Difference between revisions of "Caroline County, Virginia Genealogy"

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[[Image:Gotoarrow.png]] See also [[Caroline County, Virginia#Bible Records|Bible Records]]
== Societies and Libraries  ==
== Societies and Libraries  ==

Revision as of 23:37, 30 May 2012

Caroline County, Virginia
Boundary map of Caroline County, Virginia
Map of Virginia highlighting Caroline County
Location in the state of Virginia
Map of the U.S. highlighting Virginia
Location of Virginia in the U.S.
Founded 1727
County Seat Bowling Green
United States  Gotoarrow.png  Virginia  Gotoarrow.png  Caroline County 

Tidewater county.

County Courthouse

Caroline County Courthouse, Bowling Green, Va.

Caroline County, Virginia
P O Box 309
Bowling Green, Virginia 22427

Beginning Dates for Caroline County, Virginia Genealogy Government Records
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1853 1787 1853 1810 1836 1814


Queen Caroline (1683-1737)

This county was named after Queen Caroline of Brandenburg-Ansbach, also known as simply Caroline of Ansbach (1683-1737), consort of King George II of Great Britain.[1] The reason for this choice as to the county's name was because the county was organized in 1728 on the basis of a legislative act of 1727, the year that George assumed the throne.

Parent County

1727--Caroline County was organized in 1728 on the basis of a legislative act of 1727. The county was formed from Essex, King and Queen, and King William Counties.
County seat: Bowling Green [2]

Boundary Changes

After the county's formation, additional land was added to Caroline County in 1742 and 1762 from King and Queen County.

Record Loss

Most antebellum probate and land records have been lost (especially during the Civil War) and, of those that are extant, many of those are scattered among the Virginia State Archives, the Caroline County Circuit Court, and the Circuit Court for the City of Fredericksburg. Postbellum land and probate records can be presumed to be housed at the Caroline County Courthouse. For a general assessment of the status of Caroline County's early records, see the following:

Other record losses:

  • Lost censuses: 1790, 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.

Weisiger abstracted a valuable source that includes deed, will, and marriage information about Caroline County, Virginia Genealogy residents:

  • Weisiger, Benjamin B. Burned County Data 1809-1848 As Found in the Virginia Contested Election Files. Richmond, Va., 1986. FHL Book 975.5 P2w.[3]


Populated Places

The following are the only two incorporated towns in the county:

For unincorporated populated places, see the following:

Neighboring Counties


Getting Started

Compiled genealogies are a good place to start research for this area, see Caroline County, Virginia Genealogy.

If you are researching families who lived in Caroline County, Virginia between the 1760s and 1790s, the Sparacios' books are a great time saver. They comprehensively index several publications covering that period:

  • Sparacio, Ruth Trickey and Sam Sparacio. Surname Index of Antient Press Publications. 14+ vols. McLean, Va.: R. & S. Sparacio, Antient Press, 1993-. FHL Collection 975.5 P22s v. 1-2; publisher's website: Antient Press.

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 Caroline County, see p. 55]
  • Davis, Virginia Lee Hutcheson. "Research Opportunities in Caroline County," The Virginia Genealogical Society Newsletter, Vol. 18, No. 3 (May-June 1992):1-3. FHL Collection; digital version at Virginia Genealogical Society website.
  • Dorman, John Frederick. "A Guide to the Counties of Virginia: Caroline County," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 7, No. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 1963):30-33. FHL Collection; digital version at American Ancestors ($).

African American

Freedmen's Bureau Letters or Correspondence, 1865-1872

Caroline County, Virginia Genealogy cohabitation records are available online.

Bible Records

Images of the Virginia Historical Society's family Bible collection have been digitized:

Additional Bible records include:


For a list with provision for eventual inclusion of addresses, phone numbers, and external links, see Caroline County, Virginia Cemeteries.

The following is a list of cemeteries in Caroline County. Note that this is not an exhaustive list:[4]

  • Anderson Cemetery
  • Beasley Cemetery
  • Bethany Cemetery
  • Bethel Cemetery
  • Bethel Cemetery
  • Carmel Cemetery
  • Concord Cemetery
  • County Line Cemetery
  • Eagles Nest Cemetery
  • Evergreen Cemetery
  • Grace Cemetery
  • Green Lawn Cemetery
  • Haynes Cemetery
  • Hopewell Cemetery
  • Lakewood Cemetery
  • Macedonia Cemetery
  • Mount Dew Cemetery
  • Mount Herman Cemetery
  • Mount Horeb Cemetery
  • Mount Lawn Cemetery
  • Mount Vernon Cemetery
  • Old Wright Cemetery
  • Rehoboth Cemetery
  • Rollins Cemetery
  • Rosehill Cemetery
  • Round Oak Cemetery
  • Saint Margaret's Cemetery
  • Saint Mary's Cemetery
  • Saint Paul's Cemetery
  • Salem Cemetery
  • Shiloh Cemetery

General information (with links to specific cemeteries):


Historical populations
Census Pop.

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

Census (transcriptions and indices) (Caroline County U.S. GenWeb Archives)

1890 Veterans



Early Baptist churches (with years constituted):

  1. Bethel (1800)[5]
  2. Bethesda Church, Port Royal, Va. (1847; RootsWeb)
  3. Burrus's (1773)[5]
  4. County Line (1782)[5]
  5. Liberty Baptist Church, Port Royal, Va. (1796; RootsWeb)
  6. Reeds (1773)[5]
  7. Salem (1802)[5]
  8. Tuckahoe (1774), Port Royal, Va.[5] Later known as Upper Zion Baptist Church (RootsWeb).[6]
  9. Zoar Church, Port Royal, Va. (1902; RootsWeb)

Caroline County fell within the bounds of the Goshen Association and the Dover Association.

Church of England

go to See also Drysdale Parish
go to See also St. Anne's Parish
go to See also St. Asaph's Parish
go to See also St. Margaret's Parish
go to See also St. Mary's Parish

  • Bell, James Pinkney Pleasant. Our Quaker Friends of Ye Olden Time: Being in Part a Transcript of the Minute Books of Cedar Creek Meeting, Hanover County, and the South River Meeting, Campbell County, Va. Lynchburg, Va.: J.P. Bell Company, 1905. Available at FHL; digital version at Google Books (full-view).


  • Court (transcriptions and abstracts) (Caroline County U.S. GenWeb Archives)
Chancery Court
  • Indexed images of Caroline County, Virginia Chancery Records 1787-1849 are available online through Virginia Memory: Chancery Records Index. Additional records are available at the Caroline County Courthouse. These records, often concerned with inheritance disputes, contain a wealth of genealogical information.[7]
  • Reddy, Anne Waller. Suit -- Brown vs. Brown: Chancery Court Records in Caroline County, Virginia. 1950?. MSS., available at FHL. [Rene (René, Rainey, or Renney) Parsons Brown of Caroline County was sued by John Brown of Franklin County.]
District Court of Fredericksburg

The District Court of Fredericksburg and later the Superior Court of Chancery had jurisdiction over certain Caroline County court cases. An index has been compiled:

  • Indexes of Court Records in the Clerk's Office, Fredericksburg, Virginia, 1782-1904. Original records, Fredericksburg City Courthouse, Fredericksburg, Va., microfilmed reproduction available at FHL. [Indexes the following records: District Court law book v. 8, 1782-1792; District Court law books 1790-1793, v. A-F 1789-1811; Superior Court of Law law order books v. G-H 1812-1831; Superior Court of Chancery chancery order books 1814-1831; Hustings Court orders v. A-O 1782-1871; Circuit Superior Court of Law and Chancery law order books v. A-E 1831-1875; Circuit Superior Court of Law and Chancery chancery order books v. A-D 1831-1872; Circuit Court chancery order books v. A2, B-C 1875-1904; Fredericksburg District Court (1789-1808) had jurisdiction over the following counties: Spotsylvania (including Fredericksburg), Caroline, King George, Stafford, Orange, and Culpeper; Superior Court of Chancery (1802-1831) had jurisdiction over the following localities: city of Fredericksburg and the counties of Caroline, Culpeper, Fauquier, Fairfax, Lancaster, Northumberland, Madison, King George, Orange, Prince William, Richmond, Spotsylvania, Stafford, Essex, and Westmoreland.]

See also Historic Court Records for indexes of Apprentice Records, Clerk's Order Books, Court Records, Free Negro / Slave records, Inquests, Marriage Records, Mayor's Court, Military Records & Wills.

Superior Court of Chancery

See District Court of Fredericksburg


More than 175 genealogies have been published about Caroline County families. To view a list, visit Caroline County, Virginia Genealogy.


Port Royal, on the Rappahannock River, was established as a port in 1652. It was incorporated as a town in 1744. Many ships carrying settlers landed there during the colonial period.[8] No official passenger lists survive for the seventeenth or eighteenth centuries, but a general chronology of shipping activities for that period has been prepared.[9]


  • Deeds (transcriptions and indices) (Caroline County U.S. GenWeb Archives)
  • Sparacio, Ruth Trickey and Sam Sparacio. Caroline County, Virginia County Surveys, 1729-1762, and Proceedings of Committee of Safety, 1774-1776. McLean, Virginia: Antient Press, 1997. Available at FHL.
Grants and Patents
  • Gray, Gertrude E. Virginia Northern Neck Land Grants 1694-1742. Vol. I. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1987. Available at [1]. [Includes Caroline County residents.]
  • Hudgins. 371 patents dated 1650-1752 in what is now Caroline County, Virginia placed on a map. DeedMapper. [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.]

Local Histories



  • Clay, Robert Y. "Some Delinquent Taxpayers 1787-1790," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 20, No. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 1976):29-34; Vol. 21, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1977):113-118. Available at FHL; digital version at New England Ancestors ($). [These records identify migrants who left the county and often their intended destinations. Some of Caroline County's 1789 Delinquent Lists appear on 20:29; 1787-1789 Delinquent Lists appear on 21:116-117.]


French and Indian War
  • Bockstruck, Lloyd DeWitt. Virginia's Colonial Soldiers. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1988. Available at FHL. [Identifies some Caroline County militia officers, soldier enlistments, and veterans; see place name index.]
  • Boogher, William F. Gleanings of Virginia History: An Historical and Genealogical Collection, Largely from Original Sources. Washington: n.p., 1903. Available at FHL; digital version at Google Books. [Includes a chapter titled "Legislative Enactments connecting the preceding historic sketch [French and Indian War, Lord Dunmore's War] with the adjudication of the resulting accounts that follow; with the list of officers, soldiers and civilians entitled to compensation for military and other services rendered." For Caroline County, see p. 69.]
  • Caroline Men in the French and Indian War (RootsWeb)
Revolutionary War

Regiments. Service men in Caroline County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Caroline County supplied soldiers for the:

- 10th Virginia Regiment

Additional resources:

Caroline residents recommended for military commissions during the Revolutionary War.[10]

  • Proceedings of the Committees of Safety of Caroline and Southampton Counties, Virginia, 1774-1776. Richmond, Virginia: Division of Purchase and Printing, 1929. FHL Collection
  • Sparacio, Ruth Trickey and Sam Sparacio. Caroline County, Virginia County Surveys, 1729-1762, and Proceedings of Committee of Safety, 1774-1776. McLean, Virginia: Antient Press, 1997. FHL Collection
  • 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, Caroline County on page 129.]
  • 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.]
  • Revolutionary War (pension affidavits) (Caroline County U.S. GenWeb Archives)
  • Revolutionary War Soldiers from Caroline County (RootsWeb)
War of 1812

Caroline County men served in the 6th and 30th Regiments.[11]

  • 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 Book 973 M2Lp v. 5; digital versions at Google Books and Internet Archive. [See Vol. 5, Virginia, Caroline County, p. 66.]
  • Sheads, Scott Sumpter:  Guardian of the star-spangled banner : Lt. Colonel George Armistead and the Fort McHenry flag (Baltimore, Maryland:  Toomey Press, 1999) pages 84  FHL Book 921.73 Ar55.
George Armistead, son of John Armistead and Lucinda Baylor, was born in 1780 at Bowling Green, Caroline County, Virginia. George married Louisa Hughes, daughter of Christopher Hughes Sr., on 26 Oct 1810 in Baltimore. They had 3 children. He was the commanding officer of Fort McHenry in Baltimore, Maryland on 13-14 Sep 1814. He kept the flag that was flying over the fort and passed it along to his descendants. In 1912, it was given as a gift to the Smithsonian National Museum. George died 25 Apr 1818 in Baltimore, Maryland.
Civil War

Caroline County men most often served in regiments (and companies) from their home county. At times, however, individuals and small groups can be found serving in a regiment of a neighboring county. Later in the war, Confederate units often reorganized. Men from Caroline County can be found in the following regiments:

- 30th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate)

- 47th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate)

- 9th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate)

- 24th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate)

- Lightfoot's Battalion, "Caroline Light Artillery," (Confederate)

World War I



  • The Caroline Progress, Bowling Green, VA (current newspaper)
  • Virginia Gazette: 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.


  • 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 Port Royal silversmiths.]


  • Fisher, Therese. Skeletons in the Closet: 200 Years of Murders in Old Virginia; a Genealogical and Historical Resource. Bowie, Maryland: Heritage Books, 2001. Available at FHL. [Identifies Caroline County's sheriffs 1729-1780.]

Private Papers

Virginia, Historical Society Papers, 1607-2007


  • [Campbell] Major, Mrs. Nettie Leitch. "Campbell Family Bible, Caroline County, Virginia," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 24, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1979):117-118. Available at FHL; digital version at New England Ancestors ($).


A free index to Caroline County, Virginia Genealogy wills and administrations (1742-1800) is available at the Library of Virginia website.

  • 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. Available at FHL. [Includes Caroline County.]
  • Wills (transcriptions and indices) (Caroline County U.S. GenWeb Archives)


How can Virginia tax lists help me? 

  • [1783] "Caroline County Personal Property List, 1783," William and Mary College Quarterly, 1st Series, Vol. 27 (1919):154-163. Available at FHL | Reprint in Virginia Tax Records. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1983, which is also available at FHL | Digital version at JSTOR ($) | Digital version in Caroline County U.S. GenWeb Archives
  • [1783] Fothergill, Augusta B. and John Mark Naugle. Virginia Tax Payers, 1782-87, Other Than Those Published by the United States Census Bureau. 1940; reprint, Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1978. Available at FHL. [1783 personal property tax list of Caroline County.]
  • [1787] Schreiner-Yantis, Netti and Florene Speakman Love. The 1787 Census of Virginia: An Accounting of the Name of Every White Male Tithable Over 21 Years, the Number of White Males Between 16 & 21 Years, the Number of Slaves over 16 & Those Under 16 Years, Together with a Listing of Their Horses, Cattle & Carriages, and Also the Names of All Persons to Whom Ordinary Licenses and Physician's Licenses Were Issued. 3 vols. Springfield, Va.: Genealogical Books in Print, 1987. Available at FHL. [The source of this publication is the 1787 personal property tax list. Caroline County is included in Vol. 1.]
  • [1787-1789] Clay, Robert Y. "Some Delinquent Taxpayers 1787-1790," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 20, No. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 1976):29-34; Vol. 21, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1977):113-118. Available at FHL; digital version at New England Ancestors ($). [These records identify migrants who left the county and often their intended destinations. Some of Caroline County's 1789 Delinquent Lists appear on 20:29; 1787-1789 Delinquent Lists appear on 21:116-117.]
  • [1789, 1799] Indexed images of the 1789 and 1799 Personal Property Tax Lists of Caroline County, Virginia are available online, courtesy: Binns Genealogy.
  • [1789, 1799] Indexed images of the 1789 and 1799 Land Tax Lists of Caroline County, Virginia are available online, courtesy: Binns Genealogy.
  • [1800] "Caroline County, Virginia, 1800 Tax List," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 14, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1970):82-87; Vol. 14, No. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1970):112-116; Vol. 14, No. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 1970):155-159. Available at FHL; digital version at New England Ancestors ($).
  • [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. Caroline County is included in Vol. 3.]

Vital Records

 Indexes to Caroline 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 the following indexes online at Ancestry:

  • Caroline County, Virginia Births, 1859-68 (Except 1863). Available at Ancestry ($).
  • Caroline County, Virginia Births, 1870-1880. Available at Ancestry ($).
  • Caroline County, Virginia Births, 1881-96. Available at Ancestry ($).
  • Fisher, Therese A. Marriages of Caroline County, Virginia, 1777-1853. Heritage Books, 1998. Google Books page (no preview)
  • Collins, Herbert Ridgeway. Caroline County, Virginia: Bureau of Vital Statistics Death Records, 1853-1896. Heritage Books, 1999. Google Books page (no preview)
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.

Gotoarrow.png See also Bible Records

Societies and Libraries

Family History Centers



  1. Wikipedia Contributors, "Caroline of Ansbach," in Wikipedia: The Free Online Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caroline_of_Ansbach, accessed 13 January 2012.
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  3. John Frederick Dorman, "Review of Burned County Data 1809-1848," in The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 31, No. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 1987):60-61.
  4. USGS Map, Topozone.com
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Robert Baylor Semple and George William Beale, A History of the Rise and Progress of the Baptists in Virginia (Pitt and Dickinson, 1894), 118-119, 186. Digital version at Google Books.
  6. Ralph Emmett Fall, Hidden Village, Port Royal, Virginia, 1744-1981 (Port Royal, Va.: R.E. Fall, 1982), 281. FHL Book 975.5362/P1 H2f.
  7. "Virginia Memory: Chancery Records Index Availability," Library of Virginia (accessed 26 January 2010).
  8. Wikipedia contributors, "Port Royal, Virginia," in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Port_Royal,_Virginia, accessed 30 May 2012.
  9. Ralph Emmett Fall, Hidden Village: Port Royal, Virginia, 1744-1981 (Verona, Va.: McClure Printing Company, Inc., 1982), 195-219.
  10. J.T. McAllister, Virginia Militia in the Revolutionary War: McAllister's Data (Hot Springs, Va.: McAllister Pub. Co., 1913), 26-27. Digitized by Internet Archive.
  11. Stuart Lee Butler, A Guide to Virginia Militia Units in the War of 1812 (Athens, Ga.: Iberian Pub. Co., 1988), 64, 79. FHL Book 975.5 M2bs.