Montgomery County, Virginia Court Orders, 1777-1788: From Order Books 1, 2, 3 and other sources


Montgomery County, Virginia Court Orders, 1777-1788: From Order Books 1, 2, 3 and other sources.

Karen Wagner Treacy. 

From the author's Intruduction:
This work includes three volumes of Montgomery County Court Orders, which are not numbered in chronological order. Montgomery County was formed from Fincastle County in 1777. Fincastle’s records are contained in the first half each of two volumes. Montgomery County records commence sequentially at the end of Fincastle’s records, as the second half of volume 2, 1777-1782, ending with a note “The minutes from this period until August 1782 are not [ ] this office [ ]”. Volume 3 covers the period 1778-1780. Next we return to the second half of the first volume of Fincastle records, which covers 1785-1788, leaving a gap between 1782 and 1785, and an overlap between 1780 and 1782. Further complicating this picture is the presence of a completely detached portion of a minute book and docket from 1779, located in the archives of the Virginia State Library. Where is the rest of that volume?

In this work the three volumes are given in approximate chronological order, with volume 2 as Part One, volume 3 as Part Two, and volume 1 as part Three. The fourth portion of this work is Additional Material, including the partial minute book/docket mentioned above, grand jury presentments, warrants and other documents pertaining to some of the cases, and the minutes, from the Draper manuscripts, of a joint session of Montgomery and Botetourt Courts for the trials of suspected Tories.

I have reproduced the original spelling, abbreviations, formatting and tone of the original as best I could, although I have omitted doubled words and added some punctuation and capitalized all personal names in the minute books. The additional material I chose to reproduce as found.

A large part of these minutes consists of lawsuits. There are very few clues to identify participants in the majority of suits, which are generally styled only by surnames. I have chosen to give only the names of the participants. In some cases a paragraph of ‘boilerplate’ accompanies the entry, in more cases there is just a notice of the principals. Rather than transcribe the details of continuances, writs of alias and pluvias capias, pleas, conditional judgments and so forth, I truncated them to a very few details (verdicts in jury trials, judgments involving property rather than money, points of law). However, all names mentioned in the proceedings are included in context (special bail, garnishees, jurymen, witnesses)......