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 Virginia

216 Park Street Abingdon, Virginia 24210-3312

  • 540-628-8733
  • In 1974 nine square miles of Washing County

 were annexed to the city of Bristol which is

an independent city with its own Clerks office and Record

Clerk Circuit Court has marriage, divorce, probate

Court & land records from 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 [1]

Boundary Changes

Record Loss

  • Lost censuses: 1790, 1800, 1890


Populated Places

Neighboring Counties


African American

Freedmen's BureauLetters or Correspondence, 1865-1872

1Free black tithables, brief lists, 1804, 1806, Pastmaster Journal of the Mountain Empire. Bristol VA: Jan 2004.


  • 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




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.[2]

Early migration routes to and from Washington County for European settlers included:[3]


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
  • 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

Virginia, Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers 1861-1865

Virginia, Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers 1861-1865


Virginia Naturalization Petitions, 1906-1929


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

  • 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 ($).

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

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

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.

Societies and Libraries

Family History Centers


Hands on keyboard.png Genealogy courses: Learn how to research from an expert in Fun Five Minute Genealogy Videos.

Learning How toEdit our Wiki Sites



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