Amherst County, Virginia Genealogy

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Guide to Amherst County, Virginia ancestry, genealogy and family history, birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, and military records.

County Facts
County seat: Amherst
Organized: May 1, 1761
Parent County(s): Albemarle
Neighboring Counties
Appomattox  • Bedford  • Campbell  • Lynchburg (Independent City)  • Nelson  • Rockbridge
See County Maps
Location Map
Location of Amherst County, Virginia.png

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Amherst County is located in the Piedmont region near the center of the Commonwealth of Virginia[1] and was named in honor of Lord Jeffery Amherst, British Commander-in-Chief.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Amherst County Courthouse
113 Taylor Street
Amherst, Virginia, 24521
Phone: 434-946-9351
Amherst County Website

Clerk Circuit Court has marriage, divorce, probate court and land records from 1761[3]

Amherst County, Virginia Record Dates[edit | edit source]

Information for this chart was taken from various sources, often containing conflicting dates. This information should be taken as a guide and should be verified by contacting the county and/or the state government agency.

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[4]
Birth Marriage Death Court Land Probate Census
1853 1761 1853 1761 1761 1761 1810
* Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1912.
General compliance year is unknown.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

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

Boundary Changes[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:[8]

Unincorporated communities
  • Riverville
  • Stapleton
Census-designated places

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

1st Baron Amherst

The county was named after Field Marshal Jeffery Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst (1717-1797). Amherst conquered what is now Canada for the British during the French and Indian War.[9]

Resources[edit | edit source]

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

For databases and indexes, see Virginia Bible Records.

Biographies[edit | edit source]

Business, Commerce, and Occupations[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Amherst County, Virginia online and in print
Tombstone Transcriptions Online
Tombstone Transcriptions in Print (Often more complete)
List of Cemeteries in the County
See Virginia Cemeteries for more information.

Census Records[edit | edit source]

For databases, indexes, and information online, see Virginia Census.

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1790 13,703
1800 16,801 22.6%
1810 10,548 −37.2%
1820 10,423 −1.2%
1830 12,071 15.8%
1840 12,576 4.2%
1850 12,699 1.0%
1860 13,742 8.2%
1870 14,900 8.4%
1880 18,709 25.6%
1890 17,551 −6.2%
1900 17,864 1.8%
1910 18,932 6.0%
1920 19,771 4.4%
1930 19,020 −3.8%
1940 20,273 6.6%
1950 20,332 0.3%
1960 22,953 12.9%
1970 26,072 13.6%
1980 29,122 11.7%
1990 28,578 −1.9%
2000 31,894 11.6%
2010 32,353 1.4%
Source: ""

1783 Enumeration

1785 Enumeration

1890 Union Veterans

Church Records[edit | edit source]

List of Churches and Church Parishes


  • 1776 Petition of Baptists (10,000 names!) and sympathizers from all over Virginia, dated 16 October 1776, asking for an end to persecution of Baptists by the established church. After locating your ancestor, view the digital copies.
    – Digital copies at Library of Congress; also at Library of Virginia using the code word "000606093"
    – Hall, Jean Pickett. "Legislative Petitions: the 10,000 name petition" transcription in the Magazine of Virginia Genealogy, Vols. 35-38, with annotations in Vol. 39, (Richmond, Virginia: Virginia Genealogical Society, 1983-) online at Ancestry ($) and in book form at various libraries.

Early Baptist churches (with years constituted):

  1. Buffaloe River (by 1771).[10][11] Edwards published a membership list dated 1771 in Materials Towards a History of the Baptists... (1772), 66.
  2. Ebenezer (1773)[10]

Amherst County fell within the bounds of the Albemarle Association.

Church of England
Gotoarrow.png See also Amherst Parish
Gotoarrow.png See also Lexington Parish Meade's 1861 history of parishes in Amherst County is online at: Internet Archive[12]

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Online Court Indexes and Records

Chancery Court

  • Amherst County Chancery Suits. By Lenora Higginbotham Sweeny. The William and Mary Quarterly, Second Series, Vol. 19, No. 3 (Jul., 1939), pp. 318-324. Online at: JSTOR ($). Loose chancery papers, also discusses Sweeny's discovery of Amherst's Revolutionary-era court order book.
  • Indexed images of Amherst County, Virginia Chancery Records 1773-1879 are available online through Virginia Memory: Chancery Records Index. Additional records are also available at the Amherst County Courthouse. These records, often concerned inheritance disputes and contain a wealth of genealogical information.[13]

County Court

  • Amherst County Chancery Suits. By Lenora Higginbotham Sweeny. The William and Mary Quarterly, Second Series, Vol. 19, No. 3 (Jul., 1939), pp. 318-324. Online at: JSTOR ($). Loose chancery papers, also discusses Sweeny's discovery of Amherst's Revolutionary-era court order book.

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

For databases and immigrant groups, see Virginia Emigration and Immigration

  • List of imported servants and transported convicts from Europe who served labor terms in Colonial Virginia are online at: Immigrant Servants Database.

Ethnic, Political, and Religious Groups[edit | edit source]

African American

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Compiled Genealogies by Surname


Compiled Genealogies for Multiple Families:

  • Hardesty, H.H., James S. Presgraves, Jay Cregger, and Diane Neeley. Amherst County Families and History: Compiled from Henry Hardesty's Historical and Geographical Encyclopaedia. Wytheville, Va.: J. Presgraves, 1995. FHL Book 975.5496 D2h
  • Heinegg, Paul. Free African Americans of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland and Delaware. 2005-present. - free online book. Ailstock, Ampey, Arnold, Beverly, Brannum, Clark, Coy, Evans, Ferrar, Fields, Fortune, Hailstock, Hartless, Humbles, Jackson, Jenkins, Johns, Key, Lansford, Lantor, Mallory, Mason, Peters, Pinn, Redcross, Sneed, Thomas, Valentine, and Viers families of pre-1820 Amherst County, Virginia.
  • Pritchett, John W. Southside Virginia Genealogies. CD-ROM. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 2007. Free online index, courtesy: Virginians - The Family History of John W. Pritchett. [Includes information about residents of Amherst County, see discussion of cited sources.] FHL US/CAN CD-ROM no. 3887.
  • Seaman, Catherine Hawes Coleman. Tuckahoes and Cohees: The Settlers and Cultures of Amherst and Nelson Counties 1607-1807. Sweet Brier, Va.: Sweet Briar College Printing Press, 1992. FHL Book 975.549 H2sc

Guardianship[edit | edit source]

Land and Property Records[edit | edit source]

For land indexes, records, and databases, see Virginia Land and Property, including Colonial and State Land Grants.

Online Land Indexes and Records

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]


Maps and Gazetteers[edit | edit source]

County and state maps, historical and more current, are valuable research tools. For map collections, online and in libraries, see Virginia Maps.

Lynchburg (Independent City)Campbell CountyAppomattox CountyNelson CountyAugusta CountyRockbridge CountyBedford CountyVA AMHERST.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

French and Indian War

  • Gleanings of Virginia History: An Historical and Genealogical Collection, Largely from Original Sources. By William F. Boogher. 2007. Baltimore : Genealogical Pub. Co. Online at: Internet Archive; At various libraries (WorldCat). 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 Amherst County, see p. 104.
  • Virginia's Colonial Soldiers. By Lloyd DeWitt Bockstruck. 1988. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co. Available at FHL US/CAN Book 975.5 M2bL. Online at: Ancestry ($). Identifies some Amherst County veterans; see place name.

Revolutionary War

  • "Petition by the Men of the Amherst County, Virginia Militia who fought at the Battle of Camden," transcribed by James Lynch.
  • A Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Services: With their Names, Ages, and Places of Residence, as Returned by the Marshals of the Several Judicial Districts, Under the Act for Taking the Sixth Census. 1841. Washington : Blair and Rives. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library, Internet Archive, Ancestry ($); At various libraries (WorldCat). See Virginia, Eastern District, Amherst County on page 128.
  • Amherst County. By Lenora Higginbotham Sweeny. The William and Mary Quarterly, Second Series, Vol. 9, No. 4 (Oct., 1929), p. 324. Online at: JSTOR ($). List, found in private papers, which appears to identify payments made to Amherst County residents for Revolutionary War provisions.
  • Index to Revolutionary Pension and Bounty-Land Documents at the Library of Virginia. 2012. Compiled by C. Leon Harris. Online at: Library of Virginia.
  • 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 Book 973 M24ur; digital version at Ancestry ($). Includes veterans. Virginia section begins on page 238.
  • Virginia Militia in the Revolutionary War: McAllister's Data. By J. T. McAllister. c1913. Hot Springs, Virginia : McAllister Pub. Co. Online at: Hathitrust, Internet Archive; At various libraries (WorldCat).

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

- 6th Virginia Regiment
- 10th Virginia Regiment

War of 1812
Amherst County men served in the 90th Regiments.[14]

  • 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... 1883. Washington, D.C : Government Printing Office. Online at: Internet Archive, Ancestry ($). See Vol. 5, Virginia, Amherst County, p. 61.
  • Roster of War of 1812, Southside, Virginia. By James L. Douthat. 2007. Signal Mountain, Tenn : Mountain Press. Mountain Press provides online surname list. At various libraries (WorldCat).

Civil War

Civil War service men in Amherst County 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 here:

- 2nd Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate). Company E (Amherst Mounted Rangers)
- 19th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company H (The Southern Rights Guard) and Company I (The Amherst Rifles).[15]
- 20th Battalion, Virginia Heavy Artillery (Confederate). Company D.[16]
- 49th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company B (Amherst Rough and Readys) were presumably from Amherst County.[17]
- 50th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company F (Pedlar Mills Guard).[18]

Records and histories are available, including:

World War II

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Online Naturalization Indexes and Records

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

For online newspaper resources, see the Virginia Newspapers page.

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.

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]


  • A Calendar of Legislative Petitions Arranged by Counties Accomac - Bedford (Virginia State Library). By H.J. Eckenrode. 1908. Richmond, Virginia : Davis Bottom, Superintendent of Public Printing. Online at: Google Books. Amherst County petitions (1775-1856) are described on pp. 107-132.

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

For probate records, indexes, and databases, see Virginia Probate Records.

Online Probate Indexes and Records

School Records[edit | edit source]

Social Security Records[edit | edit source]

Tax Records[edit | edit source]

For additional online collections and the value and use of Virginia's tax lists in your research, see Virginia Taxation.

Online Tax Indexes and Records

Online Amherst County, Virginia Tax Lists
Type Index Images
Free FHC Fee Free FHC Fee
Personal Property 1782 - 1782 1782
Personal Property 1783 - 1783 1783
Personal Property - 1784 1784
Personal Property - 1785 1785
Personal Property - 1786 1786
Personal Property - 1787 1787
Personal Property - 1788 1788
Personal Property - 1789 1789
Personal Property 1790 - 1790 1790 1790
Personal Property - 1791 1791
Personal Property - 1792 1792
Personal Property - 1793 1793
Personal Property - 1794 1794
Personal Property - 1795 1795
Personal Property - 1796 1796
Personal Property - 1797 1797
Personal Property - 1798 1798
Personal Property 1799 - 1799 1799 1799
Personal Property - 1800 [ 1]|[ 2]|[ 3]|[ 4] - 1800 1800
Personal Property 1801 - 1801 1801 1801
Personal Property - 1802 1802
Personal Property - 1803 1803
Personal Property - 1804-1851 -


  • 1782 Personal Property Tax List. Online at Genealogy Trails.
  • 1782-1803 Amherst County Personal Property Tax Lists 1782-1803 (images). CD available at: Binns Genealogy ($).
  • 1782-1822 Amherst County Personal Property Tax List 1782-1822. By Paul Heinegg. Online at: Amherst County Personal Property Tax List 1782-1822.
  • 1783 Personal Property (or Land) Tax List, 1783. Online at: Revolutionary War Service.
  • 1787 The 1787 Census of Virginia: An Accounting of the Name of Every White Male Tithable Over 21 Years, the Number of White Males Between 16 & 21 Years, the Number of Slaves over 16 & Those Under 16 Years, Together with a Listing of Their Horses, Cattle & Carriages, and Also the Names of All Persons to Whom Ordinary Licenses and Physician's Licenses Were Issued. By Netti Schreiner-Yantis and Florene Speakman Love. c1987. Springfield, Virginia : Genealogical Books in Print. At various libraries (WorldCat). Amherst County is included in Vol. 1.
  • 1790, 1799 Personal Property Tax Lists of Amherst County, Virginia. Online at: Binns Genealogy.
  • 1800 Amherst County, Virginia, 1800 Tax List. The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 5, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1961):80-84; Vol. 5, No. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1961):125-130; Vol. 5, No. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 1961):155-160; Vol. 6, No. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 1962):18-22. FHL 975.5 B2vg. CD available at: New England Ancestors ($).
  • 1800 Tax List, 1800. Bedford Genealogical Society Newsletter, Vol. 9, No. 2 (May 1998); Vol. 9, No. 3 (Aug. 1998); Vol. 9, No. 4 (Nov. 1998).
  • 1815 1815 Directory of Virginia Landowners (and Gazetteer). By Roger D. Ward. c1997. Athens, Georgia: Iberian Pub. Co. FHL 975 E4w. At various libraries (WorldCat).

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

For additional indexes, databases, and details, see Virginia Vital Records.

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

Listed below are archives in Amherst County. For state-wide facilities, see Virginia Archives and Libraries.

Family History Centers[edit | edit source]

Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries

  • 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 Affiliate Libraries

Libraries[edit | edit source]

Listed below are libraries in Amherst County. For state-wide library facilities, see Virginia Archives and Libraries.

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in Amherst County. For state-wide genealogical and historical societies, see Virginia Societies.

Websites[edit | edit source]

  • FamilySearch Catalog – The FamilySearch catalog contains descriptions and access information for all genealogical materials (including books, online materials, microfilm, microfiche, and publications) in their collection.  Use Historical Records to search for specific individuals in genealogical records.

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Iowa.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Iowa.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  5. Virginia: Individual County and Independent City Chronologies; Copyright The Newberry Library 2003; Accessed (September 23, 2021)
  6. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Virginia.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  7. Virginia: Individual County and Independent City Chronologies; Copyright The Newberry Library 2003; Accessed (September 23, 2021)
  8. Wikipedia contributors, "Amherst _ County,_Virginia," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Virginia#Communities accessed 7 November 2019.
  9. Wikipedia Contributors, "Amherst County, Virginia," in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia,,_Virginia, accessed 13 January 2012.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Robert Baylor Semple and George William Beale, A History of the Rise and Progress of the Baptists in Virginia (Pitt and Dickinson, 1894), 221. Digital versions at FamilySearch Digital Library, Internet Archive.
  11. Morgan Edwards, Materials Towards a History of the Baptists in the Provinces of Maryland Virginia North Carolina South Carolina Georgia (1772). Digitized by SCDL Collections - free.
  12. 12.0 12.1 William Meade, Old Churches, Ministers and Families of Virginia, 2 vols. (Philadelphia: J.B. Lippincott and Co., 1861). Online at Internet Archive: Vol. I and Vol. II.
  13. "Virginia Memory: Chancery Records Index Availability," Library of Virginia (accessed 26 January 2010).
  14. Stuart Lee Butler, A Guide to Virginia Militia Units in the War of 1812 (Athens, Ga.: Iberian Pub. Co., 1988), 47. FHL Book 975.5 M2bs.
  15. Ervin L. Jordan and Herbert A. Thomas, 19th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1987). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 33.
  16. Tracy Chernault and Jeffrey C. Weaver, 18th and 20th Battalions of Heavy Artillery (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1995). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 113.
  17. Richard B. Kleese, 49th Virginia Infantry (Appomattox, Va.: H.E. Howard, 2002). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 138.
  18. John C. Chapla, 50th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1997). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 129.