Caroline County, Virginia Genealogy
|Caroline County, Virginia|
Location in the state of Virginia
Location of Virginia in the U.S.
|County Seat||Bowling Green|
- 1 County Courthouse
- 2 History
- 3 Places/Localities
- 4 Resources
- 4.1 Getting Started
- 4.2 Research Guides
- 4.3 African American
- 4.4 Bible Records
- 4.5 Cemeteries
- 4.6 Census
- 4.7 Church
- 4.8 Court
- 4.9 Genealogy
- 4.10 Immigration
- 4.11 Land
- 4.12 Local Histories
- 4.13 Maps
- 4.14 Migration
- 4.15 Military
- 4.16 Naturalization
- 4.17 Newspapers
- 4.18 Occupations
- 4.19 Officials
- 4.20 Private Papers
- 4.21 Probate
- 4.22 Taxation
- 4.23 Vital Records
- 5 Societies and Libraries
- 6 Websites
- 7 References
Caroline County, Virginia
P O Box 309
Bowling Green, Virginia 22427
This county was named after Queen Caroline of Brandenburg-Ansbach, also known as simply Caroline of Ansbach (1683-1737), consort of King George II of Great Britain. The reason for this choice as to the county's name was because the county was organized in 1728 on the basis of a legislative act of 1727, the year that George assumed the throne.
After the county's formation, additional land was added to Caroline County in 1742 and 1762 from King and Queen County.
Most antebellum probate and land records have been lost (especially during the Civil War) and, of those that are extant, many of those are scattered among the Virginia State Archives, the Caroline County Circuit Court, and the Circuit Court for the City of Fredericksburg. Postbellum land and probate records can be presumed to be housed at the Caroline County Courthouse. For a general assessment of the status of Caroline County's early records, see the following:
- Historical Connections to Caroline County (see bottom of page; RootsWeb)
Other record losses:
- Lost censuses: 1790, 1800, 1890
Weisiger abstracted a valuable source that includes deed, will, and marriage information about Caroline County, Virginia Genealogy residents:
- Weisiger, Benjamin B. Burned County Data 1809-1848 As Found in the Virginia Contested Election Files. Richmond, Va., 1986. FHL Book 975.5 P2w.
The following are the only two incorporated towns in the county:
For unincorporated populated places, see the following:
- Caroline County Information (Home Town Locator)
Compiled genealogies are a good place to start research for this area, see Caroline County, Virginia Genealogy.
If you are researching families who lived in Caroline County, Virginia between the 1760s and 1790s, 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.
- 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 Caroline County, see p. 55]
- Davis, Virginia Lee Hutcheson. "Research Opportunities in Caroline County," The Virginia Genealogical Society Newsletter, Vol. 18, No. 3 (May-June 1992):1-3. FHL Collection; digital version at Virginia Genealogical Society website.
- Dorman, John Frederick. "A Guide to the Counties of Virginia: Caroline County," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 7, No. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 1963):30-33. FHL Collection; digital version at American Ancestors ($).
Freedmen's Bureau Letters or Correspondence, 1865-1872
Caroline County, Virginia Genealogy cohabitation records are available online.
Images of the Virginia Historical Society's family Bible collection have been digitized:
- Virginia Historical Society Papers, 1607-2007 - browse collection at FamilySearch; free.
Additional Bible records include:
For a list with provision for eventual inclusion of addresses, phone numbers, and external links, see Caroline County, Virginia Cemeteries.
The following is a list of cemeteries in Caroline County. Note that this is not an exhaustive list:
General information (with links to specific cemeteries):
- Caroline County Cemeteries (ePodunk)
- Collins, Herbert Ridgeway.Cemeteries of Caroline County, Vol. 3: Private Cemeteries. Heritage Books, 2007 (covers about 170 cemeteries). Google Books page
- Tombstone Transcription Project Caroline County (cemetery transcriptions and photos; USGenWeb)
For tips on accessing Caroline County, Virginia Genealogy census records online, see: Virginia Census.
Census (transcriptions and indices) (Caroline County U.S. GenWeb Archives)
- Turner, Ronald Ray. Virginia's Union Veterans: Eleventh Census of the United States 1890. Available online, courtesy: Prince William County Virginia website. [Includes residents of this county.]
- Bethesda Church (RootsWeb)
- Liberty Baptist Chuirch (RootsWeb)
- Upper Zion Baptist Church (RootsWeb)
- Zoar Church (RootsWeb)
Church of England
- Bell, James Pinkney Pleasant. Our Quaker Friends of Ye Olden Time: Being in Part a Transcript of the Minute Books of Cedar Creek Meeting, Hanover County, and the South River Meeting, Campbell County, Va. Lynchburg, Va.: J.P. Bell Company, 1905. Available at FHL; digital version at Google Books (full-view).
- Court (transcriptions and abstracts) (Caroline County U.S. GenWeb Archives)
- Indexed images of Caroline County, Virginia Chancery Records 1787-1849 are available online through Virginia Memory: Chancery Records Index. Additional records are available at the Caroline County Courthouse. These records, often concerned with inheritance disputes, contain a wealth of genealogical information.
- Reddy, Anne Waller. Suit -- Brown vs. Brown: Chancery Court Records in Caroline County, Virginia. 1950?. MSS., available at FHL. [Rene (René, Rainey, or Renney) Parsons Brown of Caroline County was sued by John Brown of Franklin County.]
District Court of Fredericksburg
The District Court of Fredericksburg and later the Superior Court of Chancery had jurisdiction over certain Caroline 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.]
See also Historic Court Records for indexes of Apprentice Records, Clerk's Order Books, Court Records, Free Negro / Slave records, Inquests, Marriage Records, Mayor's Court, Military Records & Wills.
Superior Court of Chancery
See District Court of Fredericksburg
More than 175 genealogies have been published about Caroline County families. To view a list, visit Caroline County, Virginia Genealogy.
- List of imported servants and transported convicts from Europe who served labor terms in Colonial Caroline County, Virginia (work in progress), courtesy: Immigrant Servants Database.
- Deeds (transcriptions and indices) (Caroline County U.S. GenWeb Archives)
- Sparacio, Ruth Trickey and Sam Sparacio. Caroline County, Virginia County Surveys, 1729-1762, and Proceedings of Committee of Safety, 1774-1776. McLean, Virginia: Antient Press, 1997. Available at FHL.
Grants and Patents
- Gray, Gertrude E. Virginia Northern Neck Land Grants 1694-1742. Vol. I. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1987. Available at . [Includes Caroline County residents.]
- Hudgins. 371 patents dated 1650-1752 in what is now Caroline County, Virginia placed on a map. DeedMapper. [Names of those who received land patents, dates, land descriptions, and references may be viewed free of charge (click "Index" next to the county listing); however, in order to view the maps, it is necessary to purchase Direct Line Software's DeedMapper product.]
- Howe, Henry. "Caroline" (excerpt), Historical Collections of Virginia, pp. 214-215. Digital copy in Caroline County U.S. GenWeb Archives
- Letters and Journal Written by Reuben Ellis McDaniel to His Wife (RootsWeb)
- Wingfield, Marshall. A History of Caroline County: From Its Formation in 1727 to 1924. Richmond, Va.: Press of Trevvet Christian & Co., 1924. 1975 reprint available at FHL [2 copies] | Digital version at Ancestry ($) | Digital version at World Vital Records ($) | Review in The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 14, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1970):89 | Review available at FHL | Digital version at New England Ancestors ($). | Google Books page (no preview)
- Clay, Robert Y. "Some Delinquent Taxpayers 1787-1790," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 20, No. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 1976):29-34; Vol. 21, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1977):113-118. Available at FHL; digital version at New England Ancestors ($). [These records identify migrants who left the county and often their intended destinations. Some of Caroline County's 1789 Delinquent Lists appear on 20:29; 1787-1789 Delinquent Lists appear on 21:116-117.]
French and Indian War
- Bockstruck, Lloyd DeWitt. Virginia's Colonial Soldiers. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1988. Available at FHL. [Identifies some Caroline 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. Available at FHL; 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 Caroline County, see p. 69.]
- Caroline Men in the French and Indian War (RootsWeb)
Regiments. Service men in Caroline County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Caroline County supplied soldiers for the:
- Proceedings of the Committees of Safety of Caroline and Southampton Counties, Virginia, 1774-1776. Richmond, Virginia: Division of Purchase and Printing, 1929. FHL Collection
- Sparacio, Ruth Trickey and Sam Sparacio. Caroline County, Virginia County Surveys, 1729-1762, and Proceedings of Committee of Safety, 1774-1776. McLean, Virginia: Antient Press, 1997. FHL Collection
- 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 versions at U.S. Census Bureau and Google Books et. al. 1967 reprint: FHL Collection 973 X2pc 1840. [See Virginia, Eastern District, Caroline County on page 129.]
- Rejected or Suspended Applications for Revolutionary War Pensions. Washington, D.C., 1852. Reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1969, and 1991. Reprints include "an Added Index to States." FHL Collection 973 M24ur; digital version at Ancestry ($). [Includes veterans from this county; Virginia section begins on page 238.]
- Revolutionary War (pension affidavits) (Caroline County U.S. GenWeb Archives)
- Revolutionary War Soldiers from Caroline County (RootsWeb)
War of 1812
Caroline County men served in the 6th and 30th Regiments.
- 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 Book 973 M2Lp v. 5; digital versions at Google Books and Internet Archive. [See Vol. 5, Virginia, Caroline County, p. 66.]
- Sheads, Scott Sumpter: Guardian of the star-spangled banner : Lt. Colonel George Armistead and the Fort McHenry flag (Baltimore, Maryland: Toomey Press, 1999) pages 84 FHL Book 921.73 Ar55.
- George Armistead, son of John Armistead and Lucinda Baylor, was born in 1780 at Bowling Green, Caroline County, Virginia. George married Louisa Hughes, daughter of Christopher Hughes Sr., on 26 Oct 1810 in Baltimore. They had 3 children. He was the commanding officer of Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland on 13-14 Sep 1814. He kept the flag that was flying over the fort and passed it along to his descendants. In 1912, it was given as a gift to the Smithsonian National Museum. George died 25 Apr 1818 in Baltimore, Maryland.
- Virginia, Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers 1861-1865
- Virginia, Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers 1861-1865
Caroline County men most often served in regiments (and companies) from their home county. At times, however, individuals and small groups can be found serving in a regiment of a neighboring county. Later in the war, Confederate units often reorganized. Men from Caroline County can be found in the following regiments:
- Wingfield, Marshall. A History of Caroline County, Virginia. Baltimore: Regional Publishing Co., 1975. Pages 235-251 contain muster lists for the companies that served in these regiments from this county. FHL book 975.5362 H2w
- Wallace, Lee A. A Guide to Virginia Military organizations 1861-1865. Lynchburg: H. E. Howard, Inc., 1986. FHL book 975.5 M2vr v. 29
- Caroline County Confederate Pension Rolls, Veterans and Widows (Caroline County U.S. GenWeb Archives)
- Confederate Pensioners List for Caroline County 1909 (RootsWeb)
World War I
- Virginia Naturalization Petitions, 1906-1929
- The Caroline Progress, Bowling Green, VA (current newspaper)
- Virginia Gazette: 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.
- 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 Port Royal silversmiths.]
- Fisher, Therese. Skeletons in the Closet: 200 Years of Murders in Old Virginia; a Genealogical and Historical Resource. Bowie, Maryland: Heritage Books, 2001. Available at FHL. [Identifies Caroline County's sheriffs 1729-1780.]
Virginia, Historical Society Papers, 1607-2007
- [Campbell] Major, Mrs. Nettie Leitch. "Campbell Family Bible, Caroline County, Virginia," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 24, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1979):117-118. Available at FHL; digital version at New England Ancestors ($).
A free index to Caroline County, Virginia Genealogy wills and administrations (1742-1800) is available at the Library of Virginia website.
- Hopkins, William Lindsay. Some Wills from the Burned Counties of Virginia and Other Wills Not Listed in Virginia Wills and Administrations 1632-1800. Richmond, Virginia: W.L. Hopkins, 1987. Available at FHL. [Includes Caroline County.]
- Wills (transcriptions and indices) (Caroline County U.S. GenWeb Archives)
-  "Caroline County Personal Property List, 1783," William and Mary College Quarterly, 1st Series, Vol. 27 (1919):154-163. Available at FHL | Reprint in Virginia Tax Records. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1983, which is also available at FHL | Digital version at JSTOR ($) | Digital version in Caroline County U.S. GenWeb Archives
-  Fothergill, Augusta B. and John Mark Naugle. Virginia Tax Payers, 1782-87, Other Than Those Published by the United States Census Bureau. 1940; reprint, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1978. Available at FHL. [1783 personal property tax list of Caroline County.]
-  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. Caroline County is included in Vol. 1.]
- [1787-1789] Clay, Robert Y. "Some Delinquent Taxpayers 1787-1790," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 20, No. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 1976):29-34; Vol. 21, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1977):113-118. Available at FHL; digital version at New England Ancestors ($). [These records identify migrants who left the county and often their intended destinations. Some of Caroline County's 1789 Delinquent Lists appear on 20:29; 1787-1789 Delinquent Lists appear on 21:116-117.]
- [1789, 1799] Indexed images of the 1789 and 1799 Personal Property Tax Lists of Caroline County, Virginia are available online, courtesy: Binns Genealogy.
- [1789, 1799] Indexed images of the 1789 and 1799 Land Tax Lists of Caroline County, Virginia are available online, courtesy: Binns Genealogy.
-  "Caroline County, Virginia, 1800 Tax List," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 14, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1970):82-87; Vol. 14, No. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1970):112-116; Vol. 14, No. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 1970):155-159. Available at FHL; digital version at New England Ancestors ($).
-  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. Caroline County is included in Vol. 3.]
Indexes to Caroline County, Virginia Genealogy births, marriages, and deaths are available online. These collections are incomplete, but are easy to search. Most records can also be ordered electronically online as well. Courtesy: FamilySearch - free. See also How to order Virginia Vital Records
Beth Fridley has published the following indexes online at Ancestry:
- Caroline County, Virginia Births, 1859-68 (Except 1863). Available at Ancestry ($).
- Caroline County, Virginia Births, 1870-1880. Available at Ancestry ($).
- Caroline County, Virginia Births, 1881-96. Available at Ancestry ($).
- Fisher, Therese A. Marriages of Caroline County, Virginia, 1777-1853. Heritage Books, 1998. Google Books page (no preview)
- Collins, Herbert Ridgeway. Caroline County, Virginia: Bureau of Vital Statistics Death Records, 1853-1896. Heritage Books, 1999. Google Books page (no preview)
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
- Caroline County Genealogical Society, P.O. Box 9, Bowling Green, VA 22427
- Caroline Historical Society, P.O. 324, Bowling Green, VA 22427
- Caroline Library, 17202 Richmond Turnpike, Bowling Green, VA 22427
- Historic Port Royal (historical society)
- Tidewater Genealogical Society
Family History Centers
- Caroline County, Virginia USGENWEB
- Caroline County (Geography of Virginia)
- Caroline County Genealogy (Yahoo Group)
- Caroline County Genealogy Queries (Cousin Connect)
- Caroline County Information (Home Town Locator)
- Caroline County, Virginia (Wikipedia)
- Caroline County, Virginia Genealogy, Facts and Records Resources (n2genealogy)
- Caroline County, Virginia Genealogy Forum (GenForum)
- Caroline County, Virginia GenWeb (VA GenWeb)
- Caroline County, Virginia U.S. GenWeb Archives Project (different from Caroline County GenWeb, above)
- Family History Library Catalog
- National Register of Historic Places Listings in Caroline County, Virginia (Wikipedia)
- Profile for Caroline County, Virginia (includes information of direct genealogical relevance; ePodunk)
- Welcome to Caroline County, Virginia (official county site)
- Fredericksburg Family History Center
- Cyndi's List
- Wikipedia Contributors, "Caroline of Ansbach," in Wikipedia: The Free Online Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caroline_of_Ansbach, accessed 13 January 2012.
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
- John Frederick Dorman, "Review of Burned County Data 1809-1848," in The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 31, No. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 1987):60-61.
- USGS Map, Topozone.com
- "Virginia Memory: Chancery Records Index Availability," Library of Virginia (accessed 26 January 2010).
- J.T. McAllister, Virginia Militia in the Revolutionary War: McAllister's Data (Hot Springs, Va.: McAllister Pub. Co., 1913), 26-27. Digitized by Internet Archive.
- Stuart Lee Butler, A Guide to Virginia Militia Units in the War of 1812 (Athens, Ga.: Iberian Pub. Co., 1988), 64, 79. FHL Book 975.5 M2bs.