Smyth County, Virginia Genealogy

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

County Facts
County seat: Marion
Organized: 23 Feb 1832[1]
Parent County(s): Washington, Wythe
Neighboring Counties
Bland  • Grayson  • Russell  • Tazewell  • Washington  • Wythe
See County Maps
Location Map
Location of Smyth County, Virginia.png

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Smyth County is in the southwestern portion of the Commonwealth of Virginia and was named for Alexander Smyth, a general during the War of 1812.[2]

County Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Smyth County Courthouse
109 West Main Street
Marion, VA 24354
Phone: 276-782-4047
Smyth County Website

Clerk Circuit Court has marriage, divorce, probate, court and land records from 1832[3]

Smyth 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
1857 1832 1857 1832 1832 1832 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

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]

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. FHL. [Includes a section on Marion watchmakers.]

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

Cemeteries of Smyth 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.


  • Douthat, James L. 1840 Mountain Empire of Virginia Census. Signal Mountain, Tenn.: Mountain Press, 2001. FHL Collection 975.5 X2d 1840. Surname list. Includes Smyth County.

1890 Union Veterans

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1840 6,522
1850 8,162 25.1%
1860 8,952 9.7%
1870 8,898 −0.6%
1880 12,160 36.7%
1890 13,360 9.9%
1900 17,121 28.2%
1910 20,326 18.7%
1920 22,125 8.9%
1930 25,125 13.6%
1940 28,861 14.9%
1950 30,187 4.6%
1960 31,066 2.9%
1970 31,349 0.9%
1980 33,366 6.4%
1990 32,370 −3.0%
2000 33,081 2.2%
2010 32,208 −2.6%
Source: "".

Church Records[edit | edit source]

List of Churches and Church Parishes

Early Baptist churches (with years constituted):

  • St. Clair's Bottom (1791), Chilhowie, Va. Membership lists (beginning in 1791) and a history were published in the Appalachian Quarterly, Vol. 10, No. 4 (Dec. 2005). Originally fell within the bounds of Washington County, Virginia Genealogy.

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 Smyth County chancery records for the years 1833-1913.

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

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.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

  • Boyd, Charles Rufus. Resources of South-west Virginia: Showing the Mineral Deposits of Iron, Coal, Zinc, Copper and Lead, also the Staples of the Various Counties, Methods of Transportation Access, Etc. New York: J. Wiley, 1881. FHL Collection [Includes Smyth County.]
  • Presgraves, James S. Smyth County Families and History. Wytheville, Va.: J. Presgraves, 1974. FHL Collection
  • Sheffey, John P. General Resources and Advantages of Smyth County: In the Most Attractive Section of Appalachian Virginia. n.p.: n.p., 1907. FHL Collection; digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Wilson, Goodridge. Smyth County, History and Traditions. Kingsport, Tenn.: Kingsport Press, 1932. FHL Collection 547258 Item 2; FHL Collection 975.5723 H2w 1976 reprint; digital version at FamilySearch Digital Library. Sturgill, Kenneth Lee. A Complete Researchers Index to "Smyth County History and Traditions." Marion, VA: K. L. Sturgill, 1986. Index: FHL Collection 975.5723 H2w index and FHL Collection 6103880; digital version at Ancestry ($).

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 CountyRussell CountyTazewell CountyBland CountyWythe CountyGrayson CountyVA SMYTH.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

Migration[edit | edit source]

Military Records[edit | edit source]

Revolutionary War

  • Kegley, Mary B. Revolutionary War Pension Applications of Southwest Virginia Soldiers. n.p.: M.B. Kegley, 1997. FHL Collection [Includes Smyth County pensioners.]
  • 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, Western District, Smyth County on page 136.]
  • 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

  • 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, Smyth County, p. 104. Identifies War of 1812 veterans living in this county in 1883.]

Civil War

Regiments. Civil War service men in Smyth 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:
[8] [9]

- 1st Regiment, Virginia State Line (Cavalry) (Confederate), Company A.
- 4th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company D (Smyth Blues).[10]
- 8th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate). Company A (Smyth Dragoons)[11]
- 13th Battalion, Virginia Reserves (Confederate). Companies A and D.[12]
- 21st Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate)
- 23rd Battalion, Virginia Infantry Reserves (Confederate). Company A (The Smyth County Sharpshooters), Company E, and Company F.[13]
- 45th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate)
- 48th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company A (Smyth Rifle Greys).[14]
- 50th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company E (Smyth Grays) and Company L.[15]
- 63rd Regiment, Virginia Infantry (McMahon's) (Confederate). Companies H and K.[16]
- Marion Home Guard from Smyth County composed of about fifty men between the ages of 45-72 was organized in April 1861 according to information found on page 209 of the preceding reference.

Civil War Battles
The following Civil War battles were fought in Smyth County.

Maps of Civil War battles in Virginia: 1861, 1862, 1863, 1864, 1865

World War I

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]

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 Smyth County, Virginia Tax Lists
Type Index Images
Free FHC Fee Free FHC Fee
Personal Property 1832 - - - 1832 -
Land - - - - 1832-1846 -
Personal Property - - - - 1833-1837 -
Personal Property 1838 - - - 1838 -
Personal Property - - - - 1839-1850 -


  • 1832-1850 Land Tax Books of Smyth County, Virginia, 1832-1850. Original records, Smyth County Courthouse, Marion, Va., microfilmed reproduction available at FHL.
  • 1832-1850 Personal Property Tax Lists of Smyth County, Virginia, 1832-1850. Original records, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Va., microfilmed reproduction available at FHL.
  • 1832 Personal Property Tax List, 1832, Virginia Appalachian Notes. Roanoke VA: Nov 1985. Vol. 9 Iss. 4; online at Roanoke Public Library - free.
  • 1832-1863 Tax Digests Virginia Pioneers ($)
  • 1838 The 1838 Smyth County, Virginia Personal Property Tax List; index online at New River Notes - free.
  • 1838 The 1838 Smyth County, Virginia Free Persons of Color Personal Property Tax List; index online at New River Notes - free.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

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

Birth[edit | edit source]

Beth Fridley has published abstracts of the following Smyth County birth records online at Ancestry:

  • Smyth County, Virginia Births, 1875-78 [database on-line]. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Smyth County, Virginia Births, 1879-84 [database on-line]. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Smyth County, Virginia Births, 1885-96 [database on-line]. Digital version at Ancestry ($).

The original records covering 1853-1896 and an index covering 1853-1917 are available on microfilm at the Family History Library.

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

  • Smyth County Genealogical Society
  • Smyth-Bland Regional Library

Museums[edit | edit source]

Societies[edit | edit source]

Listed below are societies in Smyth 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: Smyth County," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 22, No. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1978):213-215. Available at American Ancestors by NEHGS ($).

References[edit | edit source]

  1. Newberry
  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, "Smyth County,_Virginia," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,,_Virginia#Communities accessed 2 March 2020.
  8. FHL book 975.5723 H2w Smyth County History and Traditions, pages 237-239.
  9. FHL book 975.5 M2vr v. 29 titled A Guide to Virginia Military Organizations 1861-1865
  10. James I. Robertson, 4th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.F. Howard, 1982). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 1.
  11. Jack L. Dickinson, 8th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1986). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 25.
  12. 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.
  13. J.L. Scott, 23rd Battalion Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, c1991). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 79.
  14. John D. Chapla, 48th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1989). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 54.
  15. John C. Chapla, 50th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1997). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 129.
  16. Jeffrey C. Weaver, 63rd Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1991). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 76.
  17. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State, (accessed 7 August 2012).
  18. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State, (accessed 2 August 2012).
  19. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State, (accessed 7 August 2012).