Accomack County's eighteenth volume of court orders begins with the court held on 30 October 1744, and ends on 26 June 1753. During that time, twenty-four justices took turns settling debts and land disputes, assessing taxes, exacting fines, ordering whippings, branding slaves, sending felons to Williamsburg and pronouncing a slave's death sentence. The court dealt with colonists from all levels of society. The introduction spotlights the more interesting, revealing or unfortunate incidents found among the court orders issued during those years, including accounts of the deteriorating courthouse and prison, jailbreaks, bastardy, fornication, domestic strife, the economy, clothing and jewelry, roads and taxes, indentured servants, slaves, thieves and criminals. This chronological collection of court orders reaches into the everyday lives of more than 1,300 ordinary Virginians living on the Eastern Shore. A full name plus subject index adds to the value of this work, which is intended as a guide to the original court order books. More than fifteen years ago, JoAnn Riley McKey began abstracting 17th and 18th century records from the Netherlands and Virginia. Realizing that many of the old records harbored stories too interesting to leave untold, she researched some of the women she met in her first fourteen volumes of Accomack records and in 2007, wrote Wenches, Wives & Widows: Sixteen Women of Early Virginia.
JoAnn Riley McKey
2010, 5½x8½, paper, index, 538 pp.