Highland County, Virginia Genealogy

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United States
Highland County

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


Highland County, Virginia
Boundary map of Highland County, Virginia
Map of Virginia highlighting Highland County
Location in the state of Virginia
Map of the U.S. highlighting Virginia
Location of Virginia in the U.S.
Founded 1847
County Seat Monterey

County Information


Highland County is located in the Western portion of the Commonwealth of Virginia and shares a border with West Virginia. It is often referred to as "Virginia's Switzerland" and the County received its name from its prevailing high altitude[1].

Highland County, Virginia Courthouse

Highland County Courthouse
P.O. Box 190
Monterey, VA 24465-0190
Phone 540-468-2447

Clerk Circuit Court has birth records from 1850-1898,
marriage, divorce and land records from 1850
probate records from 1860 and court records from 1837[2]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[3]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1850 1850 1853 1937 1850 1860 1810
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1912.
General compliance year is unknown.

Highland County, Virginia History

The county takes its name from its elevation in the Appalachian Mountains.

Parent County

1847--Highland County was created 19 March 1847 from Bath and Pendleton Counties.
County seat: Monterey [4]

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 MapofUS.org website.

Record Loss

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

  • Lost census: 1890

Highland County, Virginia Places/Localities

Populated Places

Highland County, Virginia Genealogy Resources

Research Guides

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
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.

The Genealogy Center at Allen County Public Library (Indiana) has a number of searchable databases of Highland County cemeteries:

Clover Creek Presbyterian Church Cemetery
Doe Hill Cemetery
Headwaters Community Cemetery
McDowell Community Cemetery
McKendree Methodist Cemetery
Old McDowell Presbyterian Cemetery


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

Historical populations
Census Pop.

1890 Union Veterans

Church Records



More than 15 genealogies have been published about Highland County families. To view a list, visit Highland County, Virginia Compiled Genealogies.

Land and Property

An early settlers map is available for Highland County. Cambelt plots the locations of pioneers' farms. The Family History Library has a copy: FHL Map 975.589 E7c (2 parts).

Local Histories

  • Morton, Oren Frederic. A Handbook of Highland County and a Supplement to Pendleton and Highland History. Monterey, Va.: Highland Recorder, 1922. FHL Collection; digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Morton, Oren Frederic. A History of Highland County, Virginia. Monterey, Va.: Morton, c1911. Original edition: FHL Collection; 1979 reprint with index: FHL Collection; digital versions of original edition at Ancestry ($); and World Vital Records ($).


Augusta CountyBath CountyPocahontas CountyPendleton CountyVA HIGHLAND.PNG
About this image
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for more resources


War of 1812
Civil War

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

- 14th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate). Company A (White's Mounted Riflemen), Company C (Valley Cavalry or Rangers).[5]
- 18th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate). Company G.[6]
- 25th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Heck's) (Confederate). Company D (Highland Rangers).[7]
- 26th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate). Company E.[8]
- 31st Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Future 2nd Company B (The Highlanders) and Company E (Highland County Highlanders).[9]
- 62nd Regiment, Virginia Mounted Infantry (Confederate). Company A (Valley Rifles).[10]
Civil War Battle

The following Civil War battle was fought in Highland County:

  • May 8, 1862 = McDowell, also known as Sitlington’s Hill[11]
Maps of Civil War battles in Virginia: 1861, 1862, 1863, 1864, 1865

Miscellaneous Records


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

Online Newspapers

Probate Records


Vital Records

Indexes to Highland 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

  • 1853-1896 - Fridley, Beth, comp. Highland County Virginia Birth Records, 1853-1896 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2001. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • 1853-1878 - Highland County Birth Index 1853-1878. Batch C868770 at FamilySearch - free.[12]
Vital Record Substitutes

Highland 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.

Highland County, Virginia Genealogy Websites


  1. http://www.highlandcova.org/aboutus.html
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Higland 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), Highland 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. Robert J. Driver, 14th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, c1988). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 47.
  6. Roger U. Delauter, 18th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1985). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 18.
  7. Richard L. Armstrong, 25th Virginia Infantry and 9th Battalion Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1990). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 71.
  8. Richard L. Armstrong, 26th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1994). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 110.
  9. John M. Ashcraft, 31st Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1988). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 48.
  10. Roger U. Delauter, 62nd Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1988). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 41.
  11. Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State, (accessed 2 August 2012).
  12. 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.