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Nansemond County Virginia
Nansemond County was first established as Upper Norfolk County in 1637 from the western part of New Norfolk County. The name change to Nansemond (Nansimum) occurred in 1646. The county's name derived from the Nansemond Indians, who lived in the area in the seventeenth century. In 1769 the first of two transfers of territory from Nansemond to Isle of Wight County took place when all lands west of Chuckatuck Creek went to the latter. In 1772 the territory known as Rascow's Neck was also transferred to Isle of Wight administration. In 1785 the portion of the county south of the Blackwater and Nottoway rivers went to Southampton County.
Nansemond County was abolished as a county in July 1972 when it became the independent city of Nansemond. Two years later, in 1974, Nansemond City merged with the independent city of Suffolk and took the name of the latter.
Nansemond's records have suffered from multiple destructions. The first occurred in April 1734 , when a fire at the home of the county clerk destroyed most of the records stored there. Some deeds and wills were rerecorded, but the records again were destroyed when British infantry burned the entire town of suffolk, including the clerk's office, on 13 May 1779. What survived this disaster faced a fire of unknown origin which swept through the clerk's office on 7 Feb. 1866. The remaining few records are now housed with those of the City of Suffolk
For a better understanding of county boundary changes, see our new section Virginia in Maps
NANSEMOND COUNTY, VA 1810 SUBSTITUTE CENSUS [Abstracts from the Personal Property and Land Tax Lists]
by John Vogt, 2011, 5 1/2"x8 1/2" format, viii, 51 pages, map.
Nansemond 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.”
In previous substitute censuses compiled by this author, the 1810 personal property tax list has been the primary source. In the case of Nansemond, however, the earliest personal property tax list available is that of 1815. The current list is a complete transcription of that document, with the following data present: 1) Number of tithable males over 16; 2) number of slaves over 12; 3) number of horses, mules & asses; & 4) number of cattle. These are in a columnar fashion, followed by a description of any taxable personal property listed by the tax commissioner for each family.
In addition, the compiler has added data from the 1810 & 1815 land tax lists for Nansemond. This information has been printed in italics to distinguish it from the personal property tax list. When taken together, the two tax sources give a good picture of the county and its social structure.
SURNAMES included in the 1810 personal property list are:
Abdil; Airs; Allen; Allmand; Allmond; Alphin; Archer; Arnold; Arthur; Ashborne; Ashbourn; Ashbourne; Askew; Aswell;
Babb; Baccle; Bailey; Baines; Bains; Baker; Ballard; Ballentine; Barclay; Barfield; Barklay; Barr; Barrott; Bartlette; Bartley; Bateman; Bates; Bayley; Beal; Beaman; Beasley; Belfour & Barraud; Ben; Benn; Benson; Benton; Best; Bethia; Bevan; Bidgood; Billings; Bird; Boeman; Boggs; Boothe; Bowser; Boyce; Boykin; Boyt; Bradford; Bradley; Branton; Brewer; Briggs; Brinkley; Brothers; Brown; Browne; Bryant; Buk; Bullard; Bullock; Bunton; Burris; Butler; Buxton;
Campbell; Carr; Carrol; Carwick; Cathon; Chapman; Claibourn; Clarke; Cockel; Coffield; Cofields; Cohoon; Cole; Coleman; Collins; Collur; Cook; Cooke; Cooper; Copeland; Corbell; Cowling; Cowper; Cross; Culpeper; Cuningham; Cunningham; Cutchin;
Dailey; Darden; Dashield; Daughtrey; Daughtry; David; Davidson; Davis; Deford; Denby; Denson; Dildy; Dilsburg; Dixon; Dorlon; Dowdy; Draper; Driver; Duck; Duke; Dunford; Dunn;
Ease; Eley; Ellis; Ellison; Elsberry; Eskridge; Everett; Everitt;
Fanning; Farrow; Fatherru; Faulk; Fisher; Fitzhue; Flynn; Fones; Foster; Fowles; Franklin; Frazier; Frost; Fulgham;
Gardner; Gary; Gaskins; Gay; George; Gilcrest; Glovier; Godwin; Gomer; Goodman; Goodwin; Graham; Granberry; Graves; Gray; Grayham; Green; Griffin; Griggs; Guy; Gwin;
Hale; Hall; Hamilton; Hare; Hargrove; Hargroves; Harrel; Harrell; Harrison; Harvey; Hasier; Haslet; Hatton; Hayes; Haywood; Hedgbeth; Hedgebeth; Hefferton; Henderson; Hickinbotham; Hill; Hims; Hines; Hodges; Hoffler; Hofman; Holladay; Holland; Hookey; Hooky; Hornsby; Horton; Howard; Howell; Hudnall; Hulet; Hunter; Hurdle;
James; Jarvis; Jinkins; Johnson; Jones; Jopsey; Jordan; Jucely; Jusley;
Keeling; Keely; Keen; Keen; Kelly; King; Knight;
Langston; Laperouse; Lassiter; Latimer; Lattimer; Laurence; Laycock; Laylor; Lee; Lester; Lewis; Lickie; Lightfoot; Lingo; Lockard; Lockheart; Luke; Lunsford; Luwelling;
Mansfield; March; Marshall; Martin; Marvel; Marvell; Mathews; Matthews; McClenachan; McClenney; McClenny; Meade; Meades; Melony; Meltiare; Mezick; Miars; Miles; Milner; Milron; Minton; Mintz; Moderno; Monk; Moore; Moreland; Morgan; Morris; Mungo; Murdaugh; Murphree; Murphy; Myers;
Nelms; Newton; Norfleet; Norflet;
Odom; Odum; Oliver; Osbourne; Outland; O’Sheals;
Parker; Parkinson; Parnald; Parnel; Parr; Peale; Peck; Perritt; Phelps; Pierce; Pinner; Pitt; Pitts; Pointer; Poole; Pope; Porter; Powell; Prentis; Price; Pritlow; Pruden; Pugh; Pullin; Purdie;
Radwell; Raiby; Randolph; Rawles; Reade; Red; Redman; Richards; Ricks; Riddick; Rix; Rix; Roberts; Robinson; Rodgers; Rogers; Rose; Ross; Rountree; Russell; Rustin;
Saunders; Savage; Scarsbrook; Scott; Shelton; Sheperd; Shepherd; Sheppard; Simons; Sivill; Sketo; Skinner; Slade; Slavin; Small; Smelly; Smith; Sparling; Spencer; Spivey; Stag; Stallings; Staples; Stephens; Stoakley; Stokely; Stokes; Sumner; Swamp; Swepson;
Taylor; Teare; Thomas; Thompson; Timmons; Townes; Trotter; Turlington;
Vardiman; Vasser; Vaughan; Vaughn; Velims; Vernelson; Very; Vesey;
Wainwright; Wakefield; Walker; Wards; Warren; Waters; Weatherly; Webb; Whitfield; Whitley; Whitlock; Wiggins; Wilder; Wilder; Wilkins; Wilkinson; Williams; Willis; Wills; Wilson; Winbourne; Wise; Wisharts; Woodsides; Woodward; Woolford; Wright;
[NANSPP] $9,95     (printed version)
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[ENANSPP] $7.00     (electronic version)
SUFFOLK PARISH VESTRY BOOK,1749-1784 AND NEWPORT PARISH VESTRY BOOK, 1724-1772
transcribed by William Lindsay Hopkins. 1988, iv, 210 pages, index. Suffolk Parish Vestry Book, 1749-1784
(Nansemond County, VA) and Newport Parish Vestry Book, 1723-1772 (Isle of Wight County, VA) are
presented here in one volume as they were adjoining parishes and shared some of the same family names. This
abstract is taken from the two separate, bound photocopies of the two vestry books that can be found in the
Archives of the Virginia State Library in Richmond, Virginia. This abstract follows the format of each vestry
book and the page numbers in brackets are those found in the original book.
Nansemond Co. 1815 Directory of Landowners
by Roger G. Ward. 2005. 28 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
Nansemond Co. Revolutionary Public Claims
transcribed by Janice L. Abercrombie and Richard Slatten.. 2005. 50 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
[Pc47] $7.75     (printed version)
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[EPc47] $5.00     (electronic version)
For more records pertaining to NANSEMOND COUNTY, VIRGINIA see also:
Isle of Wight County
Independent City of Suffolk
Guide to Virginia Militia Units in the War of 1812
Chart on the Formation of Virginia Counties
Atlas of County Boundary Changes in Virginia, 1634-1895
Index to the 1810 Virginia Census
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