Wise County, Virginia Genealogy

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Wise County, Virginia
Boundary map of Wise County, Virginia
Map of Virginia highlighting Wise County
Location in the state of Virginia
Map of the U.S. highlighting Virginia
Location of Virginia in the U.S.
Founded 1856
County Seat Wise
United States  Gotoarrow.png  Virginia  Gotoarrow.png  Wise County 
Southwest Virginia county.

County Courthouse

Wise County Courthouse
206 East Main Street
P.O. Box 1248
Room 245
Wise, VA 24293
Phone: 276-328-6111

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

Beginning Dates for Wise County, Virginia Genealogy Government Records
Birth Marriage Death Census Land Probate
1857 1856 1857 1860 1856 1856


Gov. Henry A. Wise (1806-1876)

The county is named after Virginia Governor Henry A. Wise (1806-1876), who was in office at the time of Wise County's organization. He later served as a Confederate States Army General during the Civil War.[2]

Parent County

1856--Wise County was created 16 February 1856 from Lee, Russell, and Scott Counties.
County seat: Wise [3]

Boundary Changes

Record Loss

  • Lost census: 1890


Populated Places

Neighboring Counties


Bible Records

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

Additional Bible records include:


  • Sutherland, Elihu Jasper. Some Sandy Basin Characters. Clintwood, Va.: Hettie Sutherland, 1962. 1985 reprint available at FHL.


  • Adams, James Taylor (1892-1954). Wise County Historical Inventory: Family Burying Grounds. St. Louis, Mo.: R.R. Seibel and D.A. Griffith, 1971. Available at FHL.
  • Ben Bolling Cemetery, Flat Gap, Wise Co., VA
  • Kilgore, Paul. Butcher's Fork, American Legion, Skeen's Ridge and Back Valley Cemeteries of Wise County, Virginia. [West Virginia]: Wise County Historical Society (Va.), [1997?]. Available at FHL
  • Kilgore, Paul. Powell Valley Memorial Gardens: Located in Beautiful Powell Valley, Wise County, VA. Wise, Va.: Wise County Historical Society (Va.), 2003. Available at FHL.


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

Historical populations
Census Pop.

1860 Agriculture Census

  • Weaver, Jeffrey C. The 1860 Agriculture Census of Wise County, Virginia. Clintwood, Va.: Mullins Printing, 1992. Available at FHL.

1890 Union Veterans

Church Records

  • Little Primitive Baptist Church, Wise, Va. (by 1856).[4]

Court Records

Chancery Court

  • Indexes (1855-1925) and images (1855-1912) to Wise 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 25 genealogies have been published about Wise County families. To view a list, visit Wise County, Virginia Genealogy.

Land and Property

Local Histories

  • Johnson, Charles A. A Narrative History of Wise County, Virginia. Norton, Va.: Norton Press, 1938. Reprint edition, The Overmountain Press, 1988. FHL Collection; digital version at Ancestry ($); and World Vital Records ($). Google Books page.
  • Wise County: Her Industries, Resources and Prominent Men. Norton, Va.: n.p., 1920. FHL Collection; digital version at Ancestry ($).



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, Wise County, p. 107. Identifies War of 1812 veterans living in this county in 1883.]
Civil War

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

- 4th Regiment, Virginia State Line (Cavalry and Infantry) (Confederate). Company C.[5]
- 29th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company F.[6]
- 50th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company H (Wise Yankee Catchers).[7]

Records and histories are available, including:


Virginia Naturalization Petitions, 1906-1929


Private Papers

Virginia, Historical Society Papers, 1607-2007

Probate Records

Research Guides

  • "A Guide to the Counties of Virginia: Wise County," The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 24, No. 3 (Jul.-Sep. 1980):204-206. Available at American Ancestors ($).


How can Virginia tax lists help me?

Vital Records

Indexes to Wise 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

  • Wise Co., Va., Births, 1867-1871, MSS., James Taylor Adams Collection, Box 68. St. Louis, Mo.: R.R. Seibel and D.A. Griffith, 1971. Microfilmed reproduction: FHL Collection

Wise 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.

  • Kilgore, Paul and Fred Harry King Funeral Home. Death Records, Fred H. King Funeral Home, 1927-1935. Wise, Va.: Wise County Historical Society (Va.), [1999?]. FHL Collection
  • Robertson, Rhonda. The Wise County, Virginia Death Register 1856-1894. [Wise, Virginia]: Wise County Historical Society (VA), [200-?]. FHL Collection
Vital Record Substitutes

Societies and Libraries

Family History Centers



  1. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Wise County, Virginia. Page 723 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  2. "Henry A. Wise," in Wikipedia: The Free Encyclopedia, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henry_A._Wise, accessed 13 January 2012.
  3. The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
  4. Charles A. Johnson, A narrative history of Wise County, Virginia (Norton, Va.: Norton Press, 1938), 8. Digital version at Ancestry ($).
  5. The Virginia State Line: Organizational Structure of the Virginia State Line, Ranger95.com, accessed 11 June 2012.
  6. John Perry Alderman, 29th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1989). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 53.
  7. John C. Chapla, 50th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1997). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 129.