Powhatan County, Virginia Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Powhatan
Organized: 01 Jul 1777[1]
Parent County(s): Chesterfield
Neighboring Counties
Amelia  • Chesterfield  • Cumberland  • Goochland  • Henrico
See County Maps
Location Map
Location of Powhatan County, Virginia.png

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Powhatan County is located in the central portion of the Commonwealth of Virginia, 20 miles west of the state capital, Richmond. It was named in honor of the Indian Chief Powhatan, father of Pocahontas.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Powhatan County Courthouse
3880 Old Buckingham Road
Powhatan, VA 23139-0037
Phone: 804-598-5660
Powhatan County Website

Clerk Circuit Court has marriage, divorce, probate, court and land records from 1777[3]

Powhatan 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 1777 1853 1777 1777 1777 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]

Chief Powhatan (c1545-c1618)

The county is named after Chief Powhatan (c1545-c1618).

Many descendants of early Virginia French Huguenot families lived in this area.

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 Powhatan 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 6,822
1800 7,769 13.9%
1810 8,073 3.9%
1820 8,292 2.7%
1830 8,517 2.7%
1840 7,924 −7.0%
1850 8,178 3.2%
1860 8,392 2.6%
1870 7,667 −8.6%
1880 7,817 2.0%
1890 6,791 −13.1%
1900 6,824 0.5%
1910 6,099 −10.6%
1920 6,552 7.4%
1930 6,143 −6.2%
1940 5,671 −7.7%
1950 5,556 −2.0%
1960 6,747 21.4%
1970 7,696 14.1%
1980 13,062 69.7%
1990 15,328 17.3%
2000 22,377 46.0%
2010 28,046 25.3%
Source: "Wikipedia.org"

1783 Enumeration

Census takers uncharacteristically recorded the birth town or county of residents this census year.[8]

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

Early Baptist churches (with years constituted):

  1. Muddy Creek (1774)[9]
  2. Powhatan (1771)[9]

Powhatan County fell within the bounds of the Middle District Association.

Church of England

Court Records[edit | edit source]

Online Court Indexes and Records

Chancery Court

  • Indexes (1782-1938) and images (1782-1913) to Powhatan County, Virginia Chancery Records are available online through Virginia Memory: Chancery Records Index. These records, often concerned with inheritance disputes, contain a wealth of genealogical information.

Directories[edit | edit source]

Emigration and Immigration[edit | edit source]

For databases and immigrant groups, see Virginia Emigration and Immigration

  • Coldham, Peter Wilson. "Intercepted Letters Relating to America, 1777-1811" The Genealogist, Vol. 14, No. 2 (Fall 2000):184-200. [Overseas contacts of a resident of Powhattan Co. with the following surname: Mayo.]

During the War of 1812, American officials reported finding a total of 5 British aliens, some of whom had families, living in Powhatan County.[10]

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

African American

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogies[edit | edit source]

Compiled Genealogies by Surname
See Powhatan County, Virginia Compiled Genealogies or jump to a surname using the alphabet bar for a list of 100+ published surname genealogy books and articles.


Compiled Genealogies for multiple families

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.

Richmond (Independent City)Henrico CountyChesterfield CountyAmelia CountyCumberland CountyGoochland CountyVA POWHATTAN.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

  • Clay, Robert Y. "Some Delinquent Taxpayers 1787-1790," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 20, No. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 1976):269-274. Available at FHL; digital version at American Ancestors by NEHGS ($). These records identify migrants who left the county and often their intended destinations. Powhatan County's 1787 Delinquent List appears on p. 271.

Military Records[edit | edit source]

French and Indian War

  • Bockstruck, Lloyd DeWitt. Virginia's Colonial Soldiers. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1988. Available at FHL. Online at: Ancestry ($). Identifies some Powhatan County veterans; see place name index.

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, Powhatan 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.

Regiments. Powhatan County residents' participation in the Revolutionary War.[11]

War of 1812

  • Douthat, James L. Roster of War of 1812, Southside, Virginia. Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press, 2007. Mountain Press provides online surname list. FHL Collection 975.5 M2djL. Includes Powhatan 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, Powhatan County, pp. 98-99. Identifies War of 1812 veterans living in this county in 1883.

Regiments. Powhatan County men served in the 102nd Regiment.[12]

Civil War

Regiments. Civil War service men in Powhatan 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:
*Information about the Companies that served from Powhatan County can be found at:
(1) FHL book 975.5612 H2c titled Powhatan: A Bicentennial History, pages 240-268 and 504-507
(2) FHL book 975.5 M2vr v. 29 titled A Guide to Virginia Military Organizations 1861-1865

- 1st Regiment, Virginia Reserves (Confederate) (Company I)
- 4th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate). Company E.
- 20th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company D (Powhatan Rifles).[13]
- 59th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate)
- Powhatan Artillery (Confederate)

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]

Private Papers

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

  • 1782-1817 Heinegg, Paul. "Powhatan County Personal Property Tax List, 1782-1817," Free African Americans.com. [Heinegg abstracted free blacks listed in these records.]
  • 1782, 1784 Powhatan County Tax List 1782 and 1784.
  • 1783 Powhatan County, VA - Census - 1782 Taxlist; index online at USGenWeb Archives - free.
  • 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. Available at FHL. [The source of this publication is the 1787 personal property tax list. Powhatan County is included in Vol. 2.]
  • 1787 Clay, Robert Y. "Some Delinquent Taxpayers 1787-1790," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 20, No. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 1976):269-274. Available at FHL; digital version at American Ancestors by NEHGS ($). [These records identify migrants who left the county and often their intended destinations. Powhatan County's 1787 Delinquent List appears on p. 271.]
  • 1787-1789 Powhatan County Tax List 1787-1789.
  • 1790, 1801 Indexed images of the 1790 and 1801 Personal Property Tax Lists of Powhatan County, Virginia are available online, courtesy: Binns Genealogy.
  • 1800 County Tax List, 1800, Virginia Genealogist. Falmouth VA: Apr 2005. Vol. 49 Iss. 2.
  • 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. Powhatan County is included in Vol. 1.]
  • 1816, 1818 Insolvents and Removals, 1816, 1818, Southside Virginian. Richmond VA: Jul 1983. Vol. 1 Iss. 4; online at Internet Archive - 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 Powhatan 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 Powhatan County. For state-wide library facilities, see Virginia Archives and Libraries.

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in Powhatan 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]

  • "A Guide to the Counties of Virginia: Powhatan County," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 20, No. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1976):210-212-214. Available at American Ancestors by NEHGS ($).

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Newberry
  2. http://www.powhatanva.gov/317/About-Powhatan
  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, "Powhatan_ County,_Virginia," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powhatan_County,_Virginia#Communities accessed 19 February 2020.
  8. Alycon Trubey Pierce, "In Praise of Errors Made by Census Enumerators," National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 81, No. 1 (March 1993):51-55. FHL Book 973 B2ng
  9. 9.0 9.1 Robert Baylor Semple and George William Beale, A History of the Rise and Progress of the Baptists in Virginia (Pitt and Dickinson, 1894), 254. Digital version at Google Books.
  10. Kenneth Scott, British Aliens in the United States During the War of 1812 (Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1979), 320-333. FHL Book 973 W4s; digital version at Ancestry ($).
  11. J.T. McAllister, Virginia Militia in the Revolutionary War: McAllister's Data (Hot Springs, Va.: McAllister Pub. Co., 1913), 39-40. Digitized by Internet Archive.
  12. Stuart Lee Butler, A Guide to Virginia Militia Units in the War of 1812 (Athens, Ga.: Iberian Pub. Co., 1988), 172. FHL Book 975.5 M2bs.
  13. G.L. Sherwood and Jeffrey C. Weaver, 20th and 39th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, c1994). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 105.