Franklin County, Virginia Genealogy

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Franklin County

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


Franklin County, Virginia
Boundary map of Franklin County, Virginia
Map of Virginia highlighting Franklin County
Location in the state of Virginia
Map of the U.S. highlighting Virginia
Location of Virginia in the U.S.
Founded 1785
County Seat Rocky Mount

County Information


Franklin County lies in the Western Piedmont of the Commonwealth of Virginia and was named for Benjamin Franklin, the Governor of Pennsylvania, where many settlers originated[1].

Franklin County Virginia Courthouse

Franklin County Courthouse
Main Street
Rocky Mount, Va 24151-1392
Phone: 540-483-3065

Clerk Circuit Court has birth, marriage,
death land and court records[2]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[3]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1853 1785 1853 1786 1786 1785 1810
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1912.
General compliance year is unknown.

Franklin County Virginia History

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

The county was named for Benjamin Franklin.

Parent County

1785--Franklin County was created 17 October 1785 from Bedford and Henry Counties. 
County seat: Rocky Mount [2]

Boundary Changes

For animated maps illustrating Virginia county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Virginia County Boundary Maps" (1617-1995) may be viewed for free at the website.

Record Loss

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

  • Lost censuses: 1790, 1800, 1890

Franklin County Virginia Places/Localities

Populated Places

Franklin County Virginia Genealogy Resources

Research Guides

  • Sweeney, Alice J. "Bassett Historical Center," The Virginia Genealogical Society Newsletter, Vol. 28, No. 4 (Aug. 2002):1-3. Available at FHL; digital version at Virginia Genealogical Society website.

African American

Bible Records

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


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


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

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1790 6,842
1800 9,302 36.0%
1810 10,724 15.3%
1820 12,017 12.1%
1830 14,911 24.1%
1840 15,832 6.2%
1850 17,430 10.1%
1860 20,098 15.3%
1870 18,264 −9.1%
1880 25,084 37.3%
1890 24,985 −0.4%
1900 25,953 3.9%
1910 96,480 271.7%
1920 26,283 −72.8%
1930 24,337 −7.4%
1940 25,864 6.3%
1950 24,560 −5.0%
1960 25,925 5.6%
1970 26,858 3.6%
1980 35,740 33.1%
1990 39,549 10.7%
2000 47,286 19.6%
Source: “American Factfinder”. United States Census Bureau.
1790 - Lost, but a substitute is available, see Taxation.

1800 - Lost, but a substitute is available, see Taxation.


  • 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 Franklin County.]

1890 Union Veterans

Church Records


Early Baptist churches (with years constituted):

  1. Bethel[4]
  2. Black Water (1804)[4]
  3. Chapel[4]
  4. Gill's Creek[4]
  5. Pig River (1773)[4]
  6. Snow Creek[4]
  7. Snow Creek and Pig River[4]

Franklin County fell within the bounds of the Strawberry Association.

Church of England

Gotoarrow.png See also Patrick Parish
Gotoarrow.png See also Russell Parish


Chancery Court

  • Reddy, Anne Waller. Suit -- Brown vs. Brown: Chancery Court Records in Caroline County, Virginia. 1950?. MSS., available at FHL. [Rene (René, Rainey, or Renney) Parsons Brown of Caroline County was sued by John Brown of Franklin County.]

County Court

  • Wingfield, Marshall. An Old Virginia Court: Being a Transcript of the Records of the First Court of Franklin County, Virginia, 1786-1789, with Biographies of the Justices and Stories of Famous Cases. Memphis: West Tennesee Historical Society, 1948. Available at FHL; digital version at World Vital Records ($) additional index at FHL; digital version of original edition at Ancestry ($); and World Vital Records ($).


More than 175 genealogies have been published about Franklin County families. To view a list, visit Franklin County, Virginia Compiled Genealogies.

Land and Property

An early settlers map is available for Franklin County. The cartographers plot the locations of pioneers from 1786-1886. Find the map for free online, as well as an alphabetical list of names. The Family History Library has a full-scale copy: FHL Map 975.568 E7h.

Local Histories

  • Claiborne, John G. Franklin County, Virginia: Historical and Industrial -- Past, Present and Future. Rocky Mount, Va.: The County News Print. Co., 1926. Available at FHL; digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Wingfield, Marshall. Franklin County, Virginia: A History. Berryville, VA: Chesapeake Book Co., 1964. Available at FHL; digital version at World Vital Records ($).


Roanoke (Independent City)Salem (Independent City)Roanoke CountyMartinsville (Independent City)Henry CountyDanville (Independent City)Pittsylvania CountyBedford CountyPatrick CountyFloyd CountyMontgomery CountyVA FRANKLIN.PNG
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources

  • A Settlement Map of Franklin County Virginia. Available online.


  • Clay, Robert Y. "Some Delinquent Taxpayers 1787-1790," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 21, No. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1977):167-171. Available at FHL; digital version at American Ancestors ($). [These records often identify migrants who left the county and their intended destinations. Franklin County's 1786 Delinquent List appears on p. 171.]
  • Elliott, Katherine B. Emigration to Other States from Southside Virginia. 2 vols. South Hill, Virginia: K.B. Elliott, 1966. Vol. 1 of original edition available at FHL; 1983 reprints (both volumes) available at FHL; 1990-1992 reprints (both volumes) also available at FHL. [Includes individuals who migrated out of Franklin County to other parts of the country.]


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 versions at U.S. Census Bureau and Google Books et. al. 1967 reprint: FHL Collection 973 X2pc 1840. [See Virginia, Eastern District, Franklin County on page 130.]
  • 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 from this county; Virginia section begins on page 238.]
War of 1812

Franklin County men served in the 42nd and 110th Regiments.[5]

  • 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, Franklin County, p. 80. Identifies War of 1812 veterans living in this county in 1883.]
Civil War

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

- 2nd Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate). Company D (Franklin Rangers).
- 10th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (1st Cavalry Regiment, Wise Legion (Confederate). Company K (Rosser's Mounted Rangers, Virginia Rangers, or Texas Rangers).[6]
- 21st Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate). Company G 2nd.[7]
- 24th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company B (Franklin Rifles) and Company D (Early Guards).[8]
- 37th Battalion, Virginia Cavalry (Dunn's Battalion, Partisan Rangers) (Confederate). Company A and Company G.[9]
- 42nd Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company K (Franklin Invincibles).[10]
- 47th Battalion, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate).[11]
- 57th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Companies B (Franklin Sharpshooters) and C (The Franklin Fireaters).[12]
- 58th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Companies D and E (Hale's Ford Franklin Guards).[13]

Miscellaneous Records


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

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 the Virginia Gazette and other Virginia newspapers (1736-1803), see: The Geography of Slavery in Virginia.


  • Watts, Dorothy C. "Petitions of Residents of Bedford and Henry Counties, Virginia, in Favor of and Opposed to a New County (Franklin)," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 24, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1980):83-89; Vol. 24, No. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1980):192-199. Available at FHL; digital version at American Ancestors ($).

Probate Records

Online Probate Records


Online Franklin County, Virginia Tax Lists
Type Index Images
Free FHC Fee Free FHC Fee
Personal Property 1786 - - - 1786 1786
Delinquents - - 1786 - - -
Personal Property - - - - 1787 1787
Personal Property 1788 - - 1788 1788 1788
Personal Property - - - - 1789 1789
Personal Property - - 1790 1790
Personal Property - - - - 1791 1791
Personal Property - - - - 1792 1792
Personal Property - - - - 1793 1793
Personal Property - - - - 1794 1794
Personal Property - - - - 1795 1795
Personal Property - - - - 1796 1796
Personal Property - - - - 1797 1797
Personal Property - - - - 1798 1798
Personal Property 1799 - - 1799 1799 1799
Personal Property - - 1800 [ 1]|[ 2]|[ 3] - 1800 1800
Personal Property - - - - 1801 1801
Personal Property - - - - 1802 1802
Personal Property - - - - 1803 1803
Personal Property - - - - 1804-1829 -
Personal Property 1830 - - - 1830 -
Personal Property - - - - 1831-1839 -
Personal Property 1840 - - - 1840 -
Personal Property - - - - 1841-1850 -

How can Virginia tax lists help me?


  • [1786-1803] Franklin County Personal Property Tax Lists 1786-1803 (images); digital version in Tax List Club at Binns Genealogy ($).
  • [1786] Weaver, Jeffrey C. The 1786 Franklin County, Virginia Personal Property Tax List (New River Notes) - free.
  • [1786] Clay, Robert Y. "Some Delinquent Taxpayers 1787-1790," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 21, No. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1977):167-171. Available at FHL; digital version at American Ancestors ($). [These records often identify migrants who left the county and their intended destinations. Franklin County's 1786 Delinquent List appears on p. 171.]
  • [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. [The source of this publication is the 1787 personal property tax list. Franklin County is included in Vol. 1.]
  • [1788, 1799] Indexed images of the 1788 and 1799 Personal Property Tax Lists of Franklin County, Virginia are available online, courtesy: Binns Genealogy.
  • [1800] Tax List, 1800, Bedford Genealogical Society Newsletter, Vol. 8, No. 4 (Nov. 1997); Vol. 9, No. 1 (Feb. 1998).
  • [1800] Tax List, 1800, Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 22, No. 2 (Apr. 1978); Vol. 22, No. 3 (Jul. 1978); Vol. 22, No. 4 (Oct. 1978).
  • [1804-1821] Heinegg, Paul. "Franklin County Personal Property Tax List 1804-1821," Free African, available online. [Heinegg abstracted free blacks listed in these records.]
  • [1812] Tax Relief in 1812, Times of Franklin Before & After 1786. Rocky Mount VA: Jun 2007.
  • [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. Franklin County is included in Vol. 2.]
  • [1830] Persons with Taxable Property in Robert Hairston's District, 1830, Times of Franklin Before & After 1786. Rocky Mount VA: Aug 2004.
  • [1830] Personal Property Tax List, 1830, Virginia Appalachian Notes, Vol. 8, No. 1 (Feb. 1984); online at Roanoke Public Library - free.
  • [1840] Personal Property Tax List, 1840, Virginia Appalachian Notes, Vol. 9, No. 3 (Aug. 1985); online at Roanoke Public Library - free.

Vital Records

Indexes to Franklin 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. See also How to order Virginia Vital Records

Vital Record Substitutes

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

Franklin 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.

Franklin County Virginia Genealogy Websites

Franklin County Virginia Genealogy References

  2. 2.0 2.1 Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Franklin County, Virginia. Page 713 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Franklin County, Virginia . Page 710-723 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 715-720.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 4.4 4.5 4.6 Robert Baylor Semple and George William Beale, A History of the Rise and Progress of the Baptists in Virginia (Pitt and Dickinson, 1894), 338-339. Digital version at Google Books.
  5. Stuart Lee Butler, A Guide to Virginia Militia Units in the War of 1812 (Athens, Ga.: Iberian Pub. Co., 1988), 85. FHL Book 975.5 M2bs.
  6. Robert J. Driver, 10th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, c1992). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 87.
  7. John E. Olson, 21st Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, c1989). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 57.
  8. Ralph White Gunn, 24th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1987). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 34.
  9. J.L. Scott, 36th and 37th Battalions Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1986). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 24.
  10. John Chapla, 42nd Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1983). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 5.
  11. Richard L. Armstrong, 26th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1994). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 110.
  12. Charles W. Sublett, 57th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1985). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 21.
  13. Robert J. Driver, Jr. 58th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1990). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 68.
  14. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at
  15. Alice J. Sweeney, "Bassett Historical Center," The Virginia Genealogical Society Newsletter, Vol. 28, No. 4 (Aug. 2002):1-3, available online at: