Mathews County, Virginia Genealogy
Guide to Mathews County Virginia ancestry, family history, and genealogy. Birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, immigration records, and military records.
|Mathews County, Virginia|
Location in the state of Virginia, United States Genealogy
Location of Virginia in the U.S.
County Information[edit | edit source]
Description[edit | edit source]
Mathews County is located in the Eastern portion of the Commonwealth of Virginia and was named for Brigadier General Thomas Mathews, then speaker of the Virginia House of Delegates.
Mathews County, Virginia Courthouse[edit | edit source]
Mathews County Courthouse
P.O. Box 463
10622 Buckley Hall Road
Mathews, Virginia 23109
Clerk Circuit Court has marriage, divorce, probate, court and land records from 1865
General compliance year is unknown.
Mathews County, Virginia History[edit | edit source]
The county is named after Thomas Mathews (1742–1812), an American Revolutionary War general and Virginia politician, who represented Norfolk Borough in the Virginia House of Delegates, and served as that body's Speaker from 1782 until 1793.
Parent County[edit | edit source]
Boundary Changes[edit | edit source]
For animated maps illustrating Virginia county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Virginia County Boundary Maps" (1617-1995) may be viewed for free at the MapofUS.org website.
Variant Spellings[edit | edit source]
Record Loss[edit | edit source]
- Lost censuses: 1800, 1890
Visit the Library of Virginia's website to determine exactly what records have been lost and their Lost Records Localities Database to find additional resources. For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:
- Burned Counties. By Michael John Neill at 24-7 Family History Circle.
- When the Records are Gone. By Arlene Eakle at Arlene Eakle's Tennessee Blog.
- Burned Counties Research in the FamilySearch Research Wiki.
Mathews County, Virginia Places/Localities[edit | edit source]
Populated Places[edit | edit source]
For a complete list of populated places, including small neighborhoods and suburbs, visit HomeTown Locator. The following are the most historically and genealogically relevant populated places in this county:
Neighboring Counties[edit | edit source]
Resources[edit | edit source]
Research Guides[edit | edit source]
- Davis, Virginia Lee Hutcheson. "Records of Tidewater Virginia Counties," Tidewater Virginia Families: A Magazine of History and Genealogy, Vol. 1, No. 2 (May-June 1992):53-66. FHL Collection 975.51 D25t [For Mathews County, see p. 61]
African American[edit | edit source]
- 1865-1872 Freedmen's Bureau Letters or Correspondence, 1865-1872
- 1935-2009 Virginia, African-American Funeral Programs, 1935-2009, index and images, incomplete
- Heinegg, Paul. "Mathews County Personal Property Tax List, 1791-1815," Free African Americans.com. [Heinegg abstracted free blacks listed in these records.]
- Gwynn's Island Project. Website dedicated to African Americans whose ancestral home place is Gwynn's Island in Mathews County, Virginia.
- Dixon, John W. The Black Americans of Gwynn's Island 1600s through 1900s. Mathews Memorial Library CREF 909.04 DIX.
- Johnson, Martha C. Black Families of Elizabeth City Co., VA, 1800-1990: Research of Families of Callis, Davis, Simpson, Radcliff, Originating from Gloucester Co., Mathews Co., York and James Counties and Elizabeth Co., Hampton, Virginia. FHL Collection 1728886 Item 2.
- Search the Library of Virginia's Virginia Untold collection for digitized records related to African Americans of Mathews County.
- Free African Americans of North Carolina and Virginia has Paul Heinegg's Free African Americans of North Carolina and Virginia is a collection of genealogies about African American families living in the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries.
Bible Records[edit | edit source]
Images of the Mathews Archives' family Bible collections at the Mathews Memorial Library have been digitized:
Family Bible records available online or in manuscript form at the Library of Virginia covering Mathews County, Virginia:
Images of the Virginia Historical Society's family Bible collection have been digitized:
Cemeteries[edit | edit source]
|Tombstone Transcriptions Online||Tombstone Transcriptions in Print||List of Cemeteries in the county|
|Findagrave.com||Family History Library||Findagrave.com|
|See Virginia Cemeteries for more information.|
- Tyler, Lyon G. "Old Tombstones in Mathews County," The William and Mary Quarterly, Vol. 3, No. 4 (Apr. 1895):255-256. Digital version at JSTOR - free
- Tombstones of Mathews County, Virginia 1711-1986. Compilers: Christine L. Sheridan and Elsie W. Ernst. Mathews County Historical Society, Inc., 1988.
Census[edit | edit source]
1784 - First Census of the United States Heads of Families. Kingston Parish.
1890 Union Veterans[edit | edit source]
- Turner, Ronald Ray. Virginia's Union Veterans: Eleventh Census of the United States 1890. Available online, courtesy: Prince William County Virginia website. [Includes residents of this county.]
Church Records[edit | edit source]
- Matheny, Emma R. and Helen K. Yates. Kingston Parish Register, Gloucester and Mathews Counties, Virginia, 1749-1827. Genealogical Publishing Co., Inc., 1979. Original is available at FHLand digital version at Ancestry ($).
- The Vestry Book of Kingston Parish, Mathews County, Virginia (until May 1, 1791, Gloucester County), 1679-1796. Transcribed, annotated, and indexed by C.G. Chamberlayne. Originally published Richmond, Virginia, 1929. Available at FamilySearch Digital Library; FHL; digital versions at Ancestry ($).
- Brown, Robert L. Old Kingston Parish 1652-1976. Creative Arts Advertising, 1976. Available at the Mathews County Visitor and Information Center.
- McCartney, Martha W. Kingston Parish Register: Mathews, Gloucester and Middlesex Counties, Virginia Slaves and Slaveholders, 1746-1827. Genealogical Publishing, 2014.
Church of England[edit | edit source]
- Mason, George Carrington. Colonial Churches of Tidewater Virginia. Richmond, Virginia: Whittet and Shepperson, 1945. Available at FHL.
Court[edit | edit source]
- Library of Virginia's Virginia Memory: Chancery Records Index can be used to search Mathews County chancery records for the years 1842-1904, but this is an incomplete index. The majority of chancery records remain at the Mathews County Circuit Court Clerk's office.
Funeral Homes[edit | edit source]
- 1935-2009 Virginia, African-American Funeral Programs, 1935-2009, index and images, incomplete
- Foster-Faulkner Funeral Home
- Knight Funeral Home Inc. · 656 Holly Point Rd. · Mathews, Virginia · (804) 725-3631
Genealogy[edit | edit source]
Compiled Genealogies by Surname
- See Mathews County, Virginia Compiled Genealogies for a few+ published books and articles.
Compiled Genealogies for Multiple Families
- Yurechko, John Otto. Virginians Along and Near the Lower Rapphahannock River, 1607-1799. 2 vols. Westminster, Md.: Family Line Publications, 1997-1998. FHL Book 975.5 D2yj v. 1-v. 2. Contents: v. 1. Blake, Brooks (Brook), Churchill, Cook (Cock), Daniel, Dixon, Gore, Kidd, Lewis, Martin, Montague, Taylor and Wood -- v. 2. Brown, Clark, Elliott, Fox (Fowkes, Vaulx), Harrison, McTyre, Moore, Pate, Rawlins (Rollins), Rhodes, Sanders (Saunders) and Williams.
Historic Sites & Properties[edit | edit source]
- Historic Homes and Properties of Mathews County, Virginia, Vol. 1 by MCHS (2009). First in a series of five highlighting ten pre-Civil War home in Mathews County, Virginia: Carobian (Sibley Farm), Fountain Green, Magnolia, Milford II (William Penn Hudgins House), Old Pine (John Warner Borum House), Palace Green (Francis Armistead House), R-R Retreat Acres (Archibald Taylor Hudgins House), Seth Foster House, Whitfield Landing (Jesse Hudgins House) and Williamsdale (Riverlawn).
- Historic Homes and Properties of Mathews County, Virginia, Vol. 2 by MCHS (2013). Second in a series of five highlighting ten pre-Civil War home in Mathews County, Virginia: Bellevue, Brunson’s Landing (Jesse Thomas House), Edwards Hall (Bohannon Place/Hurricane Hall II) Pleasant View (Tynant), Poplar Grove, Ransone House (Rebel Yell), Springdale, Sutherland (Shadecliff), Watcombe Manor and White Dog Bistro (Lane Hotel/Bailey Hudgins’ House/Bullfrogs & Butterflies/White Dog Inn).
- Historic Homes and Properties of Mathews County, Virginia, Vol. 3 by MCHS (2018). Third in a series of five highlighting ten pre-Civil War home in Mathews County, Virginia: Alexander James House, Bayview (Batavia), Belmont, Eastover (Sandberg House/East End), Folly Farm, Miles-Gamble House, Milford (Billups House), Oakland, Tompkins Cottage and Willow Grove.
- Historic Homes and Properties of Mathews County, Virginia, Vol. 4 by MCHS (2020). Fourth in a series of five highlighting ten pre-Civil War home in Mathews County, Virginia: Auburn, Augustine Diggs House (Pear Tree Hall), Augustine F. Hudgins House, Cedar Grove (Cedar Croft/Williams House), Gwynnville, Henry Sibley House, Hyco (Haiku House), Isleham, Lilly House and Seaford.
- New Point Comfort Lighthouse, Its History and Preservation by Mary Louise Clifford and J. Candace Clifford (2013). A lone tower reinforced by riprap, surrounded by Chesapeake Bay waters and off the southern tip of Mathews County, Virginia, the lighthouse at New Point Comfort has weathered a constantly shifting shoreline as well as enemy troops in two wars. First lit in 1806 when it stood onshore beside a keeper's dwelling, the tower has survived intact. The book traces the station's history and present-day preservation efforts by the New Point Comfort Lighthouse Preservation Taskforce.
Land and Property[edit | edit source]
- 1782, 1784, 1787-E, 1788-E, 1789-E, 1790-E Land tax assessments, Kingston Parish
- 1791-1800 Mathews County Virginia Land and Personal Tax Lists abstracted by Dr. Stephen E. Bradley, Jr., 1992. Available at the Mathews County Visitor and Information Center.
- 1801-1814 Land tax records, Mathews County, Virginia
Local Histories[edit | edit source]
- McCartney, Martha W. Mathews County Virginia: Lost Landscapes, Untold Stories. Dietz Press, 2015.
- History and Progress Mathews County, Virginia, Mathews County Historical Society, 1982.
- Mathews County Panorama, A Pictorial History of Mathews County, Virginia, 1791-1941, Mathews County Historical Society, 1983.
- Clifford, Mary Louise. New Point Comfort Lighthouse: Its History and Preservation. Dietz Press, 2013.
- Ryan, David D. Gwynn's Island Virginia: A History and Pictorial Essay. Whittet & Shepperson, printers, 1986. Mathews Memorial Library CREF 975.531 RYA.
- Ryan, David D. Gwynn's Island Virginia: Stories of a New World Settlement from the first families to the present. Dietz Press, 2000. Mathews Memorial Library CREF 975.531 RYA.
Maps[edit | edit source]
- 1917 Edition Mathews, Virginia Historical Topographic Map; surveyed 1916.
- David Rumsey Historical Map Collection includes 18th and 19th century historical North and South American atlases, globes, school geographies, maritime charts, etc.
- Library of Congress has a searchable collection of digitized maps in the public domain from North America, 1544-1996.
Military[edit | edit source]
Revolutionary War[edit | edit source]
- Revolutionary War Records (1775-1783), Rosters, Pensions and Bounty Land Warrants. This list is for men from Kingston Parish/Mathews County who fought for the colonies in the American 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 versions at U.S. Census Bureau and Google Books et. al. 1967 reprint: FHL Collection 973 X2pc 1840. [See Virginia, Eastern District, Matthews County on pages 131-132.]
War of 1812[edit | edit source]
Mathews County men served in the 61st Regiment.
- 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, Matthews County [sic], p. 90. Identifies War of 1812 veterans living in this county in 1883.]
Civil War[edit | edit source]
Regiments. Service men in Mathews 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 Mathews County, Virginia Genealogy:
Records and histories are available, including:
- 1861-1865 - Virginia, Civil War Service Records of Confederate Soldiers, 1861-1865 at FamilySearch — index
- 1861-1865 - Virginia, Civil War Service Records of Union Soldiers, 1861-1865 at FamilySearch — index
- 1861-1865 - U.S., Confederate Soldiers Compiled Service Records, 1861-1865 at Ancestry — index (free)
- 1861-1865 - U.S., Union Soldiers Compiled Service Records, 1861-1865 at Ancestry — index (free)
- The Civil War Soldiers and Sailors System is a database containing information about the men who served in the Union and Confederate armies during the Civil War. Other information on the site includes histories of Union and Confederate regiments, links to descriptions of significant battles, and selected lists of prisoner-of-war records and cemetery records, which will be amended over time. The CWSS is a cooperative effort between the National Park Service and several public and private partners whose goal is to increase Americans' understanding of this decisive era in American history by making information about it widely accessible.
World War II[edit | edit source]
- 1940-1945 - Virginia, World War II Draft Registration Cards,1940-1945 at FamilySearch — index and images
Miscellaneous Records[edit | edit source]
Museums[edit | edit source]
- Gwynn's Island Museum originally established as a Community Project in 1991, the Gwynn’s Island Museum is dedicated to preserving the history of Gwynn’s Island and Mathews County, Virginia.
- Mathews Historical Museum will have a permanent museum in Mathews County within five years, that will collect, preserve and exhibit cultural artifacts that represent the history of the county.
- Mathews Maritime Foundation Museum & Boat Shop is owned and operated by the Mathews Maritime Foundation. Established in 1998, the Foundation is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving and protecting Mathews County’s maritime and cultural heritage through research, conservation, documentation and education.
- Thomas James Store, owned by the Mathews County Historical Society, is a rare and excellent example of an early nineteenth-century rural commercial building. Although it has undergone some alterations and was almost certainly moved from its original location, the store retains much of its original fabric and is remarkably well preserved for its age. It dates to c. 1820, and appears to be one of the oldest buildings in the downtown commercial district of Mathews County. It is a registered National Historic Building.
- Tompkins Cottage Museum, which is headquarters for the Mathews County Historical Society, is named for Christopher Tompkins, a local sea captain, planter, local merchant and member of the state legislature. He bought the cottage property in 1837 and is the first known owner. Exhibits include a room dedicated to the history of Mathews County and serves as a gift shop, two rooms representing a home from the 1840s to the 1920s, and a room dedicated to Sally Louisa Tompkins who was the first woman commissioned in an American military unit. It is a registered National Historic Building.
Naturalization[edit | edit source]
- Virginia Naturalization Petitions, 1906-1929
Newspapers[edit | edit source]
- Virginia Chronicle: Digital Newspaper Archive. A historical archive of Virginia newspapers, providing free access to full text searching and digitized images of over a million newspaper pages.
- Gloucester and Mathews Newspaper Articles 1770 to 1922, over 800 articles in print from 127 newspapers from 30 States. Compiled by Joan Charles. Hampton, Virginia. August 2008.
- The Virginia Newspapers Project identifies local Mathews County, Virginia Genealogy newspapers.
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 the Virginia Gazette and other Virginia newspapers (1736-1803), see: The Geography of Slavery in Virginia.
- Gloucester-Mathews Gazette-Journal
Papers Private[edit | edit source]
- Virginia, Historical Society Papers, 1607-2007
Probate Records[edit | edit source]
- Lustenberger, Anita A., Heirs and Estates: Mathews County, Virginia Circuit Superior Court of Law and Chancery Process Book 1831-1861. 2012. Mathews Memorial Library CREF 975.531 LUS
- Hopkins, William Lindsay. Some Wills from the Burned Counties of Virginia and Other Wills Not Listed in Virginia Wills and Administrations 1632-1800. Richmond, Virginia: W.L. Hopkins, 1987. FHL Collection [Includes Mathews County.]
Taxation[edit | edit source]
- [1774-1775] Billups, John R. Tithables, 1774-1775, of Kingston Parish, also Billups' Accounts, 1787-1842. MSS., Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia; also available at FHL. [Kingston Parish was located in Gloucester County at the time, but later fell within the bounds of Mathews County.]
- [1774-1791] Mason, Polly Cary. Records of Colonial Gloucester County Virginia. 2 vols. 1946-1948; reprint, Baltimore: Clearfield, 2003. Original edition and 1965 reprintavailable at FHL; digital version at Ancestry ($); and World Vital Records ($). [Includes land patent abstracts, 1704/05 rent roll, Gloucester County tax lists 1770-1782, Mathews County tax lists 1774-1791, burgesses, council, and court, county officials, etc.]
-  1791 Mathews County, Virginia Personal Property Tax List; index online at New River Notes - free.
- [1791-1820] Ward, Roger G. "Burned County Gleanings: Mathews County Land Tax Lists, 1791-1820," Magazine of Virginia Genealogy, Vol. 35, No. 4 (Fall 1997):317-323. Available at FHL; digital version at Ancestry ($). [Abstracts of some taxpayers that include "genealogical tidbits," such as relationships, land transfers, etc.]
- [1791-1815] Heinegg, Paul. "Mathews County Personal Property Tax List, 1791-1815," Free African Americans.com. [Heinegg abstracted free blacks listed in these records.]
-  Indexed images of the 1803 Personal Property Tax List of Mathews County, Virginia are available online, courtesy:Binns Genealogy.
-  Indexed images of the 1803 Land Tax List of Mathews County, Virginia are available online, courtesy: Binns Genealogy.
- [1809-1816, 1822-1831] Mathews County Personal Property Tax Lists 1809-1816, 1822-1831 (images); digital version in Tax List Club at Binns Genealogy ($).
Vital Records[edit | edit source]
Indexes to Mathews 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. See also How to order Virginia Vital Records
Birth[edit | edit source]
- 1853-1866 - Virginia, Slave Birth Index, 1853-1866 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1912-1913 - Virginia, Birth Certificates, 1912-1913 at FamilySearch — index and images
Marriage[edit | edit source]
- 1660-1800 - Virginia Marriages 1660-1800 (Ancestry) ($).
- 1660-1959 - Virginia, United States Marriages at FindMyPast — index $
- 1740-1850 - Virginia Marriages 1740-1850 (Ancestry) ($).
- 1785-1940 - Virginia, Select Marriages, 1785-1940 at Ancestry.com ($) — index
- 1853-1935 - Virginia, Bureau of Vital Statistics, County Marriage Registers, 1853-1935 at FamilySearch — index and images
- 1854-1858 - Mathews County, Virginia marriage records — transcriptions
- 1936-1988 - Virginia, Marriage Certificates, 1936-1988 at FamilySearch — index and images
- Markie, Carolyn Winn. Marriages in Mathews County, Virginia: 1861-1900. Infinity Publishing, 2006.
Divorce[edit | edit source]
Death[edit | edit source]
- Mathews County Virginia Death Register 1853-1896. Compiled by Jane B. Goodsell. Iberian Publishing Co., 2001.
- 1912-1987 - Virginia, Death Certificates, 1912-1987 at FamilySearch — index and images
Vital Record Substitutes[edit | edit source]
The Virginia Historical Society's Marriage and Obituary Index, 1736-1820 (newspaper abstracts) is available at FamilySearch. Images of the original index cards are browseable, arranged alphabetically by surname.
|For birth, marriage, and death record substitutes, see Bible Records, Cemeteries, Church Records, Newspapers, and Probate Records.|
Voter Records[edit | edit source]
Mathews County, Virginia Genealogy Societies and Libraries[edit | edit source]
- Mathews County Historical Society, Inc.
- Mathews Memorial Library
- Middle Peninsula African-American Genealogical & Historical Society
Family History Centers[edit | edit source]
Family History Center and Affiliate Library Locator map - search for local Family History Centers or Affiliate Libraries
- Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
- FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.
Local Centers and Affiliate Libraries
To locate the closest family history center or affiliate library, use the link listed above.
Mathews County, Virginia Genealogy Websites[edit | edit source]
- Mathews Co., VAGenWeb. Part of the USGenWeb Project. Maps, name indexes, history.
- Mathews County, VA History, Records, Facts and Genealogy (Familytree101)
- FamilySearch Catalog
References[edit | edit source]
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Mathews County, Virginia. Page 717 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
- Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Mathews County, Virginia . Page 710-723 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 715-720.
- The Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America,10th ed. (Draper, UT:Everton Publishers, 2002).
- 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), 90. FHL Book 973 M2Lp v. 5; digital versions at Google Books and Internet Archive.
- Lost Records Localities: Counties and Cities with Missing Records, 3, in Library of Virginia (accessed 4 April 2014).
- Wikipedia contributors, "Mathews_ County,_Virginia," in Wikipedia: the Free Encyclopedia,https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mathews_County,_Virginia#Communities accessed 19 February 2020.
- Stuart Lee Butler, A Guide to Virginia Militia Units in the War of 1812 (Athens, Ga.: Iberian Pub. Co., 1988), 135. FHL Book 975.5 M2bs.
- Alexander Lloyd Wiatt, 26th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1984). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 13.