Powhatan County, Virginia Genealogy

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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
United States  Gotoarrow.png  Virginia  Gotoarrow.png  Powhatan County 

County Courthouse

Powhatan County Courthouse, Powhatan, Va.

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


Beginning Dates for Powhatan County, Virginia Genealogy Government Records
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1853 1777 1853 1810 1777 1777


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

1777--Powhatan County was created 5 May 1777 from Chesterfield and Cumberland Counties.
County seat: Powhatan [1]

Boundary Changes

Record Loss

  • Lost censuses: 1790, 1800, 1890


Populated Places

Neighboring Counties


African American

Freedmen's Bureau Letters or Correspondence, 1865-18721



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

Historical populations
Census Pop.

1783 Enumeration


Census takers uncharacteristically recorded the birth town or county of residents this census year.[2]

1890 Union Veterans


Church of England

Gotoarrow.png See also King William Parish
Gotoarrow.png See also St. James Southam Parish


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.


More than 50 genealogies have been published about Powhatan County families. To view a list, visit Powhatan County, Virginia Genealogy.


  • 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.[3]


Grants and Patents

Local Histories



  • 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 New England Ancestors ($). [These records identify migrants who left the county and often their intended destinations. Powhatan County's 1787 Delinquent List appears on p. 271.]


French and Indian War
  • 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

Powhatan County, Virginia Genealogy residents' participation in the Revolutionary War.[4]

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

Powhatan County men served in the 102nd Regiment.[5]

  • 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

Civil War service men from Powhatan County served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies or regiments that were formed from men of Powhatan County.

  • 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

- 4th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate)

- 20th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate)

- 59th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate)

- Powhatan Artillery (Confederate)

- 1st Regiment, Virginia Reserves (Confederate)




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

Virginia, Historical Society Papers, 1607-2007



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

Research Guide

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


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. Purchase at Simmons Historical Bookstore.
  • [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 New England 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. Purchase at Simmons Historical Bookstore.
  • [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.

Vital Records

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 - free. See also How to order Virginia Vital Records


  • Fridley, Beth, comp. Powhatan County, Virginia Births, 1853-96 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2000. Available at Ancestry ($).


  • Knorr, Catherine Lindsay. Marriage Bonds and Ministers' Returns of Powhatan County, Virginia, 1777-1830. Pine Bluff, Arkansas, 1957. Reviewed in The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 1, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1957):90-91. Review is available online at New England Ancestors ($).

Societies and Libraries



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  1. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  2. 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
  3. 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 ($).
  4. 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.
  5. 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.