Essex County, Virginia

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*Coldham, Peter Wilson. ''North American Wills Registered in London 1611-1857.'' Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2007. [Includes wills of residents of Clydeside and Essex County proved in London. Land in Tappahannock is also mentioned. These records often help establish an immigrant's place of origin.]  
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*[[Peter_Wilson_Coldham|Coldham, Peter Wilson]]. ''North American Wills Registered in London 1611-1857.'' Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2007. [Includes wills of residents of Clydeside and Essex County proved in London. Land in Tappahannock is also mentioned. These records often help establish an immigrant's place of origin.]  
 
*[http://www.immigrantservants.com/search/advancedResults.php?surname=&givenName=&varientSurnameSpellings=&gender=&dateOfBirthDay=&dateOfBirthMonth=&dateOfBirthQuantifier=&dateOfBirthYear=&placeOfBirthParish=&placeOfBirthTown=&placeOfBirthCity=&placeOfBirthCounty=&placeOfBirthColony=&placeOfBirthNation=&occupations=&religions=&orphan=&familyPosition=&immigrationYearQualifier=&immigrationYear=&portOfDepartureTown=&portOfDepartureCity=&portOfDepartureCounty=&portOfDepartureNation=&placeOfArrivalTown=&placeOfArrivalCounty=&placeOfArrivalColony=&shipName=&convict=&yearOfIndentureQualifier=&yearOfIndenture=&lengthOfIndentureYears=&lengthOfIndentureMonths=&yearOfFreedomQualifier=&yearOfFreedom=&placeOfIndentureTown=&placeOfIndentureCity=&placeOfIndentureCounty=Essex&placeOfIndentureColony=Virginia&agentSurname=&agentGivenName=&agentTitle=&masterSurname=&masterGivenName=&masterTitle=&residenceParish=&residenceTown=&residenceCity=&residenceCounty=&residenceColony=&residenceNation=&landowner=&literate=&spouseSurname=&spouseGivenName=&spouseMarriageDateDay=&spouseMarriageDateMonth=&spouseMarriageDateQualifier=&spouseMarriageDateYear=&spouseMarriageLocationParish=&spouseMarriageLocationCounty=&spouseMarriageLocationColony=&spouseMarriageLocationNation=&deathDateDay=&deathDateMonth=&deathDateQualifier=&deathDateYear=&deathLocality=&deathCounty=&deathColony=&deathState=&testate=&proofServantStatus=&proofConvictStatus=&headright=&preServitudeSources=&postServitudeSources=&comments=&family=&sourceCitations=&interestedResearchers= List of imported servants and transported convicts from Europe] who served labor terms in Colonial Essex County, Virginia (work in progress), courtesy: [http://www.immigrantservants.com Immigrant Servants Database].
 
*[http://www.immigrantservants.com/search/advancedResults.php?surname=&givenName=&varientSurnameSpellings=&gender=&dateOfBirthDay=&dateOfBirthMonth=&dateOfBirthQuantifier=&dateOfBirthYear=&placeOfBirthParish=&placeOfBirthTown=&placeOfBirthCity=&placeOfBirthCounty=&placeOfBirthColony=&placeOfBirthNation=&occupations=&religions=&orphan=&familyPosition=&immigrationYearQualifier=&immigrationYear=&portOfDepartureTown=&portOfDepartureCity=&portOfDepartureCounty=&portOfDepartureNation=&placeOfArrivalTown=&placeOfArrivalCounty=&placeOfArrivalColony=&shipName=&convict=&yearOfIndentureQualifier=&yearOfIndenture=&lengthOfIndentureYears=&lengthOfIndentureMonths=&yearOfFreedomQualifier=&yearOfFreedom=&placeOfIndentureTown=&placeOfIndentureCity=&placeOfIndentureCounty=Essex&placeOfIndentureColony=Virginia&agentSurname=&agentGivenName=&agentTitle=&masterSurname=&masterGivenName=&masterTitle=&residenceParish=&residenceTown=&residenceCity=&residenceCounty=&residenceColony=&residenceNation=&landowner=&literate=&spouseSurname=&spouseGivenName=&spouseMarriageDateDay=&spouseMarriageDateMonth=&spouseMarriageDateQualifier=&spouseMarriageDateYear=&spouseMarriageLocationParish=&spouseMarriageLocationCounty=&spouseMarriageLocationColony=&spouseMarriageLocationNation=&deathDateDay=&deathDateMonth=&deathDateQualifier=&deathDateYear=&deathLocality=&deathCounty=&deathColony=&deathState=&testate=&proofServantStatus=&proofConvictStatus=&headright=&preServitudeSources=&postServitudeSources=&comments=&family=&sourceCitations=&interestedResearchers= List of imported servants and transported convicts from Europe] who served labor terms in Colonial Essex County, Virginia (work in progress), courtesy: [http://www.immigrantservants.com Immigrant Servants Database].
  

Revision as of 20:21, 23 February 2012

United States  Gotoarrow.png  Virginia  Gotoarrow.png  Essex County

Tidewater county in the Northern Neck region of Virginia.

Location of Essex County, Virginia
Essex County Boundary Map

Contents

County Courthouse

Essex County Courthouse, Tappahannock, Va.

History

Parent County

1692--Essex County was created 16 April 1692 from Rappahannock (old) County.
County seat: Tappahannock [1]

Boundary Changes

Record Loss

  • Lost censuses: 1790, 1800, 1890

Places/Localities

Part of the Northern Neck region

Populated Places

Neighboring Counties

Resources

Getting Started

Compiled genealogies are a good place to start research for this area, see Essex County, Virginia Genealogy.

If you are researching families who lived in Essex County, Virginia between the 1690s and 1750s, the Sparacios' books are a great time saver. They comprehensively index several publications covering that period:

  • Sparacio, Ruth Trickey and Sam Sparacio. Surname Index of Antient Press Publications. 14+ vols. McLean, Va.: R. & S. Sparacio, Antient Press, 1993-. FHL Collection 975.5 P22s v. 1-2; publisher's website: Antient Press.

Research Guides

  • Davis, Virginia Lee Hutcheson. "Records of Tidewater Virginia Counties," Tidewater Virginia Families: A Magazine of History and Genealogy, Vol. 1, No. 2 (May-June 1992):53-66. FHL Collection 975.51 D25t [For Essex County, see p. 57]

African American

The original Register of Free Negroes, 1810-1861 for Essex County is kept at the County Courthouse. It has been microfilmed by the Library of Virginia FHL Collection 1929922 Item 6, 1929923 Item 1, and abstracted:

  • Davis, Virginia Lee Hutcheson. "Register of Free Blacks, 1810-1843, Essex County," Tidewater Virginia Families: A Magazine of History and Genealogy, Vol. 8, No. 3 (November/December 1999):179-187; Vol. 8, No. 4 (February/March 2000):247-251; Vol. 9, No. 1 (May/June 2000):50-55; Vol. 9, No. 2 (August/September 2000):118-121; Vol. 9, No. 3 (November/December 2000):188-191. FHL Collection 975.51 D25t

Additional Essex County African American resources include:

Cemeteries

Census

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1790 9,122
1800 9,508 4.2%
1810 9,376 −1.4%
1820 9,909 5.7%
1830 10,521 6.2%
1840 11,309 7.5%
1850 10,206 −9.8%
1860 10,469 2.6%
1870 9,927 −5.2%
1880 11,032 11.1%
1890 10,047 −8.9%
1900 9,701 −3.4%
1910 9,105 −6.1%
1920 8,542 −6.2%
1930 6,976 −18.3%
1940 7,006 0.4%
1950 6,530 −6.8%
1960 6,690 2.5%
1970 7,099 6.1%
1980 8,864 24.9%
1990 8,689 −2.0%
2000 9,989 15.0%
Source: "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau.
1890 Union Veterans

Church

Church of England

Gotoarrow.png See also North Farnham Parish
Gotoarrow.png See also Piscataway Parish
Gotoarrow.png See also St. Anne's Parish
Gotoarrow.png See also St. George's Parish
Gotoarrow.png See also St. Mary's Parish
Gotoarrow.png See also Sittenburne Parish
Gotoarrow.png See also South Farnham Parish

Court

County Court

Most Essex County, Virginia County Court Order Books have survived (starting in 1692). They have been abstracted from 1692 to 1729.[2]

Superior Court of Chancery

The Superior Court of Chancery of Fredericksburg (1802-1831) had jurisdiction over certain Essex County court cases. An index has been compiled:

  • Indexes of Court Records in the Clerk's Office, Fredericksburg, Virginia, 1782-1904. Original records, Fredericksburg City Courthouse, Fredericksburg, Va., microfilmed reproduction available at FHL. [Indexes the following records: District Court law book v. 8, 1782-1792; District Court law books 1790-1793, v. A-F 1789-1811; Superior Court of Law law order books v. G-H 1812-1831; Superior Court of Chancery chancery order books 1814-1831; Hustings Court orders v. A-O 1782-1871; Circuit Superior Court of Law and Chancery law order books v. A-E 1831-1875; Circuit Superior Court of Law and Chancery chancery order books v. A-D 1831-1872; Circuit Court chancery order books v. A2, B-C 1875-1904; Fredericksburg District Court (1789-1808) had jurisdiction over the following counties: Spotsylvania (including Fredericksburg), Caroline, King George, Stafford, Orange, and Culpeper; Superior Court of Chancery (1802-1831) had jurisdiction over the following localities: city of Fredericksburg and the counties of Caroline, Culpeper, Fauquier, Fairfax, Lancaster, Northumberland, Madison, King George, Orange, Prince William, Richmond, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Essex, and Westmoreland.]

Genealogy

More than 250 genealogies have been published about Essex County families. To view a list, visit Essex County, Virginia Genealogy.

Historic Residences

  • Woman's Club of Essex County (Virginia). Old Homes of Essex County. n.p.: Woman's Club of Essex County (Virginia), c1940, 1957. Available at FHL.

Immigration

Headright grants identify many Essex County, Virginia immigrants who arrived before 1720.[3] The Virginia Immigration article provides tips about using this source.

Additional resources include:


Land

Deeds

  • Fleet, Beverley. Essex County Records, 1703-1706. Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1961. Three copies available at FHL; digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Fleet, Beverley. Essex County Wills and Deeds, 1711-1714. Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1961. Three copies available at FHL; digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Fleet, Beverley. Essex County Wills and Deeds, 1714-1717. Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1961. Three copies available at FHL; digital version at Ancestry ($).

Grants and Patents

  • Gray, Gertrude E. Virginia Northern Neck Land Grants 1694-1742. Vol. I. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1987. Available at [1]. [Includes Essex County.]

Local Histories

  • Slaughter, James B. Settlers, Southerners, Americans: The History of Essex County, Virginia, 1608-1984. n.p.: Essex County Board of Supervisors, c1985 (1998). Available at FHL.
  • Warner, Thomas Hoskins. History of Old Rappanhannock County, Virginia, 1656-1692: With Introduction, 1608-1656, Including the Present Counties of Essex and Richmond and Parts of Westmoreland, King George, Stafford, Caroline and Spotsylvania Counties. Tappahannock, Virginia: P.P. Warner, 1965. Available at FHL.

Maps

Migration

  • Clay, Robert Y. "Some Delinquent Taxpayers 1787-1790," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 21, No. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1977):167-171. Available at FHL; digital version at New England Ancestors ($). [These records often identify migrants who left the county and their intended destinations. Essex County's 1788-1789 Delinquent Lists appear on pp. 169-170.]

Military

Colonial Militia
  • Bockstruck, Lloyd DeWitt. Virginia's Colonial Soldiers. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1988. Available at FHL. [Identifies some Essex County militia officers and/or soldiers; see place name index.]
  • Crozier, William Armstrong. Virginia Colonial Militia 1651-1776. Baltimore: Southern Book Co., 1954. Available at FHL; digital book at Ancestry ($). [Identifies some Essex County militia officers; see place name index.]
French and Indian War
  • Bockstruck, Lloyd DeWitt. Virginia's Colonial Soldiers. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1988. FHL Collection [Identifies some Essex County militia officers, soldier enlistments, and veterans; see place name index.]
  • Boogher, William F. Gleanings of Virginia History: An Historical and Genealogical Collection, Largely from Original Sources. Washington: n.p., 1903. FHL Collection; digital version at Google Books. [Includes a chapter titled "Legislative Enactments connecting the preceding historic sketch [French and Indian War, Lord Dunmore's War] with the adjudication of the resulting accounts that follow; with the list of officers, soldiers and civilians entitled to compensation for military and other services rendered." For Essex County, see p. 75.]
  • Crozier, William Armstrong. Virginia Colonial Militia 1651-1776. Baltimore: Southern Book Co., 1954. FHL Collection; digital book at Ancestry ($). [Identifies some Essex County militia officers; see place name index.]
Revolutionary War

Regiments. Service men in Essex County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Essex County supplied soldiers for the:

- 7th Virginia Regiment

Additional resources:

  • Stewart, Robert Armistead. "Essex Militia," [1781] The Researcher: A Magazine of History and Genealogical Exchange, Vol. 1, No. 4 (Jul. 1927):237. FHL Collection. [Taken from Auditor's Public Claim Papers, Virginia State Archives.]
  • A Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Services: With their Names, Ages, and Places of Residence, as Returned by the Marshalls of the Several Judicial Districts, Under the Act for Taking the Sixth Census]. 1841. Digital version at Google Books. 1967 reprint: FHL Collection 973 X2pc 1840. [See Virginia, Eastern District, Essex County on page 130.]
War of 1812
  • List of Pensioners on the Roll, January 1, 1883; Giving the Name of Each Pensioner, the Cause for Why Pensioned, the Post-Office Address, the Rate of Pension Per Month, and the Date of Original Allowance... Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1883. FHL Collection 973 M2Lp v. 5; digital versions at Google Books and Internet Archive. [See Vol. 5, Virginia, Essex County, pp. 77-78.]
Civil War

Civil War service men from Essex County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies or regiments that were formed from men of Essex County.

- 47th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate)
- 55th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate), Companies A, D, F, and G 
- 9th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate)

Newspapers

Indexed images of the Virginia Gazette (1736-1780) are available online through the Colonial Williamsburg website. In addition, Professor Tom Costa and The Rector and Visitors of the University of Virginia have created a database of all runaway advertisements for slaves, indentured servants, transported convicts, and ship deserters listed in this source and other Virginia newspapers (1736-1803), see: The Geography of Slavery in Virginia. These newspapers are valuable resources for all regions of Virginia.

Occupations

  • Cutten, George Barton. The Silversmiths of Virginia (together with Watchmakers and Jewelers) from 1694 to 1850. Richmond, Va.: The Dietz Press, Incorporated, 1952. Available at FHL. [Includes a section on Essex County (Ephesus Springs) silversmiths.]

Probate

Local Courts

  • Fleet, Beverley. Essex County Records, 1703-1706. Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1961. Three copies available at FHL; digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Fleet, Beverley. Essex County Wills and Deeds, 1711-1714. Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1961. Three copies available at FHL; digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Fleet, Beverley. Essex County Wills and Deeds, 1714-1717. Baltimore: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1961. Three copies available at FHL; digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Sweeny, William Montgomery. Wills of Rappahannock County, Virginia 1656 - 1692. [Lynchburg, Virginia?]: Mrs. W.M. Sweeny, 1947. Available FHL US/CAN Book 975.534 P2s and FHL US/CAN Film 1421588 Item 4. Digital version World Vital Records ($).

London Courts

  • Coldham, Peter Wilson. North American Wills Registered in London 1611-1857. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2007. [Includes wills of residents of Clydeside and Essex County proved in London. Land in Tappahannock is also mentioned. These records often help establish an immigrant's place of origin.]

Taxation

How can Virginia tax lists help me?

The original Essex County Personal Property Tax Lists are kept at the Library of Virginia. Microfilm copies for the years 1782 to 1852 are available at the Family History Library: FHL Films 2024527-2024529.

Published abstracts:

  • [1704] "Virginia Quit Rent Rolls, 1704," Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 28 (1920):207-218, 328-339; Vol. 29 (1921):18-28, 337-343, 402-412; Vol. 30 (1922):21-30, 280-285, 341-347; Vol. 31 (1923):70-75, 153-163, 215-231, 314-318; Vol. 32 (1924):69-75, 144-158, 281-287, 338-343; Vol. 33 (1925):47-50, 359-370; Vol. 34 (1926):113-119, 252-258, 313, 321. Available at FHL; reprinted in Virginia Tax Records. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1983, which is also available at FHL; digital version of VMHB at JSTOR ($). [Essex County appears in 33:359-370. "Thomas Leftwitch in Essex" appears on the King and Queen County list, see 32:151.]
  • [1704] Nicklin, John Bailey Calvert. "Essex County: An Annotated Copy of the Rent Roll of 1704," William and Mary College Quarterly, 2nd Series, Vol. 21 (1941):397-405. Available at FHL; reprinted in Virginia Tax Records. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1983, which is also available at FHL; digital version of W&MQ at JSTOR ($).
  • [1715] Nicklin, John Bailey Calvert. "Quit Rent Roll of 1715 - Essex County, Va.," William and Mary College Quarterly, 2nd Series, Vol. 18 (1938):203-206. Available at FHL; reprinted in Virginia Tax Records. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1983, which is also available at FHL; digital version at JSTOR ($).
  • [1741] Sweeny, William Montgomery. "True and Exact Poll of the Election of Burgesses, Essex County, Va., November 20, 1741," William and Mary College Quarterly, 2nd Series, Vol. 22 (1942):54-60. Available at FHL; reprinted in Virginia Tax Records. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1983, which is also available at FHL; digital version at JSTOR ($).
  • [1782-1819] Heinegg, Paul. "Essex County Personal Property Tax List 1782-1819," Free African Americans.com, available online. [Heinegg abstracted free blacks listed in these records.]
  • [1787] Schreiner-Yantis, Netti and Florene Speakman Love. The 1787 Census of Virginia: An Accounting of the Name of Every White Male Tithable Over 21 Years, the Number of White Males Between 16 & 21 Years, the Number of Slaves over 16 & Those Under 16 Years, Together with a Listing of Their Horses, Cattle & Carriages, and Also the Names of All Persons to Whom Ordinary Licenses and Physician's Licenses Were Issued. 3 vols. Springfield, Va.: Genealogical Books in Print, 1987. Available at FHL. [The source of this publication is the 1787 personal property tax list. Essex County is included in Vol. 2.]
  • [1788-1789] Clay, Robert Y. "Some Delinquent Taxpayers 1787-1790," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 21, No. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1977):167-171. Available at FHL; digital version at New England Ancestors ($). [These records often identify migrants who left the county and their intended destinations. Essex County's 1788-1789 Delinquent Lists appear on pp. 169-170.]
  • [1790, 1800] Indexed images of the 1790 and 1800 Personal Property Tax Lists of Essex County, Virginia are available online, courtesy: Binns Genealogy.
  • [1815] Ward, Roger D. 1815 Directory of Virginia Landowners (and Gazetteer). 6 vols. Athens, Georgia: Iberian Pub. Co., 1997-2000. Available at FHL. [The source for this publication is the 1815 land tax. Essex County is included in Vol. 3.]

Vital Records

Marriage
  • Wilkerson, Eva Eubank. Index to Marriages of Old Rappahannock and Essex Counties, Virginia, 1655-1900. Richmond, VA, USA: Clearfield Co., 1953. Available at FHL; 1983 reprint available at FHL; digital version at Ancestry ($); and World Vital Records ($).
Vital Record Substitutes

The Virginia Historical Society's Marriage and Obituary Index, 1736-1820 (newspaper abstracts) is available for free online. Images of the original index cards are browseable, arranged alphabetically by surname.


Societies and Libraries

 

Family History Centers


Websites

References

  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. Sparacio
  3. John Frederick Dorman, "Review of Cavaliers and Pioneers," in The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 24, No. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1980):221. Digital version at American Ancestors ($). FHL Book 975.5 B2vg v. 24 (1980)