Powhatan County, Virginia Genealogy

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

Powhatan County, Virginia
Boundary map of Powhatan County, Virginia
Map of Virginia highlighting Powhatan County
Location in the state of Virginia
Map of the U.S. highlighting Virginia
Location of Virginia in the U.S.
Founded 1777
County Seat Powhatan

County Information[edit | edit source]

Description[edit | edit source]

Powhatan County is located in the Central portion of the Commonwealth of Virginia, 20 miles west of the state capital, Richmond. It was named in honor of the Indian Chief Powhatan, father of Pocahontas[1].

Powhatan County, Virginia Courthouse[edit | edit source]

Powhatan County Courthouse
P.O. Box 37
3880 Old Buckingham Road
Suite C
Powhatan, Virginia 23139-0037

Clerk Circuit Court has marriage, divorce,
probate, court and land records from 1777[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.

Powhatan County, Virginia History[edit | edit source]

Chief Powhatan (c1545-c1618)

The county is named after Chief Powhatan (c1545-c1618).

Many descendants of early Virginia French Huguenot families lived in this area.

Parent County[edit | edit source]

1777--Powhatan County was created 5 May 1777 from Chesterfield and Cumberland Counties.
County seat: Powhatan [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, 1890

Powhatan 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

Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]

Resources[edit | edit source]

African American[edit | edit source]

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

Census[edit | edit source]

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1790 6,822
1800 7,769 13.9%
1810 8,073 3.9%
1820 8,292 2.7%
1830 8,517 2.7%
1840 7,924 −7.0%
1850 8,178 3.2%
1860 8,392 2.6%
1870 7,667 −8.6%
1880 7,817 2.0%
1890 6,791 −13.1%
1900 6,824 0.5%
1910 6,099 −10.6%
1920 6,552 7.4%
1930 6,143 −6.2%
1940 5,671 −7.7%
1950 5,556 −2.0%
1960 6,747 21.4%
1970 7,696 14.1%
1980 13,062 69.7%
1990 15,328 17.3%
2000 22,377 46.0%
2010 28,046 25.3%
Source: "Wikipedia.org".

1783 Enumeration


Census takers uncharacteristically recorded the birth town or county of residents this census year.[6]

1890 Union Veterans

Church Records[edit | edit source]

Baptist[edit | edit source]

Early Baptist churches (with years constituted):

  1. Muddy Creek (1774)[7]
  2. Powhatan (1771)[7]

Powhatan County fell within the bounds of the Middle District Association.

Church of England[edit | edit source]

Court[edit | edit source]

Chancery Court

  • Indexes (1782-1938) and images (1782-1913) to Powhatan County, Virginia Chancery Records 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
See Powhatan County, Virginia Compiled Genealogies or jump to a surname using the alphabet bar for a list of 100+ published surname genealogy books and articles.


Compiled Genealogies for multiple families

Immigration[edit | edit source]

  • Coldham, Peter Wilson. "Intercepted Letters Relating to America, 1777-1811" The Genealogist, Vol. 14, No. 2 (Fall 2000):184-200. [Overseas contacts of a resident of Powhattan Co. with the following surname: Mayo.]

During the War of 1812, American officials reported finding a total of 5 British aliens, some of whom had families, living in Powhatan County.[8]

Land and Property[edit | edit source]

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.

Local Histories[edit | edit source]

Maps[edit | edit source]

Richmond (Independent City)Henrico CountyChesterfield CountyAmelia CountyCumberland CountyGoochland CountyVA POWHATTAN.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. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 1976):269-274. Available at FHL; digital version at American Ancestors ($). [These records identify migrants who left the county and often their intended destinations. Powhatan County's 1787 Delinquent List appears on p. 271.]

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 Powhatan County veterans; see place name index.]
Revolutionary War[edit | edit source]

Powhatan County, Virginia Genealogy residents' participation in the Revolutionary War.[9]

  • 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, Powhatan 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 Book 973 M24ur; digital version at Ancestry ($). [Includes veterans from this county; Virginia section begins on page 238.]
War of 1812[edit | edit source]

Powhatan County men served in the 102nd Regiment.[10]

  • 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 Powhatan 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, Powhatan County, pp. 98-99. Identifies War of 1812 veterans living in this county in 1883.]
Civil War[edit | edit source]

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

  • Information about the Companies that served from Powhatan County can be found at:

    (1)    FHL book 975.5612 H2c titled Powhatan: A Bicentennial History, pages 240-268 and 504-507
    (2)    FHL book 975.5 M2vr v. 29 titled A Guide to Virginia Military Organizations 1861-1865

- 1st Regiment, Virginia Reserves (Confederate) (Company I)
- 4th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate). Company E.
- 20th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company D (Powhatan Rifles).[11]
- 59th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate)
- Powhatan Artillery (Confederate)

Records and histories are available, including:

World War II[edit | edit source]

Miscellaneous Records[edit | edit source]

Naturalization[edit | edit source]

Newspapers[edit | edit source]

The Virginia Newspapers Project identifies local Powhatan 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.

Private Papers[edit | edit source]

Virginia, Historical Society Papers, 1607-2007

Probate Records[edit | edit source]

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

Digital Images of Powhatan County Wills 1777-1795; 1797-1806; 1806-1811. See names of testators. Virginia Pioneers

Research Guide[edit | edit source]

  • "A Guide to the Counties of Virginia: Powhatan County," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 20, No. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1976):210-212-214. Available at American Ancestors ($).

Taxation[edit | edit source]

How can Virginia tax lists help me? 

  • [1782-1817] Heinegg, Paul. "Powhatan County Personal Property Tax List, 1782-1817," Free African Americans.com. [Heinegg abstracted free blacks listed in these records.]
  • [1782, 1784] Powhatan County Tax List 1782 and 1784.
  • [1783] Powhatan County, VA - Census - 1782 Taxlist; index online at USGenWeb Archives - 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. Available at FHL. [The source of this publication is the 1787 personal property tax list. Powhatan County is included in Vol. 2.]
  • [1787] Clay, Robert Y. "Some Delinquent Taxpayers 1787-1790," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 20, No. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 1976):269-274. Available at FHL; digital version at American Ancestors ($). [These records identify migrants who left the county and often their intended destinations. Powhatan County's 1787 Delinquent List appears on p. 271.]
  • [1787-1789] Powhatan County Tax List 1787-1789.
  • [1790, 1801] Indexed images of the 1790 and 1801 Personal Property Tax Lists of Powhatan County, Virginia are available online, courtesy: Binns Genealogy.
  • [1800] County Tax List, 1800, Virginia Genealogist. Falmouth VA: Apr 2005. Vol. 49 Iss. 2.
  • [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. Powhatan County is included in Vol. 1.]
  • [1816, 1818] Insolvents and Removals, 1816, 1818, Southside Virginian. Richmond VA: Jul 1983. Vol. 1 Iss. 4; online at Internet Archive - free.

Vital Records[edit | edit source]

Indexes to Powhatan 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]
Vital Record Substitutes[edit | edit source]

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

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

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

References[edit | edit source]

  1. http://www.powhatanva.gov/317/About-Powhatan
  2. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Powhatan County, Virginia. Page 719 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Powhatan 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, "Powhatan_ County,_Virginia," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Powhatan_County,_Virginia#Communities accessed 19 February 2020.
  6. Alycon Trubey Pierce, "In Praise of Errors Made by Census Enumerators," National Genealogical Society Quarterly, Vol. 81, No. 1 (March 1993):51-55. FHL Book 973 B2ng
  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), 254. Digital version at Google Books.
  8. Kenneth Scott, British Aliens in the United States During the War of 1812 (Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1979), 320-333. FHL Book 973 W4s; digital version at Ancestry ($).
  9. J.T. McAllister, Virginia Militia in the Revolutionary War: McAllister's Data (Hot Springs, Va.: McAllister Pub. Co., 1913), 39-40. Digitized by Internet Archive.
  10. Stuart Lee Butler, A Guide to Virginia Militia Units in the War of 1812 (Athens, Ga.: Iberian Pub. Co., 1988), 172. FHL Book 975.5 M2bs.
  11. G.L. Sherwood and Jeffrey C. Weaver, 20th and 39th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, c1994). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 105.
  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.