Russell County, Virginia Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Lebanon
Organized: 01 May 1786[1]
Parent County(s): Washington
Neighboring Counties
Buchanan  • Dickenson  • Scott  • Smyth  • Tazewell  • Washington  • Wise
See County Maps
Courthouse
VirginiaRussellCourthouse.jpg
Location Map
Location of Russell County, Virginia.png
Adoption

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Russell County is located in the southwestern area of the Commonwealth of Virginia and was named for Colonel William Russell.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Russell County Courthouse
53 East Main Street
PO Box 65
Lebanon, VA 24266
Phone: 276-889-8051
Russell County Website

Clerk Circuit Court has marriage records from 1853, divorce and court records from 1786, probate records from 1803 and land records from 1787[3]

Russell 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 1853 1853 1786 1787 1803 1810
* Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1912.
General compliance year is unknown.

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

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]

Towns
Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places


History Timeline[edit | edit source]

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 Russell 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 3,338
1800 4,808 44.0%
1810 6,319 31.4%
1820 5,536 −12.4%
1830 6,714 21.3%
1840 7,878 17.3%
1850 11,919 51.3%
1860 10,280 −13.8%
1870 11,103 8.0%
1880 13,906 25.2%
1890 16,126 16.0%
1900 18,031 11.8%
1910 23,474 30.2%
1920 26,786 14.1%
1930 25,957 −3.1%
1940 26,627 2.6%
1950 26,818 0.7%
1960 26,290 −2.0%
1970 24,533 −6.7%
1980 31,761 29.5%
1990 28,667 −9.7%
2000 30,308 5.7%
2010 28,897 −4.7%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

1790 Lost, but a subsitute is available, see Taxation.
1800 Lost, but a subsitute is available, see Taxation.
1810 Lost, but a subsitute is available, see Taxation.

1820

  • Sutherland, Elihu Jasper. Russell County, Virginia, Census of 1820. Clintwood, Va.: unknown, 1940. FHL; digital version at Ancestry ($).

1840

  • 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. 1967 reprint: FHL Collection 973 X2pc 1840. [See Virginia, Western District, Russell County on page 136.]
  • 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 Russell County.]

1850
Census takers uncharacteristically recorded the birth town or county of residents this census year.[9]

1860

1870

1880

1890 Union Veterans

Church Records[edit | edit source]

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Baptist
Early Baptist churches (with years constituted):

  1. Castlewoods (1806)[10]
  2. Copper Creek (1808)[10]
  3. Glade Hollows (1788)[10]
  4. Russel (1805)[10]
  5. Stony Creek (1802)[10]

Russell County fell within the bounds of the Holston and Mountain Associations.

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 Russell County chancery records for the years 1840-1933. The index can also be used to search for records up until 1960 - for entries marked "original," see online catalog or contact Archives Research Services for availabilty. Most post-1913 chancery records are unindexed and available at the Circuit Court Clerk's Office.
  • Chancery records, 1948-present, housed in the courthouse
  • Court records, pre-1948, held at the Library of Virginia in preparation for microfilming
  • Russell County Court Records (transcriptions and document scans; Russell Co. GenWeb)
  • Russell County Declarations of Intention (Russell Co. GenWeb)

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]

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

  • Albert, Ethel Evans. Southwest Virginia in. 3 vols. Kingsport, Tenn., 1977. FHL Book 975.57 D2a. Contents: v. 1. A Genealogical and historical account of the Evans, Ferrell, Kelly, Counts, Stinson and related families -- v. 2. Genealogical and historical records of Russell County and Southwest Virginia families; Hendricks, Gibson, Garrett, Nash, Heburn, Buckles -- v. 3. Honaker, Deskins and related families.
  • Smith, Gregg A. Genealogical Notes Concerning the Smith Family of Russell County, Va. Donated 1987. Available at Virginia Historical Society. Includes Arington, Artrip, Barks, Booth, Combs, Edwards, Finney, Glover, Grizzle, Hopkins, Johnson, Jones, Kiser, Larson, Lockhart, Martin, Mayfield, Musick, Nash, Pigman, Powers, Rasnake, Stinson, Sutherland, Sykes, Wallace, and Woolfe families.[11]
  • The Heritage of Russell County, Virginia. 2 vols. Russell County Heritage Book Committee, c1985, c1989. FHL Large Q Books 975.5755 D3h v. 1-v. 2.
  • Russell County Pedigree Charts and Family Group Sheets (Russell Co., VA GenWeb)
  • Russell County, Virginia Biographies (Russell Co., VA GenWeb)
  • Russell County, Virginia Families (links to information regarding a number of specific families; Russell Co. GenWeb)

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.

Grants and Patents
Online Land Indexes and Records
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.*Anderson. 699 patents dated 1782-1912 in what is now Russell and Tazewell Counties, Virginia placed on a map. DeedMapper. 2007. [Names of those who received land patents, dates, land descriptions, and references may be viewed free of charge (click "Index" next to the county listing); however, in order to view the maps, it is necessary to purchase Direct Line Software's DeedMapper product.]

  • Russell County Land Grants & Surveys (Russell Co. GenWeb)
  • Sims, Edgar Barr. Sims Index to Land Grants in West Virginia. [Springfield, Virginia]: Genealogical Books in Print, c1992. Available at FHL. [Includes Russell County, Virginia.]

Deeds

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Russell County Lookups (Russell Co. GenWeb)

  • Albert, Ethel Evans. Southwest Virginia Kin, Vol. 1.
  • Chafin, Andrew. Russell County (Images of America series). Charleston, SC: Arcadia, 2008. Google Books page | WorldCat page
  • The Heritage of Russell County, Virginia 1786-1986, 2 vols. Russell County Heritage Book Committee, 1989. Google Books page | WorldCat page
  • Sutherland, Elihu J. Pioneer Recollections of Southwest Virginia.

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.

Bristol (Independent City)Washington CountySmyth CountyTazewell CountyBuchanan CountyDickenson CountyWise CountyScott CountyVA RUSSELL.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Tom Rudder produced a map of the "First Land Owners in Castles Woods (Russel County, Virginia)," which as published in The Appalachian Quarterly, Vol. 11, No. 1 (Mar. 2006):59-62. FHL Book 975.5743 D25a v. 12. Rudder's map includes supporting documentation.

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Pre-Revolutionary War


Revolutionary War


War of 1812

  • 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, Russell County, p. 102. Identifies War of 1812 veterans living in this county in 1883.]

Regiments. Russell County men served in the 72nd Regiment.[12]

Civil War

Regiments. Civil War service men in Russell 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 State Line (Cavalry) (Confederate). Companies A, E, and H.
- 13th Battalion, Virginia Reserves (Confederate). Company G.[13]
- 16th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate). Company A and Company B.[14]
- 21st Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate). Company E 1st.[15]
- 22nd Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Bowen's Virginia Mounted Riflemen) (Confederate). Company A, Company D, Company E, Company I, and Company K.
- 29th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company A.[16]
- 37th Battalion, Virginia Cavalry (Dunn's Battalion, Partisan Rangers) (Confederate). Company K.[17]
- 37th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company C, Company G, and Company I (New Garden Fearnots).[18]
- 48th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company C (Russell Guards).[19]


World War I

  • Military discharge records from World War I and later are housed in the courthouse


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]

Private Papers

Periodicals[edit | edit source]

Watauga Association of Genealogists Bulletin
Genealogical articles with abstracts of Russell County, Virginia records have been published in the Watauga Association of Genealogists Bulletin (39+ vols., 1972-present), the journal of the Watauga Association of Genealogists. The organization has posted tables of contents for most volumes on their website. Back issues are available for purchase. The Family History Library has a complete collection FHL US/CAN Books 976.897 B2w, including Margaret W. Hougland and Betty Jane Hylton's Bulletin Subject Index: The First Thirty Years, 1972-2001 (Johnson City, Tenn.: Watauga Association of Genealogists, 2002) FHL US/CAN Book 976.897 B2w index 1972-2001.

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 Russell County, Virginia Tax Lists
Type Index Images
Free FHC Fee Free FHC Fee
Personal Property 1787, 1787 part - - - 1787 1787
Land 1787 - - - - -
Personal Property 1788 - - - 1788 1788
Land 1788, 1788 - - - - -
Personal Property 1789, 1789 - - 1789 1789 1789
Land 1789 - - - - -
Personal Property 1790, 1790 - - 1790 1790 1790
Land 1790, 1790 - - - - -
Personal Property 1791 - - - 1791 1791
Land 1791, 1791 - - - - -
Personal Property 1792 - - - 1792 1792
Land 1792, 1792 - - - - -
Personal Property 1793 - - - 1793 1793
Land 1793, 1793 - - - - -
Personal Property - - - - 1794 1794
Land 1794, 1794 - - - - -
Personal Property 1795 - - - 1795 1795
Land 1795, 1795 - - - - -
Personal Property 1796 - - - 1796 1796
Land 1796, 1796 - - - - -
Personal Property 1797 - - - 1797 1797
Land 1797 - - - - -
Personal Property 1798 - - - 1798 1798
Land 1798 - - - - -
Personal Property 1799 - - - 1799 1799
Land 1799 - - - - -
Personal Property 1800 - - - 1800 1800
Land 1800 - - - - -
Personal Property 1801, 1801 - - 1801 1801 1801
Land 1801 - - - - -
Personal Property 1802 - - - 1802 1802
Land 1802 - - - - -
Personal Property 1803 - - - 1803 1803
Land 1803 - - - - -
Personal Property - - - - 1804 1804
Land 1804 - - - - -
Personal Property - - - - 1805 1805
Land 1805 - - - - -
Personal Property - - - - 1806 1806
Land 1806 - - - - -
Personal Property - - - - 1807 1807
Land 1807 - - - - -
Personal Property 1809 - - - 1809 1809
Land 1809 - - - - -
Personal Property 1810 - - - 1810 1810
Land 1810 - - - - -
Personal Property - - - - 1811 1811
Land 1811 - - - - -
Personal Property - - - - 1812 1812
Land 1812 - - - - -
Personal Property - - - - 1813 1813
Land 1813 - - - - -
Personal Property - - - - 1814 1814
Land 1814, 1814 - - - - -
Personal Property - - - - 1815 1815
Land 1815 - - - - -
Personal Property - - - - 1816 1816
Land 1816 - - - - -
Personal Property - - - - 1817 1817
Land 1817 - - - - -
Personal Property - - - - 1818 1818
Land 1818 - - - - -
Personal Property - - - - 1819 -
Personal Property - - - - 1820 -
Personal Property 1821 - - - 1821 -
Personal Property - - - - 1822 -
Personal Property - - - - 1823 -
Personal Property 1824 - - - 1824 -
Personal Property - - - - 1825-1850 -

Bibliography
Russell County's original personal property tax books are held at the Library of Virginia. The years 1787 through 1850 were microfilmed by the Genealogical Society of Utah in 1993: FHL US/CAN Films 1905718-1905720. Digitized images for select years are available online and abstracts of many of these records have appeared in print:

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

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

Birth[edit | edit source]

Marriage[edit | edit source]

Some Early Russell County, Virginia Marriage Clues] (Russell Co. GenWeb)

  • 1900-1935  Crouse, Randy F. McNew "Russell County, Virginia Marriages, Vol. 1, 1900-1923; vol. 2 1923-1935, 2012-2015. 248 pages. Available at Lulu ($) and FHL. Family History Library Call Number: 975.5755 V22. A transcription of the Russell County, Virginia marriage register, two volumes, covering the years from 1900-1923 and 1923-1935. A total of 7,846 marriages are included in the two volumes with separate indices sorted by groom surname and by bride surname. The register also contains the names of the parents, ages, birthplaces, marital condition, the groom’s occupation and residences of the parties. Marriage and Proportional Occupational Statistics are compiled for each year and there is a summary table and graphs. This will be a valuable aid to genealogical researchers trying to trace family history in Russell County in the early 20th century and also to those interested in social dynamics, demographics, and population statistics of the era. Full color front and back covers. Figures and graphs printed in full color (Hardcover version only, gray-scale in softcover) with black and white text. Available in Full color print version with a handsome Casewrap-hardcover binding and also in a black-and-white, economy softcover, “Perfect Bound” edition. ISBN volume 1: 9781105658839;  ISBN volume 2: 9781312934078.
  • 2000-present All marriage licenses after May 2000 are electronic with no paper records at the courthouse

Death[edit | edit source]

Divorce[edit | edit source]

Research Facilities[edit | edit source]

Archives[edit | edit source]

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

  • General William Campbell Chapter SAR
    19770 McCray Drive
    Abingdon, VA 24211
    Phone: 540-623-2442

Russell County Public Library: Local History
Website

Branches located in Lebanon and Honaker. Visit website for details.

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in Russell 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: Russell County," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 22, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1978):131-133. Digital version at FHL; digital version at American Ancestors by NEHGS($).

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Newberry
  2. Wikipedia contributors, in Russell County, Virginia, accessed 16 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. Lost Records Localities: Counties and Cities with Missing Records, 6, in Library of Virginia (accessed 4 April 2014).
  6. Newberry
  7. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Iowa.At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  8. Wikipedia contributors, "Russell County,_Virginia," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russell_County,_Virginia#Communities accessed 25 February 2020.
  9. 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
  10. 10.0 10.1 10.2 10.3 10.4 Robert Baylor Semple and George William Beale, A History of the Rise and Progress of the Baptists in Virginia (Pitt and Dickinson, 1894), 358-359. Digital version at Google Books.
  11. Online Catalog, Virginia Historical Society, accessed 15 November 2011, https://www.virginiahistory.org/.
  12. Stuart Lee Butler, A Guide to Virginia Militia Units in the War of 1812 (Athens, Ga.: Iberian Pub. Co., 1988), 192. FHL Book 975.5 M2bs.
  13. William C. Pendleton, History of Tazewell County and Southwest Virginia, 1748-1920 (Richmond, Va.: W.C. Hill Printing Company, 1920), 629-630. Digital version at Google Books.
  14. Jack L. Dickinson, 16th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1989). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 60.
  15. John E. Olson, 21st Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, c1989). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 57.
  16. John Perry Alderman, 29th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1989). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 53.
  17. J.L. Scott, 36th and 37th Battalions Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1986). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 24.
  18. Thomas M. Rankin, 37th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1987). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 37.
  19. John D. Chapla, 48th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1989). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 54.