Nelson County, Virginia Genealogy
Guide to Nelson County Virginia ancestry, family history, and genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, immigration records, and military records.
|Nelson County, Virginia|
Location in the state of Virginia
Location of Virginia in the U.S.
- 1 County Information
- 2 Nelson County, Virginia Courthouse =
- 3 Nelson County, Virginia History
- 4 Nelson County, Virginia Places/Localities
- 5 Nelson County, Virginia Genealogy Resources
- 5.1 African Americans
- 5.2 Bible Records
- 5.3 Cemeteries
- 5.4 Census
- 5.5 Church Records
- 5.6 Court
- 5.7 Genealogy
- 5.8 Land and Property
- 5.9 Local Histories
- 5.10 Maps
- 5.11 Military
- 5.12 Miscellaneous Records
- 5.13 Naturalization
- 5.14 Newspapers
- 5.15 Occupations
- 5.16 Private Papers
- 5.17 Probate Records
- 5.18 Taxation
- 5.19 Vital Records
- 6 Nelson County, Virginia Genealogy Societies and Libraries
- 7 Nelson County, Virginia Genealogy Websites
- 8 References
Nelson County is located in the West-Central portion of the Commonwealth of Virginia and was named for the third Governor of Virginia, Thomas Nelson, Jr.
Nelson County, Virginia Courthouse =
Nelson County Courthouse
P.O. Box 10
84 Courthouse Square, 1st Floor
Lovingston, VA 22949-0010
Clerk Circuit Court has marriage, divorce, probate,
court and land records from 1808
Nelson County, Virginia History
The county is named after Virginia Governor Thomas Nelson (1738-1789), a signer of the Declaration of Independence.
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.
There is no known history of courthouse disasters in this county.
- Lost census: 1890
Nelson County, Virginia Places/Localities
Nelson County, Virginia Genealogy Resources
Freedmen's Bureau Letters or Correspondence, 1865-1872
Images of the Virginia Historical Society's family Bible collection have been digitized:
- Virginia Historical Society Papers, 1607-2007 - browse collection at FamilySearch; free.
Additional Bible records include:
|Tombstone Transcriptions Online||Tombstone Transcriptions in Print||List of Cemeteries in the county|
|Findagrave.com||Family History Library||Findagrave.com|
|See Virginia Cemeteries for more information.|
- Ridgecrest Cemetery, Lovington BillionGraves
For tips on accessing Nelson County, Virginia Genealogy census records online, see: Virginia Census.
1890 Union Veterans
- Turner, Ronald Ray. Virginia's Union Veterans: Eleventh Census of the United States 1890. Available online, courtesy: Prince William County Virginia website. [Includes residents of this county.]
Church of England
See also Amherst Parish
More than 50 genealogies have been published about Nelson County families. To view a list, visit Nelson 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.
- Bannister. 935 patents dated 1730-1861 in what is now Nelson County, Virginia placed on a map. DeedMapper, 2004. [Names of those who received land patents, dates, land descriptions, and references may be viewed free of charge (click "Index" next to the county listing); however, in order to view the maps, it is necessary to purchase Direct Line Software's DeedMapper product.]
- Bannister. 971 patents dated 1738-1844 in what is now Amherst and Nelson Counties, Virginia placed on a map. DeedMapper. 2005. [Names of those who received land patents, dates, land descriptions, and references may be viewed free of charge (click "Index" next to the county listing); however, in order to view the maps, it is necessary to purchase Direct Line Software's DeedMapper product.]
- Coincon, J.B. Colonial History of Nelson County, 1734-1807. Amherst, Va.: Amherst Publishing Co., Inc. Digital version at FamilySearch Books Online .
- 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, Nelson County on page 132.]
- 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; Virginia section begins on page 238.]
War of 1812
Nelson County men served in the 28th Regiment.
- 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 Nelson 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.: Government Printing Office, 1883. FHL Collection 973 M2Lp v. 5; digital versions at Google Books and Internet Archive. [See Vol. 5, Virginia, Nelson County, pp. 91-92. Identifies War of 1812 veterans living in this county in 1883.]
Regiments. Service men in Nelson 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 Nelson County, Virginia Genealogy:
- - 5th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate).
- - 8th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate). Company B (Nelson Rangers).
- - 19th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company D (The Howardsville Grays), Company G (The Nelson Grays), and Company I (The Amherst Rifles).
- - 49th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company C (New Market Volunteers), Company F (Ewell Guards), Company H (Fauquier Guards), and Company K (Crowder's Company).
- - 51st Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Companies B (Nelson Rifles) and E (Wythe Rifles).
- - 56th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Companies D (Buckingham Yancey Guards) and F (Louisa Nelson Grays).
- - Nelson Light Artillery, (Confederate)
- - 2nd Regiment, Maryland Infantry, Potomac Home , Company D
Records and histories are available, including:
- Pollard, Oliver A. Jr. Under the blue ledge, Nelson County, Virginia. Richmond: The Dietz Press, 1997. FHL book 975.5493 H2p
- Sifakis, Stewart. Compendium of the Confederate Armies. New York: 1995 FHL book 975 M2ss v. 5
- 1861-1865 - FHL book 975.5 M2vr v. 29 titled A Guide to Virginia Military Organizations 1861-1865
- Compiled Service Records, 1861-1865 — Ancestry index (free)
- 1861-1865 - Virginia, Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865 at FamilySearch — index
- 1861-1865 - Virginia, Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers, 1861-1865 at FamilySearch — index
- 1861-1865 - U.S., Confederate Soldiers Compiled Service Records, 1861-1865 at Ancestry — index (free)
- 1861-1865 - U.S., Union Soldiers Compiled Service Records, 1861-1865 at Ancestry — index (free)
Virginia Naturalization Petitions, 1906-1929
The Virginia Newspapers Project identifies local Nelson County, Virginia Genealogy newspapers.
- Cutten, George Barton. The Silversmiths of Virginia (together with Watchmakers and Jewelers) from 1694 to 1850. Richmond, Va.: The Dietz Press, Incorporated, 1952. Available at FHL. [Includes a section on Lovington silversmiths.]
Virginia, Historical Society Papers, 1607-2007
|Online Nelson County, Virginia Tax Lists|
-  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. Nelson County is included in Vol. 1.]
- [1809-1830] Tax Digests at Virginia Pioneers ($)
Indexes to Nelson 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
- 1853-1860 - Nelson County Birth Index 1853-1860. Batch C868790 at FamilySearch - free.
- 1912-1913 - Virginia, Birth Certificates, 1912-1913 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1660-1959 - Virginia, United States Marriages at FindMyPast — index $
- 1740-1850 - Virginia Marriages 1740-1850 (Ancestry) ($).
- 1808-1926 - Nelson County Marriage Index 1808-1926. Batch M868790 at FamilySearch - free.
- 1864-1901 - Nelson County, Virginia Marriages (VAGenWeb) - 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.
|For birth, marriage, and death record substitutes, see Bible Records, Cemeteries, Church Records, Newspapers, and Probate Records.|
Nelson 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.
Nelson County, Virginia Genealogy Websites
- Nelson Co., VAGenWeb. Part of the USGenWeb Project. Maps, name indexes, history.
- Nelson County, VA History, Records, Facts and Genealogy (Familytree101)
- FamilySearch Catalog
- Cyndi's List
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Nelson County, Virginia. Page 718 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
- 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.
- Stuart Lee Butler, A Guide to Virginia Militia Units in the War of 1812 (Athens, Ga.: Iberian Pub. Co., 1988), 149. FHL Book 975.5 M2bs.
- Jack L. Dickinson, 8th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1986). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 25.
- Ervin L. Jordan and Herbert A. Thomas, 19th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1987). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 33.
- Richard B. Kleese, 49th Virginia Infantry (Appomattox, Va.: H.E. Howard, 2002). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 138.
- James A. Davis, 51st Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1984). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 9.
- William A. Young Jr. and Patricia C. Young, 56th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1990). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 63.
- Genealogical Society of Utah, Parish and Vital Records List (July 1998). Microfiche. Digital version at https://www.familysearch.org/learn/wiki/en/images/3/37/Igivirginia.pdf.