Difference between revisions of "Roanoke County, Virginia Genealogy"

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Revision as of 17:07, 18 December 2012

United States Gotoarrow.png Virginia Gotoarrow.png Roanoke County

Roanoke County, Virginia genealogy and family history research page. Guide to Roanoke County (established 1838) genealogy, history, and courthouse sources including birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, wills, deeds and land records, Civil War records, Revolutionary War records, family histories, cemeteries, churches, tax records, newspapers, and obituaries.

Roanoke County, Virginia
Boundary map of Roanoke County, Virginia
Map of Virginia highlighting Roanoke County
Location in the state of Virginia
Map of the U.S. highlighting Virginia
Location of Virginia in the U.S.
Founded 1838
County Seat Salem

County Courthouse

Roanoke County Courthouse
P.O. Box 1126
Second Floor, Room 200
305 East Main Street
Salem, VA 24153
Phone: 540-387-6205

Clerk Circuit Court has marriage, divorce,
probate, court and land records from 1838[1]


Beginning Dates for Roanoke County, Virginia Genealogy Government Records
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1853 1838 1853 1840 1838 1838


The county takes its name from the Roanoke River.

The county is named after the Roanoke River.[2]

Parent County

1838--Roanoke County was created 30 March 1838 from Botetourt and Montgomery Counties.
County seat: Salem [3]

Boundary Changes

Record Loss

  • Lost census: 1890


Populated Places

Neighboring Counties


African American

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

Historical populations
Census Pop.


  • Burton, Charles T. Botetourt County, Va., 1785 Enumeration. Troutville, Va.: Burton?, 1972. FHL Collection; digital version at Ancestry ($). [All of part of present-day county of Roanoke is included.]


  • 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 Roanoke County.]

1890 Union Veterans

Church Records

Early Baptist churches (with years constituted):

  1. Catawba (1780)[4]
  2. Salem (1784)[4]

Roanoke County fell within the bounds of the New River Association.



Several genealogies have been published about Roanoke County families. To view a list, visit Roanoke County, Virginia Genealogy.

Land and Property

Early settlers maps are available for Roanoke County. Hildebrand plots the locations of pioneers from original land grants, farm owners (1825-1875), etc. The Family History Library has copies: FHL Map 975.5792 E7hi, FHL Map 975.5792 E7hj, and FHL Map 975.5792 E7h.

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

  • Jack, George S. History of Roanoke County. Roanoke, Va.: Stone, c1912. FHL; digital versions at Ancestry ($); Google Books.
  • McCauley, William. History of Roanoke County, Salem, Roanoke City, Virginia, and Representative Citizens, 1734-1900. Chicago: Biographical Pub. Co., 1902. FHL; digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Prillaman, Helen R. Places Near the Mountains: From the Community of Amsterdam, Virginia Up the Road to Catawba, on the Waters of the Catawba and Tinker Creeks, along the Carolina Road as it Aproached Big Lick and Other Areas, Primarily North Roanoke [Botetourt and Roanoke Counties, Virginia]. Baltimore, MD, USA: Genealogical Publishing Co., 2002. FHL; digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Roanoke, Story of County and City. unknown: unknown, 1942. FHL; digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Salem and the Roanoke Valley: A Circular of Information, Location, Railroad Facilities, Business Interests, Manufacturing Prospects, Water Power, Mineral wealth, Fertile Lands, Healthful Climate, Social, Moral, Religious and Educational Advantages. Salem, Va.: Times-Register Power Press Print, 1884. FHL; digital version at Ancestry ($).



Revolutionary War
  • 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 version at Google Books. 1967 reprint: FHL Book 973 X2pc 1840. [See Virginia, Western District, Roanoke County on page 136.]
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, Roanoke County, pp. 100-101. Identifies War of 1812 veterans living in this county in 1883.]
Civil War

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

- 14th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate). Company F (2nd) and Company G (Border Rangers).[5]
- 25th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate). Company F.[6]
- 28th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company F (Botetourt Springs Rifles) and Company K (Roanoke Grays).[7]
- 42nd Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company E (Dixie Grays).[8]


The Virginia Newspapers Project identifies local Roanoke 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 Salem silversmiths.]

Probate Records

Research Guides

  • "A Guide to the Counties of Virginia: Roanoke County," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 21, No. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 1977):285-286. Available at FHL; digital version at American Ancestors ($).


  • [1882] Big Lick District Personal Property Tax List, 1882, Virginia Appalachian Notes. Roanoke VA: Nov 1982. Vol. 6 Iss. 4.

Vital Records

Indexes to Roanoke 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

Vital Record Substitutes

Societies and Libraries

Family History Centers

Web Sites


  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Richmond County, Virginia. Page 720 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. Wikipedia Contributors, "Roanoke County, Virginia," in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roanoke_County,_Virginia, accessed 13 January 2012.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  4. 4.0 4.1 Robert Baylor Semple and George William Beale, A History of the Rise and Progress of the Baptists in Virginia (Pitt and Dickinson, 1894), 349. Digital version at Google Books.
  5. Robert J. Driver, 14th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, c1988). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 47.
  6. Dobbie E. Lambert, 25th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1994). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 106.
  7. Frank E. Fields, 28th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1985). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 15.
  8. John Chapla, 42nd Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1983). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 5.