Nelson County, Virginia Genealogy

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Guide to Nelson County Virginia ancestry, family history, and genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, immigration records, and military records.


Nelson County, Virginia
Map
Boundary map of Nelson County, Virginia
Map of Virginia highlighting Nelson County
Location in the state of Virginia, United States Genealogy
Map of the U.S. highlighting Virginia
Location of Virginia in the U.S.
Facts
Founded 1807
County Seat Lovingston
Courthouse
VirginiaNelsonCourthouse.jpg


County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Nelson County is located in the West-Central portion of the Commonwealth of Virginia and was named for the third Governor of Virginia, Thomas Nelson, Jr[1].

Nelson County, Virginia Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Nelson County Courthouse
P.O. Box 10
84 Courthouse Square, 1st Floor
Lovingston, VA 22949-0010
Phone: 804-263-4069

Clerk Circuit Court has marriage, divorce, probate,
court and land records from 1808[2]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[3]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1853 1808 1853 1808 1808 1808 1810
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1912.
General compliance year is unknown.

Nelson County, Virginia History[edit | edit source]

Thomas Nelson.JPG

The county is named after Virginia Governor Thomas Nelson (1738-1789), a signer of the Declaration of Independence.

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1807--Nelson County was created 25 December 1807 from Amherst County.
County seat: Lovingston [4]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

For animated maps illustrating Virginia county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Virginia County Boundary Maps" (1617-1995) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.

  • Lost census: 1890

Nelson County, Virginia Places/Localities[edit | edit source]

Populated Places[edit | edit source]

For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:[5]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places


Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Albemarle | Amherst | Appomattox | Augusta | Buckingham | Rockbridge

Resources[edit | edit source]

African Americans[edit | edit source]

Search the Library of Virginia's Virginia Untold collection for digitized records related to African Americans of Nelson County.

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

Images of the Virginia Historical Society's family Bible collection have been digitized:


Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county
Findagrave.com Family History Library Findagrave.com
VAInterment WorldCat Billion Graves
VAGenWeb Archives
Tombstone Project
Virginia Gravestones
Billion Graves
See Virginia Cemeteries for more information.

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1810 9,684
1820 10,137 4.7%
1830 11,254 11.0%
1840 12,287 9.2%
1850 12,758 3.8%
1860 13,015 2.0%
1870 13,898 6.8%
1880 16,536 19.0%
1890 15,336 −7.3%
1900 16,075 4.8%
1910 16,821 4.6%
1920 17,277 2.7%
1930 16,345 −5.4%
1940 16,241 −0.6%
1950 14,042 −13.5%
1960 12,752 −9.2%
1970 11,702 −8.2%
1980 12,204 4.3%
1990 12,778 4.7%
2000 14,445 13.0%
2010 15,020 4.0%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

1890 Union Veterans

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Church of England[edit | edit source]

Gotoarrow.png See also Amherst Parish

Meade's 1861 history of parishes in Nelson County is available online.[6]

Court[edit | edit source]

Library of Virginia's Virginia Memory: Chancery Records Index can be used to search digital images of Nelson County chancery records for the years 1808-1912.

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

Compiled Genealogies by Surname


A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Compiled Genealogies for Multiple Families

  • Nelson County Heritage Book Committee. Nelson County, Virginia Heritage, 1807-2000. Summersville, W. Va.: S.E. Grose and the Nelson Book Committee, 2001. FHL Book 975.5493 H2n

Land and Property[edit | edit source]

Grants and Patents

Land patents (pre-1779), land grants (after 1779) and surveys are available online at the Library of Virginia website. For step-by-step instructions on retrieving these records, read the Virginia Land and Property article.


Local Histories[edit | edit source]

  • Coincon, J.B. Colonial History of Nelson County, 1734-1807. Amherst, Va.: Amherst Publishing Co., Inc. Digital version at FamilySearch Digital Library.

Maps[edit | edit source]

Augusta CountyAlbemarle CountyBuckingham CountyAppomattox CountyAmherst CountyRockbridge CountyVA NELSON.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Military[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War[edit | edit source]
  • 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, Nelson County on page 132.]
  • 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.]
War of 1812[edit | edit source]

Nelson County men served in the 28th Regiment.[7]

  • Douthat, James L. Roster of War of 1812, Southside, Virginia. Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press, 2007. Free online surname index and purchase details at Mountain Press website. FHL Collection 975.5 M2djL. [Includes Nelson County.]
  • 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, Nelson County, pp. 91-92. Identifies War of 1812 veterans living in this county in 1883.]
Civil War[edit | edit source]

Regiments. Service men in Nelson County, Virginia Genealogy served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in Nelson County, Virginia Genealogy:


Confederate

- 5th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate).
- 8th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate). Company B (Nelson Rangers).[8]
- 19th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company D (The Howardsville Grays), Company G (The Nelson Grays), and Company I (The Amherst Rifles).[9]
- 49th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company C (New Market Volunteers), Company F (Ewell Guards), Company H (Fauquier Guards), and Company K (Crowder's Company).[10]
- 51st Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Companies B (Nelson Rifles) and E (Wythe Rifles).[11]
- 56th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Companies D (Buckingham Yancey Guards) and F (Louisa Nelson Grays).[12]
- Nelson Light Artillery, (Confederate)

Union

- 2nd Regiment, Maryland Infantry, Potomac Home , Company D 

Records and histories are available, including:

World War II[edit | edit source]

Miscellaneous Records[edit | edit source]

Naturalization[edit | edit source]

Virginia Naturalization Petitions, 1906-1929

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

The Virginia Newspapers Project identifies local Nelson County, Virginia Genealogy newspapers.


Occupations[edit | edit source]

  • 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 Lovington silversmiths.]

Private Papers[edit | edit source]

Virginia, Historical Society Papers, 1607-2007

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

Taxation[edit | edit source]

Online Nelson County, Virginia Tax Lists
Type Index Images
Free FHC Fee Free FHC Fee
Personal Property - - - - 1809-1850 -

How can Virginia tax lists help me?

  • [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. Nelson County is included in Vol. 1.]

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Indexes to Nelson 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. See also How to order Virginia Vital Records

Birth[edit | edit source]
Marriage[edit | edit source]
Divorce[edit | edit source]
Death[edit | edit source]
Vital Record Substitutes[edit | edit source]

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


Nelson County, Virginia Genealogy Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Libraries

Nelson County, Virginia Genealogy Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. https://sites.rootsweb.com/~vanelson/
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Nelson County, Virginia. Page 718 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Nelson County, Virginia . Page 710-723 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 715-720.
  4. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Nelson_ County,_Virginia," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson_County,_Virginia#Communities accessed 19 February 2020.
  6. William Meade, Old Churches, Ministers and Families of Virginia, 2 vols. (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott and Co., 1861). Digital versions at Internet Archive: Vol. I and Vol. II.
  7. Stuart Lee Butler, A Guide to Virginia Militia Units in the War of 1812 (Athens, Ga.: Iberian Pub. Co., 1988), 149. FHL Book 975.5 M2bs.
  8. Jack L. Dickinson, 8th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1986). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 25.
  9. Ervin L. Jordan and Herbert A. Thomas, 19th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1987). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 33.
  10. Richard B. Kleese, 49th Virginia Infantry (Appomattox, Va.: H.E. Howard, 2002). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 138.
  11. James A. Davis, 51st Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1984). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 9.
  12. William A. Young Jr. and Patricia C. Young, 56th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1990). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 63.
  13. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/3/37/Igivirginia.pdf.