Henrico County, Virginia Court Order Book, 1710-1714


Henrico County, Virginia Court Order Book, 1710-1714.

Benjamin Weisiger. 


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.