Mathews County, Virginia Genealogy

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Mathews County

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


Mathews County, Virginia
Boundary map of Mathews County, Virginia
Map of Virginia highlighting Mathews County
Location in the state of Virginia
Map of the U.S. highlighting Virginia
Location of Virginia in the U.S.
Founded 1790
County Seat Mathews

County Information


Matthews County is located in the Eastern portion of the Commonwealth of Virginia and was named for Brigadier General Thomas Mathews, then speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates[1].

Mathews County, Virginia Courthouse

Matthews County Courthouse
P.O. Box 463
10622 Buckley Hall Road
Mathews, Virginia 23109
Phone: 804-725-2550

Clerk Circuit Court has marriage, divorce,
 probate, court and land records from 1865[2]

Beginning Dates for Mathews County, Virginia Genealogy Government Records
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1853 1854 1853 1810 1863 1865

Mathews County, Virginia History

Admiral Thomas Mathews (1676-1751)

The county is named after Admiral Thomas Mathews (1676-1751) of the British Navy.

Parent County

1790--Mathews County was created 16 December 1790 from Gloucester County.
County seat: Mathews [3]

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.

Variant Spellings

Record Loss

1865 Most of the Mathews County Courthouse records were moved to Richmond for safekeeping during the American Civil War, but were destroyed there in the fire of 3 April 1865.[5]

  • Lost censuses: 1800, 1890

Visit the Library of Virginia's website to determine exactly what records have been lost and their Lost Records Localities Database to find additional resources.

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:

Mathews County, Virginia Places/Localities

Populated Places

Neighboring Counties

Middlesex | Gloucester


Research Guides

  • Davis, Virginia Lee Hutcheson. "Records of Tidewater Virginia Counties," Tidewater Virginia Families: A Magazine of History and Genealogy, Vol. 1, No. 2 (May-June 1992):53-66. FHL Collection 975.51 D25t [For Mathews County, see p. 61]

African American

  • Johnson, Martha C. Black Families of Elizabeth City Co., VA, 1800-1990: Research of Families of Callis, Davis, Simpson, Radcliff, Originating from Gloucester Co., Mathews Co., York and James Counties and Elizabeth Co., Hampton, Virginia. FHL Collection 1728886 Item 2.

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 Billion Graves
VAGenWeb Archives
Tombstone Project
Virginia Gravestones
Billion Graves
See Virginia Cemeteries for more information.


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

Historical populations
Census Pop.  %±
1800 5,806
1810 4,227 −27.2%
1820 6,920 63.7%
1830 7,664 10.8%
1840 7,442 −2.9%
1850 6,714 −9.8%
1860 7,091 5.6%
1870 6,200 −12.6%
1880 7,501 21.0%
1890 7,584 1.1%
1900 8,239 8.6%
1910 8,922 8.3%
1920 8,447 −5.3%
1930 7,884 −6.7%
1940 7,149 −9.3%
1950 7,148 −0.0%
1960 7,121 −0.4%
1970 7,168 0.7%
1980 7,995 11.5%
1990 8,348 4.4%
2000 9,207 10.3%
Source: “American Factfinder”. United States Census Bureau.

1890 Union Veterans

Church Records

Church of England

Gotoarrow.png Kingston Parish

  • Mason, George Carrington. Colonial Churches of Tidewater Virginia. Richmond, Virginia: Whittet and Shepperson, 1945. Available at FHL; digital version at FamilySearch Books Online . [Includes Mathews County.]



Several genealogies have been published about Mathews County families. To view a list, visit Mathews County, Virginia Compiled Genealogies.

Land and Property

Local Histories


Middlesex CountyGloucester CountyVA MATTHEWS.PNG
About this image
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


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, Matthews County on pages 131-132.]
War of 1812

Mathews County men served in the 61st Regiment.[6]

  • 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, Matthews County [sic], p. 90. Identifies War of 1812 veterans living in this county in 1883.]
Civil War

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

- 5th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate).
- 26th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company D.[7]

Records and histories are available, including:

Miscellaneous Records



The Virginia Newspapers Project identifies local Mathews 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.

Papers Private

Probate Records

  • Hopkins, William Lindsay. Some Wills from the Burned Counties of Virginia and Other Wills Not Listed in Virginia Wills and Administrations 1632-1800. Richmond, Virginia: W.L. Hopkins, 1987. FHL Collection [Includes Mathews County.]


How can Virginia tax lists help me?

  • [1774-1775] Billups, John R. Tithables, 1774-1775, of Kingston Parish, also Billups' Accounts, 1787-1842. MSS., Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia; also available at FHL. [Kingston Parish was located in Gloucester County at the time, but later fell within the bounds of Mathews County.]
  • [1774-1791] Mason, Polly Cary. Records of Colonial Gloucester County Virginia. 2 vols. 1946-1948; reprint, Baltimore: Clearfield, 2003. Original edition and 1965 reprintavailable at FHL; digital version at Ancestry ($); and World Vital Records ($). [Includes land patent abstracts, 1704/05 rent roll, Gloucester County tax lists 1770-1782, Mathews County tax lists 1774-1791, burgesses, council, and court, county officials, etc.]
  • [1791] 1791 Mathews County, Virginia Personal Property Tax List; index online at New River Notes - free.
  • [1791-1820] Ward, Roger G. "Burned County Gleanings: Mathews County Land Tax Lists, 1791-1820," Magazine of Virginia Genealogy, Vol. 35, No. 4 (Fall 1997):317-323. Available at FHL; digital version at Ancestry ($). [Abstracts of some taxpayers that include "genealogical tidbits," such as relationships, land transfers, etc.]
  • [1791-1815] Heinegg, Paul. "Mathews County Personal Property Tax List, 1791-1815," Free African [Heinegg abstracted free blacks listed in these records.]
  • [1803] Indexed images of the 1803 Personal Property Tax List of Mathews County, Virginia are available online, courtesy:Binns Genealogy.
  • [1803] Indexed images of the 1803 Land Tax List of Mathews County, Virginia are available online, courtesy: Binns Genealogy.
  • [1809-1816, 1822-1831] Mathews County Personal Property Tax Lists 1809-1816, 1822-1831 (images); digital version in Tax List Club at Binns Genealogy ($).

Vital Records

Indexes to Mathews 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

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.

Mathews 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.

Mathews County, Virginia Genealogy Websites


  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Mathews County, Virginia. Page 717 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  4. 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), 90. FHL Book 973 M2Lp v. 5; digital versions at Google Books and Internet Archive.
  5. Lost Records Localities: Counties and Cities with Missing Records, 3, in Library of Virginia (accessed 4 April 2014).
  6. Stuart Lee Butler, A Guide to Virginia Militia Units in the War of 1812 (Athens, Ga.: Iberian Pub. Co., 1988), 135. FHL Book 975.5 M2bs.
  7. Alexander Lloyd Wiatt, 26th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1984). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 13.