
will welcome this study.
King William Co. 1815 Directory of Landowners
by Roger G. Ward. 2005. 18 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
King William Co. Revolutionary Public Claims
transcribed by Janice L. Abercrombie and Richard Slatten.. 2005. 58 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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For other records pertaining to King William COUNTY, VIRGINIA see:
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