Franklin County, Virginia Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Rocky Mount
Organized: 01 Jan 1786[1]
Parent County(s): Bedford, Henry[2]
Neighboring Counties
Bedford  • Floyd  • Henry  • Patrick  • Pittsylvania  • Roanoke
See County Maps
Location Map
Location of Franklin County Virginia.png

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Franklin County lies in the western Piedmont of the Commonwealth of Virginia and was named for Benjamin Franklin, the Governor of Pennsylvania, where many settlers originated.[3]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Franklin County Courthouse
275 South Main Street, Suite 111
Rocky Mount, VA 24151-1758
Phone: 540-483-3060
Franklin County Website

Clerk Circuit Court has birth, marriage, death land and court records[4]

Franklin 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[5]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1853 1785 1853 1786 1786 1785 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.

  • Lost censuses: 1790, 1800, 1890

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:

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:[7]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places

History Timeline[edit | edit source]

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

The county was named for Benjamin Franklin.

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 Franklin 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 6,842
1800 9,302 36.0%
1810 10,724 15.3%
1820 12,017 12.1%
1830 14,911 24.1%
1840 15,832 6.2%
1850 17,430 10.1%
1860 20,098 15.3%
1870 18,264 −9.1%
1880 25,084 37.3%
1890 24,985 −0.4%
1900 25,953 3.9%
1910 96,480 271.7%
1920 26,283 −72.8%
1930 24,337 −7.4%
1940 25,864 6.3%
1950 24,560 −5.0%
1960 25,925 5.6%
1970 26,858 3.6%
1980 35,740 33.1%
1990 39,549 10.7%
2000 47,286 19.6%
2010 56,159 18.8%
Source: "".

1790 Lost, but a substitute is available, see Taxation.

1800 Lost, but a substitute is available, see Taxation.


  • Douthat, James L. 1840 Mountain Empire of Virginia Census. Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press, 2001. FHL Collection 975.5 X2d 1840. Free online surname index and purchase details at Mountain Press website. [Includes Franklin County.]

1890 Union Veterans

  • Virginia's Union Veterans: Eleventh Census of the United States 1890. By Ronald Ray Turner. FHL book 975.5 X2t 1890; film 1425065, item 14. Includes residents of this county.
  • 1890 Veterans Schedules of the U.S. Federal Census. Online at: Ancestry ($). Includes residents of this county.

Church Records[edit | edit source]

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Early Baptist churches (with years constituted):

  1. Bethel[8]
  2. Black Water (1804)[8]
  3. Chapel[8]
  4. Gill's Creek[8]
  5. Pig River (1773)[8]
  6. Snow Creek[8]
  7. Snow Creek and Pig River[8]

Franklin County fell within the bounds of the Strawberry Association.

Church of England
Gotoarrow.png See also Patrick Parish
Gotoarrow.png See also Russell Parish

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Online Court Indexes and Records

Chancery Court

  • 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.
  • Library of Virginia's Chancery Record Index can be used to search for Franklin County chancery records for the years 1787-1929. Digital images are available for records 1787-1912. Original records available through 1929 - see online catalog or contact Archives Research Services for availability. The Circuit Court Clerk's Office maintains additional unindexed post-1913 records.

County Court

  • Wingfield, Marshall. An Old Virginia Court: Being a Transcript of the Records of the First Court of Franklin County, Virginia, 1786-1789, with Biographies of the Justices and Stories of Famous Cases. Memphis: West Tennesee Historical Society, 1948. Available at FHL; additional index at FHL; digital version of original edition at Ancestry ($).

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

For databases and immigrant groups, see Virginia Emigration and Immigration

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

  • Heritage Book Committee and Franklin County Historical Society. Franklin County, Va. -- Heritage 2000, Full Name Indexed. Rocky Mount, Va.: Franklin County Historical Society, 2002. FHL US/CAN Large Q Book 975.568 H2f.
  • Wingfield, Marshall. Pioneer Families of Franklin County, Virginia. Berryville, VA: Chesapeake Book Co., 1964. FHL Collection 975.568 D2w; digital version at MyHeritage ($). Sketches of 60 families, including Cooper, Fishburn, Greer, Hancock, Saunders and Wingfield.[9]

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
An early settlers map is available for Franklin County. The cartographers plot the locations of pioneers from 1786-1886. Find the map for free online, as well as an alphabetical list of names. The Family History Library has a full-scale copy: FHL Map 975.568 E7h.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

  • Claiborne, John G. Franklin County, Virginia: Historical and Industrial -- Past, Present and Future. Rocky Mount, Va.: The County News Print. Co., 1926. Available at FHL; digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Wingfield, Marshall. Franklin County, Virginia: A History. Berryville, VA: Chesapeake Book Co., 1964. Available at FHL.

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.

Roanoke (Independent City)Salem (Independent City)Roanoke CountyMartinsville (Independent City)Henry CountyDanville (Independent City)Pittsylvania CountyBedford CountyPatrick CountyFloyd CountyMontgomery CountyVA FRANKLIN.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

  • 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 American Ancestors by NEHGS ($). [These records often identify migrants who left the county and their intended destinations. Franklin County's 1786 Delinquent List appears on p. 171.]
  • Elliott, Katherine B. Emigration to Other States from Southside Virginia. 2 vols. South Hill, Virginia: K.B. Elliott, 1966. Vol. 1 of original edition available at FHL; 1983 reprints (both volumes) available at FHL; 1990-1992 reprints (both volumes) also available at FHL. [Includes individuals who migrated out of Franklin County to other parts of the country.]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War

  • 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 et. al. 1967 reprint: FHL Collection 973 X2pc 1840. [See Virginia, Eastern District, Franklin County on page 130.]
  • 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.

War of 1812
Franklin County men served in the 42nd and 110th Regiments.[10]

  • 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, Franklin County, p. 80. Identifies War of 1812 veterans living in this county in 1883.]

Civil War

Regiments. Civil War service men in Franklin 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 D (Franklin Rangers).
- 10th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (1st Cavalry Regiment, Wise Legion (Confederate). Company K (Rosser's Mounted Rangers, Virginia Rangers, or Texas Rangers).[11]
- 21st Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate). Company G 2nd.[12]
- 24th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company B (Franklin Rifles) and Company D (Early Guards).[13]
- 37th Battalion, Virginia Cavalry (Dunn's Battalion, Partisan Rangers) (Confederate). Company A and Company G.[14]
- 42nd Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company K (Franklin Invincibles).[15]
- 47th Battalion, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate).[16]
- 57th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Companies B (Franklin Sharpshooters) and C (The Franklin Fireaters).[17]
- 58th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Companies D and E (Hale's Ford Franklin Guards).[18]

Naturalization and Citizenship[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

For online newspaper resources, see the Virginia Newspapers page.

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 the Virginia Gazette and other Virginia newspapers (1736-1803), see: The Geography of Slavery in Virginia.

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]


  • Watts, Dorothy C. "Petitions of Residents of Bedford and Henry Counties, Virginia, in Favor of and Opposed to a New County (Franklin)," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 24, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1980):83-89; Vol. 24, No. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1980):192-199. Available at FHL; digital version at American Ancestors by NEHGS ($).

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 Franklin County, Virginia Tax Lists
Type Index Images
Free FHC Fee Free FHC Fee
Personal Property 1786 - - - 1786
Delinquents - - 1786 - - -
Personal Property - - - - 1787 -
Personal Property - - - - 1788 -
Personal Property - - - - 1789 -
Personal Property - - - 1790 -
Personal Property - - - - 1791 -
Personal Property - - - - 1792 -
Personal Property - - - - 1793 -
Personal Property - - - - 1794 -
Personal Property - - - - 1795 -
Personal Property - - - - 1796 -
Personal Property - - - - 1797 -
Personal Property - - - - 1798 -
Personal Property - - - - 1799 -
Personal Property - - 1800 [ 1]|[ 2]|[ 3] - 1800 -
Personal Property - - - - 1801 -
Personal Property - - - - 1802 -
Personal Property - - - - 1803 -
Personal Property - - - - 1804-1829 -
Personal Property 1830 - - - 1830 -
Personal Property - - - - 1831-1839 -
Personal Property 1840 - - - 1840 -
Personal Property - - - - 1841-1850 -

How can Virginia tax lists help me?


  • 1786-1803 Franklin County Personal Property Tax Lists 1786-1803; images
  • 1786 Weaver, Jeffrey C. The 1786 Franklin County, Virginia Personal Property Tax List (New River Notes) - free.
  • 1786 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 American Ancestors by NEHGS ($). [These records often identify migrants who left the county and their intended destinations. Franklin County's 1786 Delinquent List appears on p. 171.]
  • 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. FamilySearch Catalog; [The source of this publication is the 1787 personal property tax list. Franklin County is included in Vol. 1.]
  • 1800 Tax List, 1800, Bedford Genealogical Society Newsletter, Vol. 8, No. 4 (Nov. 1997); Vol. 9, No. 1 (Feb. 1998).
  • 1800 Tax List, 1800, Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 22, No. 2 (Apr. 1978); Vol. 22, No. 3 (Jul. 1978); Vol. 22, No. 4 (Oct. 1978).
  • 1804-1821 Heinegg, Paul. "Franklin County Personal Property Tax List 1804-1821," Free African, available online. [Heinegg abstracted free blacks listed in these records.]
  • 1812 Tax Relief in 1812, Times of Franklin Before & After 1786. Rocky Mount VA: Jun 2007.
  • 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. Franklin County is included in Vol. 2.]
  • 1830 Persons with Taxable Property in Robert Hairston's District, 1830, Times of Franklin Before & After 1786. Rocky Mount VA: Aug 2004.
  • 1830 Personal Property Tax List, 1830, Virginia Appalachian Notes, Vol. 8, No. 1 (Feb. 1984); online at Roanoke Public Library - free.
  • 1840 Personal Property Tax List, 1840, Virginia Appalachian Notes, Vol. 9, No. 3 (Aug. 1985); online at Roanoke Public Library - free.

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 Franklin 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 Franklin County. For state-wide library facilities, see Virginia Archives and Libraries.

  • Franklin County Genealogical Society P O Box 316 Ferrum, Virginia 24088

Franklin County Historical SocietyWebsite

Bassett Historical Center, Bassett, Virginia.
Website includes descriptions of collections. Excellent resource for family history research in Henry, Patrick, Floyd, Franklin and Pittsylvania counties in Virginia, the city of Martinsville, Virginia, and Rockingham, Stokes and Surry counties in North Carolina.[19]

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in Franklin 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]

  • Sweeney, Alice J. "Bassett Historical Center," The Virginia Genealogical Society Newsletter, Vol. 28, No. 4 (Aug. 2002):1-3. Available at FHL; digital version at Virginia Genealogical Society website.

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Newberry
  2. Newberry
  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. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Iowa.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  6. Newberry
  7. Wikipedia contributors, "Franklin_ County,_Virginia," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Virginia#Communities accessed 8 January 2020.
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 8.6 Robert Baylor Semple and George William Beale, A History of the Rise and Progress of the Baptists in Virginia (Pitt and Dickinson, 1894), 338-339. Online at: FamilySearch Digital Library, Internet Archive.
  9. *Review of Pioneer Families of Franklin County, Virginia, in The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 8, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1964):85; FHL US/CAN Book 975.5 B2vg.
  10. Stuart Lee Butler, A Guide to Virginia Militia Units in the War of 1812 (Athens, Ga.: Iberian Pub. Co., 1988), 85. FHL Book 975.5 M2bs.
  11. Robert J. Driver, 10th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, c1992). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 87.
  12. John E. Olson, 21st Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, c1989). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 57.
  13. Ralph White Gunn, 24th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1987). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 34.
  14. J.L. Scott, 36th and 37th Battalions Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1986). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 24.
  15. John Chapla, 42nd Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1983). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 5.
  16. Richard L. Armstrong, 26th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1994). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 110.
  17. Charles W. Sublett, 57th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1985). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 21.
  18. Robert J. Driver, Jr. 58th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1990). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 68.
  19. Alice J. Sweeney, "Bassett Historical Center," The Virginia Genealogical Society Newsletter, Vol. 28, No. 4 (Aug. 2002):1-3, available online at: