The Resource Charles City County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records

Charles City County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records

Charles City County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records, 1820-1859
Charles City County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records
Inclusive dates
  • Charles City County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records, 1800-1859, consist of lists of free negroes (1851, 1859); patrol and guards' papers (1800-1855); and registrations and certificates of free negroes (1821-1854)
  • Lists of free negroes (1851, 1859) were compiled by the commissioner of the revenue for tax purposes. The lists give the full name, age, sex, and trade or occupation for each person on the list
  • Patrol and guards' papers (1800-1855, n.d.) consist of patrol reports, orders, and warrants as well as an order to guard the jail. The patrol reports list the names of patrollers, dates and/or hours served on the slave patrol, and occasionally the amount of money to be paid. The captain of the patrol is usually indicated. The patrol orders and warrants are directives by the justice of the peace for specifically named men to patrol the county for a specific amount of time. The order to guard the jail orders that the jail be guarded with no further information
  • Certificates and registrations of free negroes (1821-1854) contain the name of the free person, sometimes their age and a brief physical description, and a statement based either on another person's knowledge or on other official documentary evidence seen by the certifier that this person was either born free or was emancipated. If born free, reference is sometimes made to parents. If emancipated, emancipating owner, place and date of emancipation, and prior registration as a free negro are usually mentioned. Occasionally the register number is given; this number corresponds to the entry number in the register of free negroes kept by the clerk of court at the courthouse
Member of
Additional physical form
also available on Charles City County (Va.) Reel 22.
Biographical or historical data
  • Charles City County was named for Charles I of England and was one of the eight shires established in 1634.
  • Records have been destroyed at various times. The most damage occurred during the Civil War when the records were strewn through the woods in a rainstorm. A few preā€“Civil War volumes such as deed books, will books, minute books, and order books exist.
Cataloging source
Location of other archival material
  • Additional Charles City County Free Negro and Slave Records can be found on microfilm at The Library of Virginia. Consult "A Guide to Virginia County and City Records on Microfilm" found on the Library of Virginia web site.
  • Charles City County is one of Virginia's Lost Records Localities. Additional Charles City County Court Records may be found in the Virginia Lost Records Localities Digital Collection.
Charles City County (Va.) Free Negro and Slave Records
These items came to the Library of Virginia in shipments of court papers from Charles City County
  • The Library of Virginia
Governing access note
There are no restrictions
Immediate source of acquisition
Charles City County Circuit Court.
Organization method
Chronological by record type.
Terms governing use
There are no restrictions.
Type of unit
cu. ft.

Library Locations

    • Library of VirginiaBorrow it
      800 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA, 23219, US
      37.5415632 -77.4360805
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