Nelson County, Virginia Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Lovingston
Organized: 01 Jun 1808[1]
Parent County(s): Amherst
Neighboring Counties
Albemarle  • Amherst  • Appomattox  • Augusta  • Buckingham  • Rockbridge
See County Maps
Courthouse
VirginiaNelsonCourthouse.jpg
Location Map
Location of Nelson County, Virginia.png
Adoption

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.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Nelson County Courthouse
84 Courthouse Square/PO Box 514
Lovingston, VA 22949-0514
Phone: 434-263-7040
Nelson County Website

Clerk Circuit Court has marriage, divorce, probate, court and land records from 1808[3]

Nelson 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 1808 1853 1808 1808 1808 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 census: 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]

Thomas Nelson.JPG

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]

  • 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.]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Nelson 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.
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

  • 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 this county.

Church Records[edit | edit source]

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Church of England
Gotoarrow.png See also Amherst Parish Meade's 1861 history of parishes in Nelson County is available online.[8]

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Online Court Indexes and Records
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.

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 Americans

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

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[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

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]

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

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.

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

Migration[edit | edit source]

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, 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 Book 973 M24ur; digital version at Ancestry ($). Includes veterans. Virginia section begins on page 238.


War of 1812

  • 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.]

Regiments. Nelson County men served in the 28th Regiment.[9]

Civil War

Regiments. Civil War service men in Nelson 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:

Confederate

- 5th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate).
- 8th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate). Company B (Nelson Rangers).[10]
- 19th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company D (The Howardsville Grays), Company G (The Nelson Grays), and Company I (The Amherst Rifles).[11]
- 49th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company C (New Market Volunteers), Company F (Ewell Guards), Company H (Fauquier Guards), and Company K (Crowder's Company).[12]
- 51st Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Companies B (Nelson Rifles) and E (Wythe Rifles).[13]
- 56th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Companies D (Buckingham Yancey Guards) and F (Louisa Nelson Grays).[14]
- Nelson Light Artillery, (Confederate)

Union

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

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.

Obituaries[edit | edit source]

Other Records[edit | edit source]

Voting Records[edit | edit source]

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 Nelson County, Virginia Tax Lists
Type Index Images
Free FHC Fee Free FHC Fee
Personal Property - - - - 1809-1850 -
  • 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.]
  • 1809-1830 Tax Digests at Virginia Pioneers ($)

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

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in Nelson 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]

  1. Newberry
  2. Wikipedia contributors, in Nelson County, Virginia, accessed 12 March 2021.
  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. Newberry
  6. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Iowa.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  7. Wikipedia contributors, "Nelson_ County,_Virginia," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson_County,_Virginia#Communities accessed 19 February 2020.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Jack L. Dickinson, 8th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1986). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 25.
  11. Ervin L. Jordan and Herbert A. Thomas, 19th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1987). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 33.
  12. Richard B. Kleese, 49th Virginia Infantry (Appomattox, Va.: H.E. Howard, 2002). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 138.
  13. James A. Davis, 51st Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1984). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 9.
  14. William A. Young Jr. and Patricia C. Young, 56th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1990). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 63.