Washington County, Virginia Minute Book 2, 2 January 1819-1821


From the introduction: Minute Book 2 of Washington County, Virginia contains such entries as: Names of court appointees and admin. of oaths, as needed (overseers of roads and schools, constables, for purposes of estate settlements and other business such as relating to ad quod damnums), jurors, etc.; guardian bonds; acknowledgements of deeds of emancipation, indentures of bargain and sale, indentures of trust, settlement of estates, inventories and appraisements, releases, mortgages, renunciation of dower rights, etc.; payments due from county; granting of certificates of probate; excuses from county levies and poor rates for infirmity; various legal causes/cases: In Debt, In Chancery, Motion on Forthcoming Bonds, In Detiner; Covenant, Attachments; appointments to view and appraise estates; fees for ordinary and house of entertainment licenses; recognizance bonds; assignments of dower; attestations relating to Revolutionary War and War of 1812 veterans; registration of Free Persons of Colour (FPCs), dismissal of causes/cases; cases designated for arbitration, appeals; certifications of ordination to perform marriage ceremonies, to practise as attorney in Washington County, Virginia, court opinions on criminal indictments (whether to dismiss or send to Circuit Superior Court of Law and Chancery), Grand Jury indictments, occasional depositions and other interesting information.

There is a great gap between approx. 1788 through 1818 in the Washington County minute books (and again 1822-1836). The "classical version" I have heard is that they were burned when the courthouse was burned in 1864; if this be the case, it is very fortunate that for some providential reason Minute Book "2" (which was likely about Minute Book 6 or 7 or so) detailing the years 1819-1821 survived. In order to supplement the valuable material lost in these lost or destroyed minute books, one can consult the execution books and the fee books and also newspapers such as The Political Prospect into which notices of causes in chancery were frequently published. The transcription or abstraction of these works is a very important effort remaining lacking in the work to be done on Washington County records.

Note: Every name mentioned in this minute book has been transcribed; in many instances the transcription is almost verbatim with some summaries, a few liberties for punctuation and capitalization, etc.

Jack Hockett and Donald Helton

2012, 8" x 10", every-name index, 227 pp.