Accomack County, Virginia Court Order Abstracts, Volumes 21, 22, 23, 1765-1769


This volume contains the abstracts of three court order books: Volume 21 (November 1765 to January 1767), Volume 22 (February 1767 to March 1768), and Volume 23 (April 1768 to February 1769). These volumes deal with many lawsuits concerning money and debt, but a variety of other issues are confronted as well. On 25 February 1766, in an act that foreshadowed the American Revolution, the Accomack justices took a stand on the detested Stamp Act. The court clerk and the attorneys were afraid to perform their duties “without having Stamped Paper as Directed by the Act of the Parliament of great Brittain (sic).” Joining the growing protest in the colonies, the presiding justices promised to dismiss the cases of attorneys who refused to proceed without stamped paper. The court dealt with colonists from all levels of society. The introduction spotlights the more interesting or unusual incidents found among the court orders issued during those years, including accounts of the court, assault, bastardy and incontinent living, church, the economy, home life, slaves, servants and apprentices, taxation, theft, and profanity. “In wills and deeds the genealogist can learn about his ancestors’ relatives and possessions; in court orders he can learn about his ancestors.” This chronological collection of court orders reaches into the everyday lives of 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.


 JoAnn Riley McKey


2012, 5½x8½, paper, index, 330 pp.

ISBN: 9780788454264