Albemarle Parish, Virginia
Albemarle Parish was a pre-Revolutionary War Episcopal parish that reflected the political and civil dominance of the Church of England in the affairs of Virginia at the time. Albemarle Parish should not be confused with Albemarle County.
James City County, Virginia was created in 1634 as one of Virginia's eight original shires, and was located on both sides (north and south) of the James River. Then Surry County was created in 1652 from the part of James City County that was south (southwest) of the river.
When Surry County was created, it contained two parishes which formerly had been part of James City County. These were Lawne's Creek Parish, formed in 1640, and Southwark Parish, formed in 1647.
In 1732, part of Surry County was added to Brunswick County. Then, in 1738, Lawne's Creek and Southwark Parishes were restructured. This resulted in the area north of the Blackwater River being called Southwark Parish, and the area south of the Blackwater River being given the new name of Albemarle Parish.
Sussex County was formed in 1754 (some sources say 1753) from the part of Surry County that was south of the Blackwater River. This left Surry County as being located north of the Blackwater and as a part of Southwark Parish. The new county of Sussex was in Albemarle Parish. In fact, all of Albemarle Parish was then located in Sussex County.
This, then, means that between 1738 and 1754, Albemarle Parish was in Surry County. Then, from 1754 until the parishes were abolished around the time of the Revolutionary War, Albemarle Parish was in Sussex County.
- 1738 "from those parts of Lawne's Creek and Southwark parishes that lay southwest of Blackwater River"
The original Vestry Book for Albemarle Parish is extant, although it does not begin until 16 Nov 1742. Some earlier pages are missing. Parish register records including births and deaths, as well as christenings and their sponsors, are readily available in published form.
- Boddie, John Bennett. Births, Deaths and Sponsors, 1717 - 1778 from the Albemarle Parish Register of Surry and Sussex Counties, Virginia. 1958; Reprint, Baltimore: Clearfield, 1998. FHL Book 975.556 K2b 1998; digital version at World Vital Records ($).
- "Notes from Albemarle Parish Register, Sussex County, Va.," The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 14, No. 1 (Jul., 1905), pp. 1-6. FHL Book 973 H25w; digital version at JSTOR ($).
- Richards, Gertrude R.B. Register of Albemarle Parish, Surry and Sussex Counties, 1739-1778. Richmond, Va.: The National Society of Colonial Dames of America in the Commonwealth of Virginia, 1958. FHL Book 975.556 K2rg
- Freddie Spradlin, "Parishes of Virginia," VAGenWeb, accessed 29 January 2011; Hening's Statutes at Large; Emily J. Salmon and Edward D.C. Campbell Jr., The Hornbook of Virginia History (Richmond: Library of Virginia, 1994).
- Eve S. Gregory, "Notes on Surry County, Virginia, History," VAGenWeb.