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County and City Research in Virginia

County and city records document the daily activities of the courts in Virginia's counties, independent cities, and towns. The Library of Virginia houses both original and microfilm records for many of Virginia's counties and independent cities.

The guides listed below will help researchers navigate the complex variety of county and city records in the Library's collections. In addition, a growing number of descriptions of these records is available through the Library's catalog.

Guides and Indexes

County and City Records at the Library of Virginia provides information on county provenance and formation dates, as well as original and microfilmed records availability at the Library of Virginia.

Using County and City Court Records provides an overview of these most basic resources documenting the daily activities of the courts in Virginia's counties and cities.

Chancery Cases describes these rich court records that often contain useful information for biographical, genealogical, and historical research. Chancery cases often address the division of estates, the dissolution of business partnerships, the resolution of land disputes, and divorce.

The Chancery Records Index, including digital images for many counties, is available on Virginia Memory.

Judgments offer a tremendous amount of research potential, providing a great deal of information concerning the activities and interests of the people who lived in the locality.

Lost Records Localities database consists of entries for a wide variety of court records found as part of chancery and other locality records-processing projects. The entries are for surviving records from localities, most of whose records are no longer extant.

Burned Jurisdiction database contains a growing collection of records originally recorded in Virginia's superior or appellate courts that subsequently suffered record losses.


Additional Resources

1850 Map of Counties (including what is now West Virginia)

The sale of government records is illegal! Learn more about keeping access to public records documenting the history, culture and people of the commonwealth freely available to all researchers.