Henry County, Virginia Genealogy

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

Henry County, Virginia
Boundary map of Henry County, Virginia
Map of Virginia highlighting Henry County
Location in the state of Virginia
Map of the U.S. highlighting Virginia
Location of Virginia in the U.S.
Founded 1776
County Seat Martinsville

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Henry County is located in the Southern portion of the Commonwealth of Virginia and shares a border with North Carolina. Henry County was named in honor of Patrick Henry, who was then serving as the first Governor of Virginia[1].

Henry County, Virginia Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Henry County Courthouse Square


Henry County Courthouse
Suite B
3160 Kings Mountain Rd.
Martinsville, VA 24112-3966
Phone: 276-634-4880

Clerk Circuit Court has marriage and land records from
1777 divorce records from 1909 and probate records[2]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[3]
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.

Henry County, Virginia History[edit | edit source]

Patrick Henry.JPG

The county was named after Virginia Governor Patrick Henry (1736-1799).

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1776--Henry County was created 7 October 1776 from Pittsylvania County.
County seat: Martinsville [4]

Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]

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

Record Loss[edit | edit source]

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

  • Lost censuses: 1790, 1800, 1810, 1890

Henry County, Virginia Places/Localities[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:[5]

Unincorporated communities
Census-designated places

Henry County, Virginia Genealogy Resources[edit | edit source]

African American[edit | edit source]

The John B. Harris Collection (African American) at Bassett Historical Center (see Societies and Libraries) includes the following resources:

  • "African-American Census Records, 1870-1910, Henry County, Virginia"
  • "Afro-American Marriages of Henry County, Virginia"
  • "Henry County Cohabitation List"
  • Extensive list of obituaries 1950s-1995[6]

Other Henry County African American resources include:

  • Heinegg, Paul. "Henry County Personal Property Tax List, 1782-1814," Free African Americans.com. [Heinegg abstracted free blacks listed in these records.]
  • Kegley, Mary B. Free People of Colour: Free Negroes, Indians, Portuguese and Freed Slaves. Wytheville, Virginia: Kegley Books, 2003. Available at FHL. [Includes information from Henry County.]
  • Search the Library of Virginia's Virginia Untold collection for digitized images related to African Americans of Henry County.

Bible Records[edit | edit source]

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

Cemeteries[edit | edit source]

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

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1790 8,479
1800 5,259 −38.0%
1810 5,611 6.7%
1820 5,624 0.2%
1830 7,100 26.2%
1840 7,335 3.3%
1850 8,872 21.0%
1860 12,105 36.4%
1870 12,303 1.6%
1880 16,009 30.1%
1890 18,208 13.7%
1900 19,265 5.8%
1910 18,459 −4.2%
1920 20,238 9.6%
1930 20,088 −0.7%
1940 26,481 31.8%
1950 31,219 17.9%
1960 40,335 29.2%
1970 50,901 26.2%
1980 57,654 13.3%
1990 56,942 −1.2%
2000 57,930 1.7%
2010 54,151 −6.5%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

For tips on accessing census records online, see Virginia Census.

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.


  • Simmons, Don. Henry County, Virginia Census of 1830. 1976. Digital version at World Vital Records ($).


  • 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 Henry County.]

1890 Union Veterans

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Baptist[edit | edit source]

Early Baptist churches (with years constituted):

  1. Beaver Creek aka Bever Creek (1786).[7] A history was published in 1933: FHL Book 975.5692 K2t; digital version at Ancestry ($).[8] Contains church minutes 1786-1800, family records 1771-1858 (births, marriages and deaths for the Anthony, Brittin and Strother families and their slaves), and accounts 1810-1815.
  2. Leatherwood (1772)[7]

10,000 name petition (dated: 16 October 1776) signed by Baptists and Baptist sympathizers from all over Virginia, asking for an end to persecution of Baptists by the established church. A digitzed copy can be viewed at the Library of Congress website as well as at the Library of Virginia using the code word "000606093". Hall's transcription of the petition can be read in the Magazine of Virginia Genealogy, Vols. 35-38, with annotations in Vol. 39, (Richmond, Virginia: Virginia Genealogical Society, 1983-) available at Ancestry ($); or at the Family History Library: FHL Book 975.5 B2vs v. 35-39. After locatiing your ancestor in the transcription, proceed to the Library of Congress website to see the original images.

Henry County fell within the bounds of the Strawberry Association.

Some residents attended Matrimony Creek Baptist Church in neighboring Guilford (later Rockingham) County, North Carolina in the late 1700s and early 1800s. Church membership lists and minutes (1776-1814) are available online, with an index at the end: online.

Church of England[edit | edit source]

Gotoarrow.png See also Camden Parish
Gotoarrow.png See also Patrick Parish

Meade's 1861 history of parishes in Henry County is available online.[9]

Court[edit | edit source]

Chancery Court

  • Indexes (1783-1946) and images (1783-1931) to Henry County, Virginia Chancery Records 1755-1912 are available online through Virginia Memory: Chancery Records Index. These records, often concerned with inheritance disputes, contain a wealth of genealogical information.

Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]

Genealogy[edit | edit source]

Compiled Genealogies by Surname


Compiled Genealogies for Multiple Families

  • Hill, Judith Parks America. A History of Henry County, Virginia: With Biographical Sketches of Its Most Prominent Citizens and Genealogical Histories of Half a Hundred of Its Oldest Families. Martinsville, Va.: J.P.A. Hill, 1925. Book 975.5692 H2h. Includes 200 pages of family sketches.

Land and Property[edit | edit source]

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

  • Hill, Judith Parks America. A History of Henry County, Virginia: With Biographical Sketches of Its Most Prominent Citizens and Genealogical Histories of Half a Hundred of Its Oldest Families. 1925. FHL [2 copies]; digital version at Ancestry ($); and World Vital Records ($). Index at EveryNameIndex.com - free.
  • Pedigo, Virginia G. History of Patrick and Henry Counties, Virginia. Roanoke, Va.: Stone Printing and Manufacturing Co., 1933. Original edition and 1977 reprint available at FHL; digital version at Ancestry ($); and World Vital Records ($).

Maps[edit | edit source]

Martinsville (Independent City)Danville (Independent City)Pittsylvania CountyFranklin CountyPatrick CountyRockingham CountyVA HENRY.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. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1976):199-208. Available at FHL; digital version at American Ancestors ($). [These records identify migrants who left the county and often their intended destinations. Henry County's 1786 and 1790 Delinquent Lists appear on pp. 128-129.]
  • 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 Henry County to other parts of the country.]

Military[edit | edit source]

French and Indian War[edit | edit source]
  • Bockstruck, Lloyd DeWitt. Virginia's Colonial Soldiers. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1988. Available at FHL. [Identifies some Henry County veterans; see place name index.]
Revolutionary War[edit | edit source]

The following unit rosters of Henry County residents in the Revolutionary War are available for free online, courtesy: Southern Campaigns of the American Revolution:

  1. "Payrolls of the Militia Company of Capt. Daniel Carlin, Henry County, Virginia, in 1779 and 1781," transcribed and annotated by C. Leon Harris.
  2. "Henry County, Virginia, Continental Soldiers Recruited by Act of October 1780," transcribed and annotated by C. Leon Harris.
  3. "Militia List - Capt. Jonathan Hanby" (1781), transcribed and annotated by James L. Lynch III.

Additional resources include:

  • 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, Henry County on page 131.]
  • 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.]
  • Virginia Militia in the Revolutionary War. By J.T. McAllister. 1913. Hot Springs, Va.: McAllister Pub. Co. Online at: Internet Archive
War of 1812[edit | edit source]

Henry County men served in the 64th Regiment.[10]

  • 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, Henry County, pp. 85-86. Identifies War of 1812 veterans living in this county in 1883.]
Civil War[edit | edit source]

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

- 21st Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate). Company G 2nd.[11]
- 24th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate). Company H.[12]
- 24th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company H (Henry Guards).[13]
- 42nd Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company A (Henry Volunteers), Company F (Leatherwood Fencibles), and Company G (Second Company of Volunteers).[14]
- 57th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company F (Henry and Pittsylvania Rifles).[15]

Miscellaneous Records[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

The Virginia Newspapers Project identifies local Henry 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.

Petitions[edit | edit source]

  • 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 American Ancestors ($).

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

A free index to Henry County, Virginia Genealogy wills and administrations (1777-1800) is available at the Library of Virginia.

Online Probate Links

Research Guides[edit | edit source]

  • 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.

Taxation[edit | edit source]

Online Henry County, Virginia Tax Lists
Type Index Images
Free FHC Fee Free FHC Fee
Specific Tax 1780 - - - - -
Personal Property 1782, 1782 - - - 1782 1782
Personal Property 1783 - - - 1783 1783
Personal Property - - - - 1784 1784
Personal Property - - - - 1785 1785
Personal Property - - - - 1786 1786
Personal Property - - - - 1787 1787
Personal Property - - - - 1788 1788
Personal Property - - - - 1789 1789
Personal Property 1790 - - 1790 1790 1790
Delinquents - - 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
Personal Property 1800 - 1800 [ 1]|[ 2] 1800 1800 1800
Personal Property - - - - 1801 1801
Personal Property - - - - 1802 1802
Personal Property - - - - 1803 1803
Personal Property - - - - 1804 1804
Personal Property - - - - 1805 1805
Personal Property - - - - 1806 1806
Personal Property - - - - 1807 1807
Personal Property - - - - 1809 1809
Personal Property - - - - 1810 1810
Personal Property - - - - 1811 1811
Personal Property - - - - 1812 1812
Personal Property - - - - 1813 1813
Personal Property - - - - 1814 1814
Personal Property - - - - 1815-1851 -

How can Virginia tax lists help me?


  • [1778-1780] Adams, Lela C. Henry County, Virginia Tax Lists 1778-1780.
  • [1780] Specific Taxes, 1780, Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, Vol. 1, No. 3 (Jan. 1894). Available at JSTOR ($).
  • [1782] 1782 Henry County, Virginia Personal Property Tax List; index online at New River Notes - free.
  • [1782] Fothergill, Augusta B. and John Mark Naugle. Virginia Tax Payers, 1782-87, Other Than Those Published by the United States Census Bureau. 1940; reprint, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1978. Online at FamilySearch - free; FHL. [1782 personal property tax list of Henry County.]
  • [1782-1814] Heinegg, Paul. "Henry County Personal Property Tax List, 1782-1814," Free African Americans.com. [Heinegg abstracted free blacks listed in these records.]
  • [1783] - Personal Property (or Land) Tax List, 1783; index online at Revolutionary War Service website - free.
  • [1787] Schreiner-Yantis, Netti and Florene Speakman Love. The 1787 Census of Virginia: An Accounting of the Name of Every White Male Tithable Over 21 Years, the Number of White Males Between 16 & 21 Years, the Number of Slaves over 16 & Those Under 16 Years, Together with a Listing of Their Horses, Cattle & Carriages, and Also the Names of All Persons to Whom Ordinary Licenses and Physician's Licenses Were Issued. 3 vols. Springfield, Va.: Genealogical Books in Print, 1987.FHL. [The source of this publication is the 1787 personal property tax list. Henry County is included in Vol. 1.]
  • [1786, 1790] Clay, Robert Y. "Some Delinquent Taxpayers 1787-1790," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 20, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1976):199-208. Available at FHL; digital version at American Ancestors ($). [These records identify migrants who left the county and often their intended destinations. Henry County's 1786 and 1790 Delinquent List appear on pp. 128-129.]
  • [1790, 1800] Indexed images of the 1790 and 1800 Personal Property Tax Lists of Henry County, Virginia are available online, courtesy: Binns Genealogy.
  • [1800] Tax List, 1800, Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 32, No. 1 (Jan. 1988); Vol. 32, No. 2 (Apr. 1988). Available at FHL.
  • [1810] Schreiner-Yates, Netti. A Supplement to the 1810 Census of Virginia: Tax Lists of the Counties for which the Census is Missing. Springfield, Va.: Genealogical Books in Print, 1971. Available at FHL. [The source for this publication is the 1810 personal property tax list. Henry County is included because the 1810 Census for that county has been destroyed.]
  • [1810] Tax List, 1810, Southwest Virginian, Vol. 6, No. 28 (Mar. 1983).
  • [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. Henry County is included in Vol. 2.]
  • [1820] Lands Returned Delinquent, List, 1820, Magazine of Virginia Genealogy, Vol. 44, No. 1 (Feb. 2006). Available at FHL.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Indexes to Henry 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

Birth[edit | edit source]
Marriage[edit | edit source]
Divorce[edit | edit source]
Death[edit | edit source]

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

Vital Record Substitutes[edit | edit source]

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.

Henry County, Virginia Genealogy Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]

  • Bassett Historical Center, Bassett, Virginia. Website includes descriptions of collections. Excellent resource for family history research in Henry, Patrick, Floyd, Franklin and Pittsylvania counties in Virginia, the city of Martinsville, Virginia, and Rockingham, Stokes and Surry counties in North Carolina.[6].
  • VA-NC Piedmont Genealogical Society

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

Henry County, Virginia Genealogy Websites[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_County%2C_Virginia
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Henry County, Virginia. Page 715 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Henry 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. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  5. Wikipedia contributors, "Henry _ County,_Virginia," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_County,_Virginia#Communities accessed 20 January 2020.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Alice J. Sweeney, "Bassett Historical Center," The Virginia Genealogical Society Newsletter, Vol. 28, No. 4 (Aug. 2002):1-3, available online at: http://www.vgs.org
  7. 7.0 7.1 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.
  8. Stella Pocahontas Anthony Thompson, Copy of the History of Bever Creek Church, 1786, Henry County, Virginia (Columbia, Mo.: Mrs. J.F. Thompson, 1933). FHL Large Q Book 975.5692 K2t.
  9. 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.
  10. Stuart Lee Butler, A Guide to Virginia Militia Units in the War of 1812 (Athens, Ga.: Iberian Pub. Co., 1988), 108. FHL Book 975.5 M2bs.
  11. John E. Olson, 21st Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, c1989). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 57.
  12. Darryl Holland, 24th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1997). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 128.
  13. Ralph White Gunn, 24th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1987). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 34.
  14. John Chapla, 42nd Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1983). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 5.
  15. Charles W. Sublett, 57th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1985). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 21.
  16. Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/wiki/en/images/3/37/Igivirginia.pdf.