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Burned Jurisdiction Database

This database contains a growing collection of records originally recorded in courts or jurisdictions that subsequently suffered record losses. These records are from higher or appeal courts, most of which do not presently exist. Among the jurisdictions included in this database are the General Court, the [Supreme] Court of Appeals, the High Court of Chancery, the various Superior Courts of Chancery, and the various District Courts. These records were found while processing chancery causes and other locality materials. The database contains records from collections housed and processed at the Library of Virginia as well as those processed in localities.

These records were generally used as exhibits in a court case. In most instances, the indexed records compose only a fraction of a case or proceedings. In most cases, the copy may be the only extant copy of the document. The originals remain with the court materials being processed, but photocopies are made and are indexed in this database. The copies are filed together in an artificial collection - the BURNED RECORDS JURISDICTION COLLECTION - and are readily accessed through the Archives Research Room at the Library of Virginia. Please check this database periodically as this is an ongoing project.

The following Searches may be performed:

Single Name or Party Search - holdings can be searched by specific name. See "Things to Know" at right.

Court or Jurisdiction Search - a drop down menu allows for searches by court or jurisdiction for entries found in this database.

Record Type Search - a drop down menu allows for searches by record type found in this database.

Note on Specific Name search: a search for "John" will yield records containing both given names and surnames containing "John," such as "Johnson" and "Johnston."   

Note on indexing: records such as court cases and deeds are cross-referenced.  For example: a deed of Smith, Joseph D. to Caleb Smith will also be listed as Smith, Caleb from Joseph D. Smith.