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Iberian Publishing Company's On-Line Catalog:
Henrico County Virginia


Map of Va: Henrico County Established in 1634 as one of the original shires of Virginia, Henrico County extended from the western edge of Charles City County westward on both sides of the James River. Its name came from Henricus, founded just south of the falls of the James in 1611 and named for Henry, Prince of Wales, the oldest son of James I. Its watercourses were the upper Chickahominy on the north and the Appomattox River to the south. In 1727 Goochland County was formed from western Henrico lands both north and south of the James River. In 1749 Chesterfield County was established from the remaining Henrico lands south of the James. Finally, when Richmond was first established on the north side of the James, it took land from Henrico [today Richmond now also encompasses land from Chesterfield County]. Henrico's records have suffered from depredations in both the Revolutionary and Civil War. British raiders seized and burned many of the county's record books; the county's circuit court records were consumed in the flames of the April, 1865 fire in Richmond.

Those deeds, wills and court records that survive are, for the most part, available on microfilm at the Library of Virginia. Often, the quality of the microfilm inhibits the researcher's ability to decipher documents already difficult to read. The documents also lack a comprehensive index. These conditions make published references essential to researchers. All of the offerings below provide details of the documents, checked for accuracy against the original volume, and a comprehensive index.


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Iberian Publishing proudly announces the publication of a series of deed and will books on Colonial, Revolutionary, and post-Revolutionary Henrico County:


Henrico County, Virginia Court Order Book, 1710-1714
Henrico County, Virginia Deeds, 1714-1718
Henrico County, Virginia Court Order Book, 1737-1746
Henrico County, Virginia Court Minute (Order) Book, 1752-1755
Henrico County, Virginia Deeds and Wills, 1750-1767
Henrico County, Virginia Deeds, 1767-1774
Henrico County, Virginia Deed Book 1: Deeds recorded between 1 October 1781 and 7 April 1785
Henrico County, Virginia Deed Book 2: Deeds recorded between 2 May 1785 and 1 December 1788
Henrico County, Virginia Deed Book 3: Deeds recorded between 5 January 1789 and 11 May 1792
Henrico County, Virginia Deed Book 4: Deeds recorded between 11 November 1792 and 3 October 1795
Henrico County, Virginia Deed Book 5: Deeds recorded between 4 April 1796 and 8 May 1800
Henrico County, Virginia Will Book 1: Wills, Inventories, Appraisements and Accounts Recorded between 1 October 1781 and 3 September 1787
Proceedings of the Commissioners Respecting the Records of Henrico Court Destroyed by the Enemy.
Henrico County, Virginia Court Order Book 1, Part One: 1781-1783
Henrico County, Virginia Court Order Book 1, Part Two: 1783-1784


Up until the American Revolution, wills, inventories, appraisements and accounts had mostly been combined with deeds, bonds and other records which had been ordered to be recorded. The earliest wills are found in what is denoted a Record Book, combining all types of records (e.g., deeds, wills, bonds, accounts, etc.) arranged under the heading of the date of the court session. The earliest Record Book covers the years 1677-1692, overlapping in time with an Order Book including wills from 1678 to 1693. Another set of record books covers the years 1688 to 1697, followed by 1697-1704, and 1706-1709. Then follows a series of volumes identified as "Wills and Deeds" or "Deeds and Wills" for specific spans of years: 1710-1714, 1714-1718, 1725-1737, 1744-1748, 1748-1750, 1750-1767, and 1767-1774.

During the 1970s and 1980s, Dr. Benjamin Weisiger produced two volumes of colonial wills (1677-1737 & 1737-1781) and three volumes of deed records (1677-1705, 1706-1737, and 1737-1750). Due to the span of years of these volumes, these abstracts were necessarily limited in content. Yet, they remain an invaluable source for genealogists and are available through Iberian's title list below.

A quick perusal of the dates of the original surviving records makes it clear that there are a number of gaps in the records. These gaps apply to wills, deeds and court orders. The cause of these gaps is said to have been Benedict Arnold, whose reward for treachery at West Point was a commission as Brigadier General in the British army. His forces attacked Richmond on 5 Jan 1781. In that attack, many records at the Henrico County courthouse were destroyed, as well as some state records. It was not until British forces were besieged at Yorktown that the Henrico County Court resumed sessions on the first Monday in October.

Stunned by the large loss of records, the Court fired the clerk, as recorded in the new Order Book begun that day. The court, on 1 Oct 1781, began three new series of numbered volumes: Order Book No. 1, Deed Book No. 1, and Will Book No. 1, all of which are in the current collection. These volumes include some documents destroyed by the British and re-recorded. Every document recorded in the books is included and presented in the order entered. The page number to the left of the entry is that page on which the document begins.

For a description of the structure of Order Books and their considerable genealogical value, visit About Order Books
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Henrico County, Virginia Court Order Book No. 1: PART ONE, 1781-1783
Transcribed, with illustrations and comprehensive index. 2019, 10 1/2 x 8 1/2, vi, 226 pages, index.
       The ostensible cause of these gaps is said to have been Benedict Arnold. The reward for Arnold's treachery at West Point was a commission as Brigadier General in the British army. Late in 1780, he was dispatched to Virginia by General Clinton. He and his troops arrived in Virginia by ship on 30 Dec 1780 and proceeded up the James River with 1600 troops, a mixture of Regulars and Tories. His ships sailed up the James as far as William Byrd's plantation called Westover. His forces attacked the town of Richmond on 5 Jan 1781, during which attack a detachment of Rangers destroyed military supplies at the foundry. Arnold remained in Richmond and offered to spare the city if he were allowed to remove all of the tobacco (the economic lifeblood of the state) from the warehouses. That proposal being rejected, Arnold proceeded on 6 Jan 1781 to burn much of the city. Many records at the Henrico County courthouse were destroyed, as well as some state records. All of this Arnold accomplished without encountering any meaningful defense. Arnold then returned to Portsmouth while his forces continued marauding in the vicinity of Richmond. At the same time Lord Cornwallis approached Richmond from the south. Cornwallis remained in Richmond for several days, leaving 20 Jun 1781 for Williamsburg. It was not until the beginning of August that Cornwallis occupied Yorktown and ceased threatening Richmond and central Virginia. The County Court resumed sessions the first Monday in October.
      Stunned by the large loss of records, the Court fired the clerk, as recorded in the new Order Book begun that day:
      It being suggested to the Court that the present Clerk Mr. William White has been guilty of neglect of duty and other misconduct, whereby great part of the Records & papers of this Court fell into the Enemy's hands & was destroyed; and the said White having given other proofs of incapacity in the discharge of his duty as Clerk, It is the opinion of the Court that he be suspended from his Office until the matter thereof can be heard before the General Court, that John Beckley be appointed Clerk pro tempore And that Nathaniel Wilkinson, Turner Southall, Thomas Prosser & Miles Seldon jr., Gentlemen, be appointed Commissioners to take Depositions as well on behalf of the Court as of the said William White, giving ten days previous notice of the time & place of taking the same.
      The focus of this record is almost entirely local, with barely a mention of wider historical events. The Articles of Confederation, ratified 1 Mar 1781, are unmentioned. The span of these pages begins just before the Yorktown surrender on 19 Oct 1781, and ends before the signing of the Treaty of Paris on 3 Sep 1783. It should also be remembered that this was a small community. When the County Levy was assessed on 10 Feb 1783, the number of Tithes was stated at 2384. Tax lists for 1783 and 1784 indicate that white tithes accounted for slightly over a quarter of all tithables. In 1783, the number of taxpayers (including businesses and free persons of color) came to 698.
Order books provide considerable information about the county, local leaders, and a fair amount of gossip unavailable in the more formalized document registers such as will books and deed books. Because will and deed books offer a "quick fix" for finding lineage, the order books are often ignored. Another reason for their limited use is that they are poorly indexed if indexed at all. They must be read entirely, day by day, in order to locate critical clues. Read together with a basic knowledge of the law of the time, brief entries may yield significant information.
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Henrico County, Virginia Court Order Book No. 1: PART TWO, 23 July - 3 November 1784
Transcribed, with comprehensive index. 2020, 10 1/2 x 8 1/2, vi, 215 pages, index.
See description above (Part one)
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Henrico County, Virginia Wills and Deeds, 1714-1718

The accuracy and detail of this book, and its comprehensive index, are of great value to genealogists and historians.
Transcribed, with illustrations and comprehensive index. 2015, 10 1/2 x 8 1/2, iv, 77 pages, index.
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Henrico County, Virginia Court Order Book, 1710-1714

The Order Book of the Henrico County Court covers courts (sessions) held beginning 1May 1710 and ending 8 Nov 1714, and consists of 310 pages. For all practical purposes, the entries in the book are during the reign of Queen Anne (8 Mar 1702 - 1 Aug 1714) because the entries make no reference to a King (her successor, George I). News of Anne's death likely did not reach Virginia until some time in the month of October. This is reflected only by an entry on 5 Nov 1714 that all of the office holders in the County took oaths and the Test that day, which would have been required to show their allegiance to the new king.

This book has never been transcribed or abstracted, but contains considerable information of value to historians and genealogists. There is also a volume of deeds and wills covering the same years, which has been abstracted, in part, by the late Dr. Benjamin Weisiger. He included deeds in one series with other years, and separately abstracted wills and inventories. Because these years had the volume of deeds and wills, he appears to have decided not to pursue the court orders. In other years he used order books to find references to deeds or estates where the will books or deed books were missing. The entries in this book may be cross-referenced with those documents abstracted by Dr. Weisiger.

Order books provide considerable information about the county, local leaders, and a fair amount of gossip unavailable in the more formalized document registers such as will books and deed books. Because will and deed books offer a "quick fix" for finding lineage, the order books are often ignored. Another reason for their limited use is that they are poorly indexed if indexed at all. They must be read entirely, day by day, in order to locate critical clues. Read together with a basic knowledge of the law of the time, brief entries may yield significant information.
Transcribed, with illustrations and comprehensive index. 2015, 10 1/2 x 8 1/2, iv, 226 pages, index.
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Henrico County, Virginia Wills and Deeds, 1714-1718

The accuracy and detail of this book, and its comprehensive index, are of great value to genealogists and historians.
Transcribed, with illustrations and comprehensive index. 2015, 10 1/2 x 8 1/2, iv, 77 pages, index.
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Henrico County, Virginia Court Order Book, 1737-1746

Transcribed, with a comprehensive index. 2016, 10 1/2 x 8 1/2, iv, 448 pages.
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Important Notes on Order and Minute Books for the reader:


      Order books provide considerable information about the county, local leaders, and a fair amount of gossip unavailable in the more formalized document registers such as will books and deed books. Because will and deed books offer a "quick fix" for finding lineage, the order books are often ignored. Another reason for their limited use is that they are poorly indexed if indexed at all. They must be read entirely, day by day, in order to locate critical clues. Read together with a basic knowledge of the law of the time, brief entries may yield significant information.

The County Court in Virginia


       The County Court as an institution in Virginia began with the creation of counties in 1634. To understand the court as it existed for more than two centuries, it is necessary to look at the effects of the Civil War. This refers not to the war of the 1860s, but to the civil war in England in the first half of the 1600s.

       Charles I succeeded to the throne in 1625 and had repeated disagreements with Parliament. In January 1641/42, the king entered the House of Commons with troops, and ensuing tension became armed conflict between forces supporting Parliament (called "Roundheads") and those supporting the king (called "Cavaliers'). England descended into chaos and over the next six years the Parliamentary forces gradually prevailed. Charles was beheaded 30 Jan 1649/50.

       As the outcome of this struggle became apparent to wealthy royalists, many reduced their assets to cash and sailed for Virginia, where the Governor was a staunch royalist. They used their wealth to acquire vast tracts of land from the colonial government and quickly moved into dominance of the political structure. Governance of the colony was by the Governor and council, with input from the House of Burgesses. The office of Burgess was the only elected office in Virginia for 150 years, and quickly came to be held only by the Cavaliers. All other positions were appointed by the Governor. Local authority rested with the County Court and the Parish Vestry. The Vestry, likewise dominated by the large landowners, itself selected replacements for members who died or resigned. The Parish handled all welfare matters and conducted the processioning of landowners' boundaries.

       The County Court members, called "Justices," "Magistrates," and "Justices of the Peace," were referred to as "Gentlemen," and addressed as "Your Worships." They were appointed by the Governor, but the Governor chose members from a list provided by the Court itself. The Sheriff served for a term of one year with a maximum of two terms, and was a member of the Court (who could not vote while Sheriff). The common practice was for the Court to send a list of three names to the Governor with the preferred choice listed first. The Governor almost always appointed the first choice of the Court. For a county, the Court was the judicial authority and also the executive and legislative (within limits set by the colonial government) as well.

       The court granted licenses for ordinaries, to operate ferries, and set the rates to be charged. The court assigned persons to build and maintain the roads (generally called "road orders"), the foreman being called the "surveyor" and the work crew ("gang" or "hands") coming from the tithable males in the named households. The road order helps to define the location of property, and shows who were neighbors. Processioning, or the marking of boundaries between adjoining property owners, was required to be done every four years. Those orders also serve the purpose of locating property and neighbors. The order book will merely direct the parish Vestry to conduct the processioning. Orders to bind out orphans provide information about ages and relationships. If an orphan chose his or her guardian, he was 14 years old but under 21. When the entry says the guardian was appointed, the child was under 14.

       The Court appointed commissioners, administrators of estates, and appraisers, all of whom were entitled to a fee. These functions and other appointments made the Court the center of patronage for the county.

Understanding and Using Order Books


       The order book consists of a series of entries in chronological order showing the actions taken by the Court. The types of entries vary, the county court having been the judicial, legislative and administrative authority in the county.

       The court held a special session each year to "lay the levy," which meant to authorize payments to be made by the county and to raise sufficient taxes to cover those payments. Taxes were set in terms of pounds of tobacco per tithable (white males and all slaves age 16 or more). The number of tithables in the county was given annually, allowing a rough estimation of the population to be made. Payments would list the payee, the reason for payment and the amount.

       The order book records the presenting of documents to be recorded, such as deeds, wills, and other legal instruments. It may or may not include more information than is found with the recorded document. Where there was no will, the order book records the granting of administration on the estate of the deceased. This type of order often gives the name of a spouse which is not found elsewhere.

       Suits at law or in chancery are often considered too mundane to be studied. Yet each suit chronicles a relationship (albeit a broken one). Taken as a whole, these suits provide a picture of the family and financial relationships among county residents. It can be seen who was sued frequently for not paying debts, and who sued often to collect debts or to complain of injuries.

       The orders relating to suits also include persons (as witnesses, plaintiffs, defendants, securities, bails, etc.) who never appear in a deed book or will. Suits typically were an "Action of Case" (suit for damages due to an alleged injury) or "Action of Debt" (suit to collect a debt due).

       In either type of suit, the plaintiff sued the defendant. In nearly every case, both parties were of age at the time the suit was filed, but also at the time the transaction was entered into. If a bond was dated 1 Aug 1711, it is relatively certain that the maker of the bond was born before 1 Aug 1690 because he had to be of age (21) to make a valid and enforceable agreement. Likewise the dates of accounts. The reason for the transaction may sometimes be discerned from the information in the entry. It is useful to remember that a large amount of business (particularly loans) was transacted among members of an extended family. Thus the persons mentioned in a suit, even those with different surnames, may provide clues as to family relationships.

       When a suit involved an account, the entry refers to the practice of a person keeping a ledger (or a collection of loose papers) of amounts he owed and that were owed to him. Periodically there were disputes about the net balance and whether the person had included every transaction. This practice was used to compensate for the lack of money in the colony, and often was convoluted. If A owed B for a horse, and C owed A for crops delivered, then A would write out an order for C to pay B for the price of the horse (in whole or in part).

       Law violations offer the tabloid view of the county. The grand jury would meet and issue "presentments" for misfeasance or malfeasance. Women were presented for having illegitimate ("base born" or "bastard") children, men for being drunk and for uttering oaths. Surveyors of roads were presented for not keeping the road in repair. Laws, such as those regulating the killing of hogs, were enforced by private suit. Slaves were tried by courts of Oyer and Terminer, but serious crimes by whites were sent to the General Court for trial. The honor of jury service (both grand and petit) was reserved to white, male freeholders. A freeholder was defined to include a person holding at least 25 acres with a dwelling (or 100 acres of raw land) in fee simple, in tail, or in life tenancy. The acreage requirement was waived as to town lots. Free persons of color and all women were excluded irrespective of how much land they owned. See Hening 4:475; General Assembly session of Aug 1736. Therefore, a jury list shows land ownership irrespective of whether a deed or will can be found.

       Entries in the order book often establish that a person was living, where no other source gives anything but a large date range. Where a person appeared in court ("in his proper person") it is evidence that he was alive and able to travel to Court. A suit would abate with the death of a party. An example is found in the Ligon family. Simon Ligon first appears in records on 18 Apr 1682, where he is mentioned working as a "hand" of Richard Ward. (W&D 1677-92, p. 220) In the books of deeds and wills, the last entry for him was proving a power of attorney on 1 Aug 1702. (D&W 1697-1704, p. 293) In the book of wills and deeds for 1710-1714, there is a nuncupative will dated 1 Feb 1711/12 of a Mary Ligon who was a widow and mentioned a son named Simon. (p. 138) In this order book, as will be seen, the entries clarify both dates and relationships. Simon Ligon appeared personally in Court on 1 Oct 1711, but on 7 Jan 1711/12 the case was dismissed because he was dead. On 3 Mar 1711/12, Edward Heathcot (a witness to the will of Mary Ligon) reported that "Mary the widow of Simon Ligon" died at his (Heathcot's) house after a long illness. The record shows that the Court appointed the Sheriff as administrator of Simon's estate, "he being dead above three months." From this it is learned that Simon died between 1 Oct and 3 Dec 1711, and that his widow died between declaring orally her will on 1 Feb and 3 Mar 1711/12.

       In using a court order book there is no escape from legal jargon. It is suggested that when reading an order book, a person obtain and keep handy three references: (1) Tucker's Commentaries on the Laws of Virginia (several editions between 1830 and 1850), which explains Virginia variations on English law; (2) an early edition of Black's Law Dictionary; and (3) Henings Statutes at Large of Virginia. All three references may be downloaded as .pdf files from Archive.org, and the last is online at www.vagenweb.org/hening/. It can be seen from Tucker that the law in Virginia changed very little over time and his explanations of the law in the early to middle 1800s was generally the same as a century before, and he generally pointed out changes with citations to the Acts of Assembly which made them.


Presentation of the Order Book


       The current volume below is not a transcription of the order book, reproducing in type the entire manuscript. Nor is it a bare abstract, summarizing the entries with minimal information. All entries will be presented in some form, including those continuing the case until the next session of the Court. (Such entries will be denoted "Continued" omitting the standard "until the next Court.") The objective of each entry is to provide the reader with the facts necessary to understand what was going on. The type of the case, the persons involved and their respective roles, the amount sued for and the reason that it was claimed to be due, and other facts all provide an insight into the litigants, the Court and surrounding circumstances. Following the case through its twists and turns informs as to the judicial process and the personalities involved.

       Having here read the notes on an entry, the reader may read the original online. Microfilm of the volume has been digitized and is available online at FamilyHistory.org. [FamilySearch.org > Catalog > (enter) "Virginia, Henrico" and click on the drop-down selection > select "Court Records" > select "Court Orders and Minutes" (Author, Virginia County Court) > "Court Minutes 1719-1723, 1752-1755" (Film no. 00789203), click on the camera icon and begin with Image No. 207.]

       The original language, albeit archaic, repetitive and often stilted, presents the rhythm of writing and conversation at the time. Spelling and word choice, now 300 years old, is quaint and flavorful. Some entries will be reproduced using the original language and spelling to show how they were written. Be aware that an apostrophe was rarely used to denote the possessive By reading this version, one can become familiar with terminology and the way the court worked. Other entries will follow the original wording but omit certain conventions which should be assumed by the reader unless otherwise noted.

       Entries will usually reduce spelled-out numbers (amounts, dates, etc.) to numerals. After establishing how the entries were written, they will be abridged by dropping out unnecessary language. An example is the phrase "current money of Virginia." Most suits were for amounts in pounds (£), shillings (s) and pence (d) in current money of Virginia. Twelve pence made a shilling, and 20 shillings was a pound. An amount expressed as £10.14.9 would be 10 pounds, 14 shillings and 9 pence. Fractions of a penny were the halfpenny and the farthing (one fourth of a penny). After establishing the difference between current money of Virginia and Sterling, all amounts of money will assume that they are current money of Virginia and the phrase will be dropped. Thus a claim for £6 would be presumed current money of Virginia, and if in Sterling it would so state.

       The plaintiff or complainant is listed first and the defendant, second. Plaintiff may appear as Plt or Pltf, and defendant as Dft or Defendt. The word "against" may be replaced with the abbreviation "v." The term "depending" is often used, meaning that the case, in modern terms, is pending. The term may or may not be included in the presentation. Excess lawyer's verbiage will be dropped. Where a description states that there are involved 100 acres of land being, situated, and lying in Henrico county, the words "being, situated and lying land in Henrico County" are not needed, since acres measure only land and if recorded in Henrico County Court would be located in that county (unless specifically stated otherwise).

       Executor (Exor.) and Executrix (Extrx. or Extx.) are specific terms meaning only the person(s) named in a will to act in that capacity. Thus the phrase, "Executor of the estate (or will) of Sam Smith deceased," may be shortened to Exor of Sam Smith. For there to be an executor, Smith must be deceased and the executor obviously handles the estate. The terms administrator (Admr.) and administratrix (Admx.) are applied in the same way. The term is used only for the estate of a person who is deceased, usually without a will (intestate), but also in instances where no executor named in the will agrees to act and another person is appointed to act as administrator "with the will annexed." Persons were appointed by the Court to appraise (app.) the estates of deceased persons, and their act was called an "appraisement" (App.) It should be noted that the term "estate" referred to any person's assets, not just a deceased person.

       At the time of this book, the "and so forth" or "etcetera" was denoted as &c. Words and names were often abbreviated. In most cases the meaning is obvious, the last letter being raised above the line (which is not done here) with a period. In a few instances "et al." was used, meaning "and others."

       Justices present at the convening of the Court were listed as present after the language stating that Court was opened. After these names always appeared "Gentlemen Justices," which phrase is omitted in this presentation. It is likewise omitted when a justice came late and took the bench, which is denoted with parentheses at the place where it was noted by the clerk, as well as when a justice left the session (using "absent").

       Defendants might seek and be granted "Oyer," which was for someone to read the document(s) aloud. This obviously was helpful to illiterate defendants, but also could be used to stall proceedings. Another term frequently found was the verb "imparle," which envisioned negotiation toward a settlement. Both of these took place before a plea was entered. The term "non assumpsit" is used where the defendant denied assuming an obligation ("the Dft. saith that he did not assume upon himself in manner and form as the Plt. against him hath declared"). The phrase "he puteth himself upon the Country" was invoking his right to trial by jury.

       Judgments normally were entered for the amount of the judgment "with Costs." For this reason any judgment reported should be presumed to be with costs unless otherwise stated specifically. Where a judgment included interest from a particular date, the accrual of interest continued from that date until the debt was paid in full. For the entire time covered by this book, the rate of lawful interest was 5% compounded annually.

       When a suit was filed a writ was issued to the Sheriff to physically arrest the defendant. In lieu of waiting in jail for the case to be heard, a defendant could post bond. If the Sheriff served the papers and let the defendant go without bond, the Sheriff would pay the judgment if the defendant failed to appear. When a defendant failed to appear to answer the suit, an order to attach his property (his "Effects" or "Estate") would issue so that a judgment could not be thwarted. Typical language found in an order would be ordering that "an Attachment do issue to attach So much of the Defendant's estate as shall be Sufficient to pay the said debt with Costs, returnable to the next Court." Here, that will be presented as "attachment to issue."

       Order books also noted the recording of documents, most often deeds. Deeds were either acknowledged in open court by the maker or were proved by witnesses. In the latter case, the general rule for deeds conveying land was that three witnesses had to swear in court that they saw the grantor sign the document before it would be recorded. This might take place over a number of years and sometimes the deed was never recorded because only one or two witnesses proved it. A deed being proved by witnesses could mean that the grantor had died, was ill, had moved away, or just did not want to travel to court to acknowledge the deed. If the deed was acknowledged, it shows that the grantor was alive and able to get to court. The phrase "in his proper person" was another way to say "personally" or "in person" (as opposed to an appearance by his attorney). The memorandum of "livery and seisin" refers to a written acknowledgment that the grantee had received possession of the land, and appears only with deeds for land (not slaves). Such an order might read as follows:

       "Robert Burton appeared personally and acknowledged one Deed Indented (dated the Second day of April 1711) from himself to William Cox to be his act and Deed, and thereupon Ordered that the Same be Recorded together with the livery and Seisin thereon endorsed which he also acknowledged. Then Mary the wife of the said Robert Burton appeared in her proper person and Relinquished her Right of Dower in the lands by the said Deed Conveyed which is also Ordered to be Recorded."

This entry may be presented as:

             Robert Burton ack. his deed dated 2 Apr 1711 to William Cox, and Mary his wife rel. dower.

       Where a deed was proved by witnesses, or a will or other document, the orders used phrases like "made Oath," meaning that the witness swore in open court. Where a document was presented or proved, those words here will presume that they were under oath. Specific notation will be made where testimony is given with "Solemn Affirmance," indicating that the witness was a Quaker (whose religion forbade swearing oaths). Witnesses were entitled to be paid by the party which called them in the amount of 25 pounds of tobacco per day "attending" (being present in) court for the case. Witnesses from another county were allowed 1½ pounds of tobacco per mile traveled. The number of miles stated was for one way, so "coming and returning" 30 miles was a total of 60. Witnesses were reimbursed in money for ferry tolls ("ferriage"). All distances were from the courthouse in Richmond.

       The index includes many variations on names and all should be checked. The index for a name is directed to the page in this book, not the page in the original volume. There may be multiple entries for the same person, place or company on the same page.

       Suggestion: The order book should first be read straight through. Regard it as a volume of short stories, each entry constituting its own drama (and occasionally, comedy). Contemplate the circumstances of each entry and how the court handled the matter. This approach will give the reader a sense of the flow of events, a picture of the social and economic structure of the county, and a growing understanding of how the law of the time worked. Having done so, researching a particular subject matter or family will both be easier and be better understood in the context of the times.

       This manuscript volume of records of the proceedings of the Henrico County Court is held in the Archives of the Library of Virginia, and there styled a "Minute Book." The use of the term is misleading. Minute books were rough drafts scribbled hastily during the court session to form the basis for a fuller, more readable record generally known as an order book. The handwriting, completeness of entries and formatting suggest that this volume was in fact the order book. This volume covers courts (sessions) held beginning 2 Oct 1752 and ending 6 Oct 1755, and consists of 342 pages. The entries in the book are during the reign of George II (11 Jun 1727 - 25 Oct 1760) but the entries rarely make reference to the King by name. During the time covered by this volume, the de facto Governor of the Colony was Robert Dinwiddie, Lieutenant to two absentee governors.
       This book has never been transcribed or abstracted, but contains considerable information of value to historians and genealogists. There is some overlap with a volume of deeds and wills recorded in the years 1750-1767. Some original documents were recovered and placed in volumes called Miscellaneous Records. The dates covered by this volume correspond to documents found in Volume 5 of that series (pages 1563-1711).

Henrico County, Virginia Court Minute Book, 1752-1755


Transcribed, with a comprehensive index. 2022, 10 1/2 x 8 1/2, ix, 222 pages, index.
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Henrico County, Virginia Wills and Deeds, 1750-1767

The accuracy and detail of this book, and its comprehensive index, are of great value to genealogists and historians.
Transcribed, with illustrations and comprehensive index. 2014, 10 1/2 x 8 1/2, iv, 212 pages, index.
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Henrico County, Virginia Deeds, 1767-1774: Deeds recorded between 3 August 1767 and 3 October 1774

Based on careful examination of both microfilm and the original, this publication includes an accurate description of every document in the volume. It includes all the terms of the document needed to understand the transaction and legal rights of the parties. Deeds for land also include the detailed description of the land conveyed. Mortgages and deeds of trust list the terms of the transaction and list the property conveyed. Deeds conveying or emancipating slaves include all pertinent details
Transcribed, with comprehensive index. 2014, 10 1/2 x 8 1/2, iv, 91 pages, illustrations, index.
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Henrico County, Virginia Deed Book 1: Deeds recorded between 1 October 1781 and 7 April 1785

Transcribed, with comprehensive index. 2014, 10 1/2 x 8 1/2, iv, 67 pages, illustrations, index. See description above.
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Henrico County, Virginia Will Book 1: Wills, Inventories, Appraisements and Accounts Recorded between 1 October 1781 and 3 September 1787

This publication is unique. Because Will Book 1 is severely damaged and missing considerable information, this volume restores the missing information by using the original document. The text found in the Will Book appears in normal type; the material from the original is in italics. This added information is not available on microfilm. The terms of each will are set forth, as well as complete inventories and accounts, including all slave names. The accuracy and detail of this book, and its comprehensive index, are of great value to genealogists and historians.
Transcribed, with comprehensive index. 2014, 10 1/2 x 8 1/2, vii, 166 pages, index.
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Henrico County, Virginia Deed Book 2: Deeds recorded between 2 May 1785 and 1 December 1788

Transcribed, with comprehensive index. 2014, 10 1/2 x 8 1/2, iv, 77 pages, index. See description above.
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Henrico County, Virginia Deed Book 3: Deeds recorded between 5 January 1789 and 11 May 1792

Transcribed, with comprehensive index. 2014, 10 1/2 x 8 1/2, iv, 87 pages, index. See description above.
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Henrico County, Virginia Deed Book 4: Deeds recorded between 11 November 1792 and 3 October 1795

Transcribed, with comprehensive index. 2014, 10 1/2 x 8 1/2, iv, 112 pages, index. See description above.
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Henrico County, Virginia Deed Book 5: Deeds recorded between 4 April 1796 and 8 May 1800

Transcribed, with comprehensive index. 2014, 10 1/2 x 8 1/2, iv, 118 pages, illustrations, index. See description above.
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Proceedings of the Commissioners Respecting the Records of Henrico Court Destroyed by the Enemy. 2018, 8 1/2 x 10 1/2, iv, 67 pages, illustrations, index.


      In the immediate aftermath of the Revolution Henrico officials assessed the damages to official records done by Benedict Arnold's recent capture of Richmond.

      Adam Craig, the new Clerk of Henrico Court, placed a notice in the Virginia Gazette of 7 Sep 1782, that the justices of Henrico County would take depositions, hear and examine witnesses, and receive all original papers and attested copies of persons affected by the destruction of records of the County Court. He alerted the public that the following records were found to be missing:

            Deeds from 1718 to 1725, 1744 to 1737 [sic], 1774 to October 1781;
            Wills from 1718 to 1725. 1744 to 1737 [sic], 1767 to October 1781;
            Judgments and Orders from 1710 to 1714, 1731 to 1737, and 1769 to 1772.

      A commission was established by which documents which had been recorded and subsequently destroyed by the British could be established by sworn testimony, even where no copy survived. Between 1783 and 1789 the commssion compiled the results of this re-recording effort.

      Not every destroyed document was re-recorded. This was not an attempt to recreate the record books that had existed. Only documents produced or described by persons seeking to have them recorded again were considered, either by the Court or by the Commission. As a result, significant gaps remain in the records.

      The current volume is not a full transcription. More properly described, it is a collection of notes taken by the author on the actual document examined in the form of a photostat of the original, which is clearer than the microfilm. These notes contain more information than would typically be found in an abstract of the document. They frequently use the words of the original entry, but only occasionally are exact quotations. Dates are rendered numerically, not writing out the full date. All the language essential to understanding the entry is presented.



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SELECTED EARLY BLACKMAN FAMILIES OF ENGLAND, VIRGINIA AND NORTH CAROLINA by Jean Epting Blackmon and William Fred Blackmon, Jr. 2011, 10 1/2 x 8 1/2, x, 73 pages, illustrations, photos (black and white and color), maps, index. The family name BLACKMAN has deep roots in the colonial period of America. Some of the earliest of that namesake appear in records about 1620. The authors have chosen to trace the family and descendants of Jeremiah Blackman, the mariner, who first appeared in Virginia records in 1628 as the master of a the vessel Roebuck of London. The records for this family are searched assiduously in both English sources as well as colonial Virginia and North Carolina. This is a wonderful piece of scholarship and excellent example of what can be done with a disparate number of sources. Although the famiily begins its colonial experience in the earliest Virginia counties (primarily Henrico and Charles City), it quickly fans out into neighboring regions of Virginia and into North Carolina, especially modern-day Johnston county, North Carolina. [N.B.] All royalties from the sale of this book have been donated to benefit the Boy's Farm, Inc., Newberry, S.C.
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HENRICO CO., VA 1810 CENSUS transcribed, with an index by John Vogt. 2010, 10 1/2 x 8 1/2, x, 28 pages, illustrations, maps, index.. This is the first surviving census for Henrico, since both the 1790 and 1800 censuses have been lost. A complete index is included for easy access. Henrico's initial settlement dated from the 1610s when it was part of the initial expansion from the Jamestown colony; by the 1810s it contained a number of large plantations with a heavy slave population, as well as a growing mining industry; the county's location adjacent to the new state capital of Richmond gave it added importance. In all, the census record covers 974 households, many of whom had roots in the county dating far back into the colonial era,
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COLONIAL WILLS OF HENRICO COUNTY, VIRGINIA, 1677-1737 by Benjamin B. Weisiger, III, 1976. 214 pages, index. This book contains wills, inventories and administrations 1677-1737 and miscellaneous wills and estates 1654-1737 from loose papers.
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COLONIAL WILLS OF HENRICO COUNTY, VIRGINIA 1737-1781 with addenda by Benjamin B. Weisiger, III, 1977 (revised 1985). 233 pages, index. Contains the same as above for this period and references to same in Order Books where will books are not extant; also contents of Henrico County Wills Addenda, originally published separately.
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HENRICO COUNTY, VIRGINIA DEEDS, 1677-1705 by Benjamin B. Weisiger, III, 1986. 188 pages, index. This volume contains deeds, powers of attorney, indentures of service, notices of leaving the country, some land grants, and ages as given by deposition, as well as appointment of Justices, Sheriffs and County Clerks.

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HENRICO COUNTY, VIRGINIA DEEDS, 1706-1737 by Benjamin B. Weisiger, III, 1985 [re-typeset & reprinted, 1995]. 256 pages, index. This is similar to the preceding volume above [Deeds, powers of attorney, indentures of service, notices of leaving the country, some land grants, and ages as given by deposition, as well as appointment of Justices, Sheriffs and County Clerks.]
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HENRICO COUNTY, VIRGINIA DEEDS, 1737-1750 by Benjamin B. Weisiger, III, 1985. 142 pages, index. This is a continuation of the above title [Deeds, powers of attorney, indentures of service, notices of leaving the country, some land grants, and ages as given by deposition, as well as appointment of Justices, Sheriffs and County Clerks.]
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Henrico 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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Henrico Co. Revolutionary Public Claims transcribed by Janice L. Abercrombie and Richard Slatten.. 2005. 23 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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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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