Washington County, Virginia Genealogy

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Washington County, Virginia
Map of Virginia highlighting Washington County
Location in the state of Virginia
Map of the U.S. highlighting Virginia
Location of Virginia in the U.S.
Founded 1776
County Seat Abingdon
United States  Gotoarrow.png  Virginia  Gotoarrow.png  Washington County 
Southwest Virginia county.

County Courthouse

Washington County Courthouse, Abingdon, Va.

Washington County Courthouse
216 Park Street
Abingdon, Virginia 24210-3312
Phone: 540-628-8733

In 1974 nine square miles of Washington County were
annexed to the City of Bristol, which is an independent
city with its own clerks office and records.  Circuit Clerk
Court has marriage, divorce, probate, court and land records
from 1777[1]

Gotoarrow.png See also Independent City of Bristol.

Beginning Dates for Washington County, Virginia Genealogy Government Records
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1853 1776 1853 1810 1778 1777


President George Washington (1732-1799)
The county was named after George Washington (1732-1799), who later became President.

Parent County

1776--Washington County was created 7 October 1776 from Fincastle County. Fincastle County was formed from Botetourt County in 1772, and was abolished in 1777.  See Montgomery County.
County seat: Abingdon [2]

Boundary Changes

Record Loss

  • Lost censuses: 1790, 1800, 1890


Populated Places

Neighboring Counties


African American

Bible Records

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

Additional Bible records include:


  • McConnell, Catherine S. High on a Windy Hill. 2 vols. Abingdon, Va.: Historical Society of Washington County, Virginia, 1968, 1995, 2000. FHL 975.5725 V3m; Free Lookups Available!
  • Montgomery, Mary Alice Hurt. Cemetery Census for Hawkins County, Tennessee, Sullivan County, Tennessee and Washington County, Virginia. Kingsport, Tenn.: M.A.H. Montgomery, [2002?]. FHL US/CAN Book 976.896/K1 V3m.


Historical populations
Census Pop.

For tips on accessing Washington 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 Washington County.]


Barbe and Edwards annotated the 1850 census using county records, tombstone inscriptions, family Bibles, Jessee H. Miller's diary, and other censuses:

  • Barbe, Waverly W. and Shelby Ireson Edwards. 1850 Census of Washington County, Virginia, Annotated. Bristol, Tenn.: Holston Territory Genealogical Society, 2000.

1890 Union Veterans



Early Baptist churches (with years constituted):

  1. Mill Creek Valley (1799)[3]
  2. N. Fork of Holston (1783)[3]
  3. Rich Valley (1802)[3]
  4. S. Fork of Holston or St. Clair's Bottom (1791)[3]

Washington County fell within the bounds of the Holston and Mountain Associations.



Template:DNA DNA has been collected from men claiming descent from the following Washington County, Virginia residents. FamilySearch has not independently verified the lineages of those tested.

  • [Fletcher] Multiple descendants of Drury Fletcher, d. 1817 Washington County, Virginia. Y-DNA 12 and 37 Marker Tests, FTDNA. Genetic signatures available online (labelled William Fletcher of Accomac County, Virginia/James Fletcher of Brunswick County, Virginia), courtesy: The Fletcher DNA Project.
  • [Fletcher] Multiple descendants of Vardaman Fletcher, b. c1760, m. 1797 Washington County, Virginia. Y-DNA 12, 25, and 37 Marker Tests, FTDNA. Genetic signature available online (labelled William Fletcher of Accomac County, Virginia/James Fletcher of Brunswick County, Virginia), courtesy: The Fletcher DNA Project.


More than 100 genealogies have been published about Washington County families. To view a list, visit Washington County, Virginia Genealogy.


During the War of 1812, American officials reported finding a total of 3 British aliens, some of whom had families, living in Abingdon and Washington County.[4]

Early migration routes to and from Washington County for European settlers included:[5]


Local Histories

  • Creigh, Alfred. History of Washington County from Its First Settlement to the Present Time: First Under Virginia as Yohogania, Ohio, or Augusta County Until 1781, and Subsequently Under Pennsylvania: With Sketches of All the Townships, Boroughs, and Villages, Etc.: And to Which is Added a Full Account of the Celebrated Mason and Dixon's Line, the Whiskey Insurrection, Indian Warfare, Traditional and Local Historical Events. Harrisburg, Pa.: B. Singerly, printer, 1871, c1870. Available at FHL; digital version at Ancestry ($).
  • Publications of the Historical Society of Washington County, Virginia [Nos. 1-18]. Abingdon, Virginia, 1964. Reviewed in The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 8, No. 4 (Oct.-Dec. 1964):185. Review available at American Ancestors ($).
  • Summers, Lewis Preston. History of Southwest Virginia, 1746-1786, Washington County, 1777-1870. J.L.Hill Print Co., 1903. Available at FHL; digital versions at Ancestry ($) and Google Books. Following the 1966 reprint, this book was reviewed in The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 11, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1967):84. Review available at American Ancestors ($).



French and Indian War
  • Bockstruck, Lloyd DeWitt. Virginia's Colonial Soldiers. Baltimore: Genealogical Publishing Co., 1988. FHL Collection [Identifies some Washington County veterans; see place name index.]
Revolutionary War
  • Kegley, Mary B. Revolutionary War Pension Applications of Southwest Virginia Soldiers. n.p.: M.B. Kegley, 1997. FHL Collection [Includes Washington 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. 1967 reprint: FHL Book 973 X2pc 1840. [See Virginia, Western District, Wythe 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 Book 973 M24ur; digital version at Ancestry ($). [Includes veterans from this county; Virginia section begins on page 238.]
War of 1812

Washington County men served in the 70th and 105th Regiments.[6]

  • 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, Washington County, p. 106-107. Identifies War of 1812 veterans living in this county in 1883.]
Civil War

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

- 1st Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate).
- 4th Regiment, Virginia State Line (Cavalry and Infantry) (Confederate). Company I (2nd).[7]
- 13th Battalion, Virginia Reserves (Confederate). Companies C, F, and I.[8]
- 30th Battalion, Virginia Sharpshooters (Clarke's) (Confederate). Company E.[9]

Records and histories are available, including:



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.


Watauga Association of Genealogists Bulletin

Genealogical articles with abstracts of Washington County, Virginia records have been published in the Watauga Association of Genealogists Bulletin (39+ vols., 1972-present), the journal of the Watauga Association of Genealogists. The organization has posted tables of contents for most volumes on their website. Back issues are available for purchase. The Family History Library has a complete collection FHL US/CAN Books 976.897 B2w, including Margaret W. Hougland and Betty Jane Hylton's Bulletin Subject Index: The First Thirty Years, 1972-2001 (Johnson City, Tenn.: Watauga Association of Genealogists, 2002) FHL US/CAN Book 976.897 B2w index 1972-2001.

Private Papers

Virginia, Historical Society Papers, 1607-2007

  • Davis--Hatfield--Parkey Family Bible Records, 1779-1919. Kentucky Bible and Cemetery Records / Genealogical Records Committee, Kentucky Society D.A.R. leaves 255-260; FHL US/CAN Film 855039 Item 4.


A free index to Washington County, Virginia Genealogy wills and administrations (1770-1800) is available at the Library of Virginia website.

Research Guides

  • "A Guide to the Counties of Virginia: Washington County," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 24, No. 1 (Jan.-Mar. 1980):58-60. Digital version at American Ancestors ($).


How can Virginia tax lists help me? 

Vital Records

Indexes to Washington 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. Washington County, Virginia Births, 1889-96 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: The Generations Network, Inc., 2000. Available at Ancestry ($).
  • Barbe, Waverly. "Washington County, Virginia, Mc Marriages, 1801-1820," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 20, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1976):130-132. Available at American Ancestors ($).
  • Fleet, Beverley. Washington County Marriage Register, 1782-1820. Baltimore, Md.: Genealogical Pub. Co., 1961. Available at FHL; digital version at Ancestry ($).

Washington County, Virginia Genealogy deaths are included in the Library of Virginia's Death Index of Virginia, 1853-1896, sponsored by The Virginia Genealogical Society, available online - free.

Beth Fridley has published abstracts of the following Washington County death records online at Ancestry:

  • Washington County, Virginia Deaths, 1853-85 [database on-line]. Available at Ancestry ($). 
  • Washington County, Virginia Deaths, 1886-96 [database on-line]. Available at Ancestry ($).
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


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  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Washington County, Virginia. Page 722 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Robert Baylor Semple and George William Beale, A History of the Rise and Progress of the Baptists in Virginia (Pitt and Dickinson, 1894), 358-359. Digital version at Google Books.
  4. 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 ($).
  5. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), 847-61. (FHL Book 973 D27e 2002) WorldCat entry., and William E. Myer, Indian Trails of the Southeast (Nashville, Tenn.: Blue and Gray Press, 1971), 12-14, and the book's pocket map "The Trail System of the Southeastern United States in the early Colonial Period" (1923). (FHL Book 970.1 M992i) WorldCat entry.
  6. Stuart Lee Butler, A Guide to Virginia Militia Units in the War of 1812 (Athens, Ga.: Iberian Pub. Co., 1988), 209. FHL Book 975.5 M2bs.
  7. The Virginia State Line: Organizational Structure of the Virginia State Line, Ranger95.com, accessed 11 June 2012.
  8. 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.
  9. Michael West, 30th Battalion Virginia Sharpshooters (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1995). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 108.