Smyth County, Virginia Genealogy
Guide to Smyth County Virginia ancestry, family history, and genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, immigration records, and military records.
|Smyth County, Virginia|
Location in the state of Virginia
Location of Virginia in the U.S.
- 1 County Information
- 2 Smyth County, Virginia History
- 3 Smyth County, Virginia Places/Localities
- 4 Resources
- 4.1 Research Guides
- 4.2 African American
- 4.3 Bible Records
- 4.4 Cemeteries
- 4.5 Census
- 4.6 Church Records
- 4.7 Court
- 4.8 Genealogy
- 4.9 Land and Property
- 4.10 Local Histories
- 4.11 Maps
- 4.12 Military
- 4.13 Miscellaneous Records
- 4.14 Naturalization
- 4.15 Newspapers
- 4.16 Occupations
- 4.17 Probate Records
- 4.18 Taxation
- 4.19 Vital Records
- 5 Smyth County, Virginia Genealogy Societies and Libraries
- 6 Smyth County, Virginia Genealogy Websites
- 7 References
Smyth County is in the Southwestern portion of the Commonwealth of Virginia and was named for Alexander Smyth, a general during the War of 1812.
Smyth County, Virginia Courthouse
Smyth County, Virginia History
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
Smyth County, Virginia Places/Localities
- "A Guide to the Counties of Virginia: Smyth County," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 22, No. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1978):213-215. Available at American Ancestors ($).
Smyth County, Virginia Genealogy cohabitation records are available online.
See also transcription on New River Notes - free.
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.|
- 1800-1986 - Virginia, Jewish Cemetery Records Index, ca. 1800-1986 at FamilySearch — index
For tips on accessing Smyth County, Virginia Genealogy census records online, see: Virginia Census.
- 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 Smyth County.]
1890 Union Veterans
- "Virginia's Union Veterans: Eleventh Census of the United States 1890." Prince William County Virginia, by Ronald Ray Turner. FHL Collection.
Early Baptist churches (with years constituted):
- St. Clair's Bottom (1791), Chilhowie, Va. Membership lists (beginning in 1791) and a history were published in the Appalachian Quarterly, Vol. 10, No. 4 (Dec. 2005). Originally fell within the bounds of Washington County, Virginia.
More than 25 genealogies have been published about Smyth County families. To view a list, visit Smyth County, Virginia Compiled Genealogies.
Land and Property
- Boyd, Charles Rufus. Resources of South-west Virginia: Showing the Mineral Deposits of Iron, Coal, Zinc, Copper and Lead, also the Staples of the Various Counties, Methods of Transportation Access, Etc. New York: J. Wiley, 1881. FHL Collection [Includes Smyth County.]
- Presgraves, James S. Smyth County Families and History. Wytheville, Va.: J. Presgraves, 1974. FHL Collection
- Sheffey, John P. General Resources and Advantages of Smyth County: In the Most Attractive Section of Appalachian Virginia. n.p.: n.p., 1907. FHL Collection; digital version at Ancestry ($).
- Wilson, Goodridge. Smyth County, History and Traditions. Kingsport, Tenn.: Kingsport Press, 1932. FHL Collection 547258 Item 2; FHL Collection 975.5723 H2w 1976 reprint; Sturgill, Kenneth Lee. A Complete Researchers Index to "Smyth County History and Traditions." Marion, VA: K. L. Sturgill, 1986. Index: FHL Collection 975.5723 H2w index and FHL Collection 6103880; digital version at Ancestry ($); World Vital Records ($).
- Kegley, Mary B. Revolutionary War Pension Applications of Southwest Virginia Soldiers. n.p.: M.B. Kegley, 1997. FHL Collection [Includes Smyth County pensioners.]
- 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, Western District, Smyth County on page 136.]
- 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
- 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, Smyth County, p. 104. Identifies War of 1812 veterans living in this county in 1883.]
Regiments. Service men in Smyth 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 Smyth County, Virginia Genealogy:  
- - 1st Regiment, Virginia State Line (Cavalry) (Confederate), Company A.
- - 4th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company D (Smyth Blues).
- - 8th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate). Company A (Smyth Dragoons)
- - 13th Battalion, Virginia Reserves (Confederate). Companies A and D.
- - 21st Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate)
- - 23rd Battalion, Virginia Infantry Reserves (Confederate). Company A (The Smyth County Sharpshooters), Company E, and Company F.
- - 45th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate)
- - 48th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company A (Smyth Rifle Greys).
- - 50th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company E (Smyth Grays) and Company L.
- - 63rd Regiment, Virginia Infantry (McMahon's) (Confederate). Companies H and K.
- - Marion Home Guard from Smyth County composed of about fifty men between the ages of 45-72 was organized in April 1861 according to information found on page 209 of the preceding reference.
Records and histories are available, including:
- 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)
Civil War Battles
The following Civil War battles were fought in Smyth County.
- October 2, 1864 = Saltville I
- December 17-18, 1864 = Marion
- December 20-21, 1864 = Saltville II
Virginia Naturalization Petitions, 1906-1929
The Virginia Newspapers Project identifies local Smyth 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. FHL. [Includes a section on Marion watchmakers.]
- 1832-1844 - Smyth County, Virginia Index to Will Book A, 1832-1844 (New River Notes) - free.
|Online Smyth County, Virginia Tax Lists|
- [1832-1850] Land Tax Books of Smyth County, Virginia, 1832-1850. Original records, Smyth County Courthouse, Marion, Va., microfilmed reproduction available at FHL.
- [1832-1850] Personal Property Tax Lists of Smyth County, Virginia, 1832-1850. Original records, Library of Virginia, Richmond, Va., microfilmed reproduction available at FHL.
-  Personal Property Tax List, 1832, Virginia Appalachian Notes. Roanoke VA: Nov 1985. Vol. 9 Iss. 4; online at Roanoke Public Library - free.
- [1832-1863] Tax Digests Virginia Pioneers ($)
-  The 1838 Smyth County, Virginia Personal Property Tax List; index online at New River Notes - free.
-  The 1838 Smyth County, Virginia Free Persons of Color Personal Property Tax List; index online at New River Notes - free.
Indexes to Smyth 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
Beth Fridley has published abstracts of the following Smyth County birth records online at Ancestry:
- Smyth County, Virginia Births, 1875-78 [database on-line]. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
- Smyth County, Virginia Births, 1879-84 [database on-line]. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
- Smyth County, Virginia Births, 1885-96 [database on-line]. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
The original records covering 1853-1896 and an index covering 1853-1917 are available on microfilm at the Family History Library.
- 1660-1959 - Virginia, United States Marriages at FindMyPast — index $
- 1740-1850 - Virginia Marriages 1740-1850 (Ancestry) ($).
- 1832-1850 - Smyth County Marriage Licenses 1832-1850 (New River Notes) - free. List may be arranged alphabetically by clicking on 'groom' or 'bride' column headings.
- 1853-1861 - Smyth County Marriage Records 1853-1861 (New River Notes) - free.
- 1853-1917 - Smyth County, Virginia Death Registers 1853-1896 and Index 1853-1917. Original records, Smyth County Courthouse, Marion, Va., microfilmed reproduction at FHL.
Vital Record Substitutes
|For birth, marriage, and death record substitutes, see Bible Records, Cemeteries, Church Records, Newspapers, and Probate Records.|
Smyth County, Virginia Genealogy Societies and Libraries
- Smyth County Genealogical Society
- Smyth-Bland Regional Library
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.
Smyth County, Virginia Genealogy Websites
- Smyth Co., VAGenWeb. Part of the USGenWeb Project. Maps, name indexes, history or other information for this county.
- FamilySearch Catalog
- Smyth County, VA History, Records, Facts and Genealogy (Familytree101)
- RootsWeb Mailing List: SW_VA-L (Topic: Southwest Virginia)
- Cyndi's List
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Smyth County, Virginia. Page 721 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
- FHL book 975.5723 H2w Smyth County History and Traditions, pages 237-239.
- FHL book 975.5 M2vr v. 29 titled A Guide to Virginia Military Organizations 1861-1865
- James I. Robertson, 4th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.F. Howard, 1982). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 1.
- Jack L. Dickinson, 8th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1986). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 25.
- William C. Pendleton, History of Tazewell County and Southwest Virginia, 1748-1920 (Richmond, Va.: W.C. Hill Printing Company, 1920), 629-630. Digital version at Google Books.
- J.L. Scott, 23rd Battalion Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, c1991). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 79.
- John D. Chapla, 48th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1989). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 54.
- John C. Chapla, 50th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1997). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 129.
- Jeffrey C. Weaver, 63rd Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1991). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 76.
- Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State, (accessed 7 August 2012).
- Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State, (accessed 2 August 2012).
- Heritage Preservation Services, Civil War Battle Summaries by State, (accessed 7 August 2012).
- 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.