The Resource Dinwiddie County (Va.) Coroners' Inquisitions

Dinwiddie County (Va.) Coroners' Inquisitions

Dinwiddie County (Va.) Coroners' Inquisitions, 1872-1909
Dinwiddie County (Va.) Coroners' Inquisitions
Inclusive dates
Dinwiddie County (Va) Coroners' Inquisitions, 1872-1909, consists of four inquistions. They are investigations into the deaths of individuals who died by a sudden violent, unnatural or suspicious manner, or died without medical attendance. Causes of death found in coroners' inquisitions include murder, infanticide, suicide, domestic violence, exposure to elements, drownings train accidents, automobile accidents, and natural causes, or as commonly referred to in the 19th century, visitation by God. Documents commonly found in coroners' inquests include the inquisitions, depositions and summons. Criminal papers such as recognizance bonds can be found in coroner inquisitions. Information found in the inquisitions include the name of the coroner, the names of the jurors, the name and age of the deceased if known, gender and race of the deceased, and when how, and by what means the deceased came to his or her death. Information found in the depositions include the name of the deponent and his or her account of the circumstances that led to the death of the deceased
Member of
Biographical or historical data
  • Dinwiddie County was named for Robert Dinwiddie, lieutenant governor of Virginia from 1751 to 1758, and was formed from Prince George County in 1752.
  • The bulk of court records prior to 1865 were stolen, mutilated, and/or destroyed by Union troops who ransacked the courthouse during the last months of the Civil War. Post-1830 volumes such as deed books, will books, chancery order books, and marriage registers exist.
  • The separate office of coroner appeared in Virginia about 1660. The judicial duty of the office is to hold inquisitions in cases when persons meet sudden, violent, unnatural or suspicious death, or death without medical attendance. The coroner would summon a jury to assist him in determining cause of death. Prior to November 1877, the jurors numbered twelve. Between November 1877 and March 1926, the jurors numbered six. The jury viewed the body of the deceased and heard the testimony of witnesses. The coroner was required to write down witness testimony. After seeing and hearing the evidence, the jury delivered in writing to the coroner their conclusion concerning cause of death referred to as the inquisition. After March 1926, only the coroner determined cause of death. He could require physicians to assist him with determing cause of death. If a criminal act was determined to be the cause of death, the coroner was to deliver the guilty person to the sheriff and the coroners' inquests would be used as evidence in the criminal trial.
Cataloging source
Location of other archival material
Dinwiddie County is one of Virginia's Lost Records Localities. Additional Dinwiddie County Court Records may be found in the Virginia Lost Records Localities Digital Collection.
Dinwiddie County (Va.) Coroners' Inquisitions
These items came to the Library of Virginia in a transfer of court records from Dinwiddie County under the accession number 50187
Chronological by date coroner filed inquisition in the court.
  • The Library of Virginia
Governing access note
There are no restrictions
Immediate source of acquisition
Dinwiddie County Circuit Court
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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