Amherst County, Virginia Genealogy

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Amherst County

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


Amherst County, Virginia
Boundary map of Amherst County, Virginia
Map of Virginia highlighting Amherst County
Location in the state of Virginia
Map of the U.S. highlighting Virginia
Location of Virginia in the U.S.
Founded September 14, 1758
County Seat Amherst

County Information


Amherst County is located in the Piedmont region near the center of the Commonwealth of Virginia[1] and was named in honor of Lord Jeffery Amherst, British Commander-in-Chief[2].

Amherst County Virginia Courthouse

Amherst County
100 East Court Street
Amherst, Virginia, 24521
Phone: 804-946-9321

Clerk Circuit Court has marriage, divorce, probate court and land records from 1761[3]

Beginning Dates for Amherst County, Virginia Genealogy Government Records
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1854 1763 1854 1810 1761 1761

Amherst County Virginia History

1st Baron Amherst

The county was named after Field Marshal Jeffery Amherst, 1st Baron Amherst (1717-1797). Amherst conquered what is now Canada for the British during the French and Indian War.[4]

Parent County

1758--Amherst County was created 14 September 1758 from Albemarle County.
County seat: Amherst [3]

Boundary Changes

For animated maps illustrating Virginia county boundary changes, visit "Rotating Formation Virginia County Boundary Maps"

Record Loss

There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.


Populated Places

Neighboring Counties

Appomattox | Bedford | Campbell | Lynchburg (independent city) | Nelson | Rockbridge

Amherst County Virginia Genealogy Resources

Research Guides

African American

  • Freedmen's Bureau Letters or Correspondence, 1865-1872
  • Heinegg, Paul. Free African Americans of Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Maryland and Delaware. 2005-present. - free online book. Ailstock, Ampey, Arnold, Beverly, Brannum, Clark, Coy, Evans, Ferrar, Fields, Fortune, Hailstock, Hartless, Humbles, Jackson, Jenkins, Johns, Key, Lansford, Lantor, Mallory, Mason, Peters, Pinn, Redcross, Sneed, Thomas, Valentine, and Viers families of pre-1820 Amherst County, Virginia.
  • Heinegg, Paul. "Amherst County Personal Property Tax List 1782-1822," Free African, available online. [Heinegg abstracted free blacks listed in these records.]
  • McLeRoy, Sherrie S. Strangers in Their Midst the Free Black Population of Amherst County, Virginia. Bowie, Md.: Heritage Books, 199_. FHL 975.5496 F2m Information was taken from the register of free blacks, census listings, tax records, deeds, wills, marriages and land plats. Time period covers 1761-1865.

Bible Records

Images of the Virginia Historical Society's family Bible collection have been digitized:

Additional Bible records include:


Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county Family History Library
VAGenWeb WorldCat BillionGraves
VAGenWeb Archives
Tombstone Project
See Virginia Cemeteries for more information.

For a detailed list, including addresses, phone numbers, and external links, see Amherst County, Virginia Cemeteries.

The following is a list of cemeteries in Amherst County:[5]

  • Amherst Cemetery
  • Beard Cemetery
  • Beth Joseph Agudath Sholom Cemetery
  • Burford Cemetery
  • Campbell Cemetery
  • Carpenter Cemetery
  • Cash Cemetery
  • Christian Aid Cemetery
  • Dodd Cemetery
  • Faulconer Cemetery
  • Fletcher Cemetery
  • Fulcher Cemetery
  • Gatewood Cemetery
  • Grant Cemetery
  • Harris Cemetery
  • Harrison Cemetery
  • Henley Cemetery
  • Hicks Cemetery
  • Higginbotham Cemetery
  • Hudson Cemetery
  • Ivy Hill Cemetery
  • Lone Pine Cemetery
  • Loving Cemetery
  • Mays Cemetery
  • McIvor Cemetery
  • Mead Cemetery
  • Morriss Cemetery
  • New Hope Cemetery
  • Parr Cemetery
  • Roberts Cemetery
  • Saint Paul’s Cemetery
  • Steele Cemetery
  • Tucker Cemetery
  • Watts Cemetery
  • Williams Cemetery
  • Wilson Cemetery


For tips on accessing Amherst County, Virginia Genealogy census records online, see: Virginia Census.

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1790 13,703
1800 16,801 22.6%
1810 10,548 −37.2%
1820 10,423 −1.2%
1830 12,071 15.8%
1840 12,576 4.2%
1850 12,699 1.0%
1860 13,742 8.2%
1870 14,900 8.4%
1880 18,709 25.6%
1890 17,551 −6.2%
1900 17,864 1.8%
1910 18,932 6.0%
1920 19,771 4.4%
1930 19,020 −3.8%
1940 20,273 6.6%
1950 20,332 0.3%
1960 22,953 12.9%
1970 26,072 13.6%
1980 29,122 11.7%
1990 28,578 −1.9%
2000 31,894 11.6%
Source: "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau.

1783 Enumeration

1785 Enumeration

1890 Union Veterans

Church Records


Early Baptist churches (with years constituted):

  1. Buffaloe River (by 1771).[6][7] Edwards published a membership list dated 1771 in Materials Towards a History of the Baptists... (1772), 66.
  2. Ebenezer (1773)[6]

The 10,000 name petition (dated 16 October 1776) has been digitized at the Library of Congress website. It was signed by people from all over Virginia who wanted an end to persecution of Baptists by the Established Church. Baptists and Baptist sympathizers alike signed the petition. To find your ancestor in this record, first check Hall's transcription in the Magazine of Virginia Genealogy (Vols. 35-38, with annotations in Vol. 39), which is available online at Ancestry ($). It is also available in book form at the Family History Library: FHL Book 975.5 B2vs v. 35-39. Then proceed to the Library of Congress website to see the original images.

Amherst County fell within the bounds of the Albemarle Association.

Church of England

Gotoarrow.png See also Amherst Parish
Gotoarrow.png See also Lexington Parish

Meade's 1861 history of parishes in Amherst County is available online.[8]


Chancery Court

  • Indexed images of Amherst County, Virginia Chancery Records 1773-1879 are available online through Virginia Memory: Chancery Records Index. Additional records are also available at the Amherst County Courthouse. These records, often concerned with inheritance disputes, contain a wealth of genealogical information.[9]
  • Sweeny, Lenora Higginbotham. "Amherst County Chancery Suits," The William and Mary Quarterly, Second Series, Vol. 19, No. 3 (Jul., 1939), pp. 318-324. Digital version at JSTOR ($). [Loose chancery papers, also discusses Sweeny's discovery of Amherst's Revolutionary-era court order book.]

County Court

  • Sweeny, Lenora Higginbotham. "Amherst County Chancery Suits," The William and Mary Quarterly, Second Series, Vol. 19, No. 3 (Jul., 1939), pp. 318-324. Digital version at JSTOR ($). [Loose chancery papers, also discusses Sweeny's discovery of Amherst's Revolutionary-era court order book.]


More than 225 genealogies have been published about Amherst County families. To view a list, visit Amherst County, Virginia Compiled Genealogies.


Land and Property

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



French and Indian War
  • Bockstruck, Lloyd DeWitt. Virginia's Colonial Soldiers. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1988. Available at FHL US/CAN Book 975.5 M2bL. [Identifies some Amherst County veterans; see place name index.]
  • Boogher, William F. Gleanings of Virginia History: An Historical and Genealogical Collection, Largely from Original Sources. Washington: n.p., 1903. Available at FHL US/CAN Book 975.5 H2bw 1965; digital version at Google Books. [Includes a chapter titled "Legislative Enactments connecting the preceding historic sketch [French and Indian War, Lord Dunmore's War] with the adjudication of the resulting accounts that follow; with the list of officers, soldiers and civilians entitled to compensation for military and other services rendered." For Amherst County, see p. 104.]
Revolutionary War

Regiments. Service men in Accomack County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Accomack County supplied soldiers for the:

- 6th Virginia Regiment
- 10th Virginia Regiment

Additional resources:

Wikipedia has more about this subject: Battle of Camden
The following Amherst County Revolutionary War records are available for free online, courtesy: Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution:
  1. "Petition by the men of the Amherst County, Virginia Militia who fought at the Battle of Camden," transcribed by James Lynch.
  2. "Payroll of Capt. Azariah Martin's Company of Militia from Amherst County VA," transcribed by C. Leon Harris.

Additional Revolutionary War records for Amherst County include:

  • Sweeny, Lenora Higginbotham. "Amherst County," The William and Mary Quarterly, Second Series, Vol. 9, No. 4 (Oct., 1929), p. 324. Digital version at JSTOR ($). [List, found in private papers, which appears to identify payments made to Amherst County residents for Revolutionary War provisions.]
  • A Census of Pensioners for Revolutionary or Military Services: With their Names, Ages, and Places of Residence, as Returned by the Marshalls of the Several Judicial Districts, Under the Act for Taking the Sixth Census]. 1841. Digital version at Google Books. 1967 reprint: FHL Collection 973 X2pc 1840. [See Virginia, Eastern District, Amherst County on page 128.]
  • Rejected or Suspended Applications for Revolutionary War Pensions. Washington, D.C., 1852. Reprinted by Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1969, and 1991. Reprints include "an Added Index to States." FHL Collection 973 M24ur; digital version at Ancestry ($). [Includes veterans from this county.]
War of 1812

Amherst County men served in the 90th Regiments.[10]

  • 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 Amherst 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.: Governnment Printing Office, 1883. FHL Collection 973 M2Lp v. 5; digital versions at Google Books and Internet Archive. [See Vol. 5, Virginia, Amherst County, p. 61.]
Civil War

Regiments. Service men in Amherst County, Virginia Genealogy 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 in Amherst County, Virginia Genealogy:

- 2nd Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate). Company E (Amherst Mounted Rangers)
- 19th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company H (The Southern Rights Guard) and Company I (The Amherst Rifles).[11]
- 20th Battalion, Virginia Heavy Artillery (Confederate). Company D.[12]
- 49th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company B (Amherst Rough and Readys) were presumably from Amherst County.[13]
- 50th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company F (Pedlar Mills Guard).[14]

Records and histories are available, including:

Miscellaneous Records


Virginia Naturalization Petitions, 1906-1929


The Virginia Newspapers Project identifies local Amherst County, Virginia Genealogy newspapers.

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.



  • Eckenrode, H.J. Virginia State Library: A Calendar of Legislative Petitions Arranged by Counties Accomac - Bedford. Richmond, Va.: Davis Bottom, Superintendent of Public Printing, 1908. Digital version at Google Books (full-view). [Amherst County petitions (1775-1856) are described on pp. 107-132.]

Probate Records

A free index to Amherst County, Virginia Genealogy wills and administrations (1761-1800) is available at the Library of Virginia website.

  • Clemens, William M. Virginia Wills Before 1799: A Complete Abstract Register of All Names Mentioned in Over Six Hundred Recorded Wills, ... Copied from the Court House Records of Amherst, Bedford, Campbell, Loudoun, Prince William and Rockbridge Counties. Pompton Lakes, N.J.: Biblio Co., 1924. FHL Collection Fiche 6015628-6015629; digital versions at Access Genealogy; Ancestry ($); and Heritage Quest Online ($). Free online surname index and 2004 reprint purchase details at Mountain Press website.
  • Digital Images of Amherst County Wills 1810-1831; 1832-1897. See names of Testators. Virginia Pioneers

Online Probate Records


How can Virginia tax lists help me? 

  • 1782-1803 Amherst County Personal Property Tax Lists 1782-1803 (images); digital version in Tax List Club at Binns Genealogy ($).
  • 1782-1822 - Heinegg, Paul. "Amherst County Personal Property Tax List 1782-1822," Free African, available online. Heinegg abstracted free blacks listed in these records.
  • 1787 - Schreiner-Yantis, Netti and Florene Speakman Love. The 1787 Census of Virginia: An Accounting of the Name of Every White Male Tithable Over 21 Years, the Number of White Males Between 16 & 21 Years, the Number of Slaves over 16 & Those Under 16 Years, Together with a Listing of Their Horses, Cattle & Carriages, and Also the Names of All Persons to Whom Ordinary Licenses and Physician's Licenses Were Issued. 3 vols. Springfield, Va.: Genealogical Books in Print, 1987. Online at FamilySearch - free; FHL 975.5 R4sn v. 1. [The source of this publication is the 1787 personal property tax list. Amherst County is included in Vol. 1.]
  • 1790, 1799 - Indexed images of the 1790 and 1799 Personal Property Tax Lists of Amherst County, Virginia are available online, courtesy: Binns Genealogy.
  • 1800 - "Amherst County, Virginia, 1800 Tax List," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 5, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1961):80-84; Vol. 5, No. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1961):125-130; Vol. 5, No. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 1961):155-160; Vol. 6, No. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 1962):18-22. FHL 975.5 B2vg. Digital version at New England Ancestors ($).
  • 1800 - Tax List, 1800, Bedford Genealogical Society Newsletter, Vol. 9, No. 2 (May 1998); Vol. 9, No. 3 (Aug. 1998); Vol. 9, No. 4 (Nov. 1998).
  • 1815 - Ward, Roger D. 1815 Directory of Virginia Landowners (and Gazetteer). 6 vols. Athens, Georgia: Iberian Pub. Co., 1997-2000. FHL 975 E4w v. 1. [The source for this publication is the 1815 land tax. Amherst County is included in Vol. 1.]

Vital Records

Indexes to Amherst County, Virginia Genealogy births, marriages, and deaths are available online. These collections are incomplete, but are easy to search. Most records can also be ordered electronically online as well. Courtesy: FamilySearch - free. See also How to order Virginia Vital Records


Amherst County, Virginia Genealogy deaths are included in the Library of Virginia's Death Index of Virginia, 1853-1896, sponsored by The Virginia Genealogical Society, available online - free.

Vital Record Substitutes

The Virginia Historical Society's Marriage and Obituary Index, 1736-1820 (newspaper abstracts) is available for free online. Images of the original index cards are browseable, arranged alphabetically by surname.

Amherst County Virginia Genealogy Societies and Libraries

Family History Centers

Family history centers provide one-on-one assistance and free access to premium genealogical websites. In addition, many centers have free how-to genealogy classes. See family history center for more information. Search the online FHC directory for a nearby family history center.

Amherst County Virginia Genealogy Websites

Amherst County Virginia Genealogy References

  3. 3.0 3.1 Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Amherst County, Virginia. Page 710 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  4. Wikipedia Contributors, "Amherst County, Virginia," in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia,,_Virginia, accessed 13 January 2012.
  5. USGS Map,
  6. 6.0 6.1 Robert Baylor Semple and George William Beale, A History of the Rise and Progress of the Baptists in Virginia (Pitt and Dickinson, 1894), 221. Digital version at Google Books.
  7. Morgan Edwards, Materials Towards a History of the Baptists in the Provinces of Maryland Virginia North Carolina South Carolina Georgia (1772). Digitized by SCDL Collections - free.
  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. "Virginia Memory: Chancery Records Index Availability," Library of Virginia (accessed 26 January 2010).
  10. Stuart Lee Butler, A Guide to Virginia Militia Units in the War of 1812 (Athens, Ga.: Iberian Pub. Co., 1988), 47. FHL Book 975.5 M2bs.
  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. Tracy Chernault and Jeffrey C. Weaver, 18th and 20th Battalions of Heavy Artillery (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1995). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 113.
  13. Richard B. Kleese, 49th Virginia Infantry (Appomattox, Va.: H.E. Howard, 2002). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 138.
  14. John C. Chapla, 50th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1997). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 129.
  15. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at