The Resource Elizabeth City County (Va.) Chancery Causes, (electronic resource)

Elizabeth City County (Va.) Chancery Causes, (electronic resource)

Elizabeth City County (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1816-1933
Elizabeth City County (Va.) Chancery Causes
Inclusive dates
  • Elizabeth City County (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1816-1933 (bulk 1873-1898), are indexed into the Chancery Records Index. Cases are identified by style of suit consisting of plaintiff and defendant names. Surnames of others involved in a suit, including secondary plaintiffs and defendants, witnesses, deponents and affiants, and family members with surnames different from the plaintiff or defendant are indexed. Chancery causes often involved the following: divisions of estates or land, disputes over wills, divorces, debt, and business disputes. Predominant documents found in chancery causes include bills (plaintiff's complaint), answers (defendant's response), decrees (court's decision), depositions, affidavits, correspondence, lists of heirs, deeds, wills, slave records, business records or vital statistics, among other items. Plats, if present, are noted, as are wills from localities with an incomplete record of wills or localities other than the one being indexed
  • Chancery cases are useful when researching local history, genealogical information, and land or estate divisions. They are a valuable source of local, state, social, and legal history and serve as a primary source for understanding a locality’s history
Agency history record describes the history and functions of the Virginia Circuit Court (Hampton). Browse search: Hampton (Va.) Circuit Court.
Member of
Biographical or historical data
  • Chancery Causes are cases of equity. According to Black's Law Dictionary they are "administered according to fairness as contrasted with the strictly formulated rules of common law." A judge, not a jury, determines the outcome of the case.
  • Elizabeth City County was named for Elizabeth, daughter of King James I, and was one of the original shires, or counties, first enumerated in 1634. It became extinct on 1 July 1952 when it was incorporated into the city of Hampton, which was the county seat.
  • Hampton was located in Elizabeth City County, which is now extinct. It takes its name from Hampton Creek, earlier called Southampton River in honor of the earl of Southampton, an important figure in the Virginia Company of London. An Indian town stood on the site in 1607, when Captain John Smith visited the area. The colonists established a village there in 1610 and a trading post in 1630. Hampton was established by an act of assembly in 1680 and was designated as a port of entry in 1705. It was first incorporated as a town in March 1849, but the act was repealed the following December. It was incorporated again in 1852, but the act of incorporation was repealed in 1860. The General Assembly incorporated the town of Hampton in 1887 for a third time, and it became a city by court order on 4 March 1908. It was greatly enlarged on 1 July 1952 by a merger with Elizabeth City County and the town of Phoebus; the county and town thereby became extinct.
  • Records were burned or destroyed during the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Additional records were burned in Richmond on 3 April 1865, where they had been moved for safekeeping during the Civil War. A few pre-Civil War volumes such as deed books, will books, and order books exist.
Cataloging source
Location of other archival material
  • See the Chancery Records Index found on the Library of Virginia web site for the chancery records of other Virginia localities.
  • Elizabeth City County is one of Virginia's Lost Records Localities. Additional Elizabeth City County Court Records may be found in the Virginia Lost Records Localities Digital Collection.
Elizabeth City County (Va.) Chancery Causes, (electronic resource)
  • Digital images were generated by Backstage Library Works through the Library of Virginia's Circuit Court Records Preservation Program
  • The Chancery Records Index and images for Elizabeth City County (Va.) Chancery Causes are available electronically at the web site of the Library of Virginia by clicking the link found in this record
Arranged chronologically.
  • The Library of Virginia
Cumulative index finding aids
A list of selected suits of interest
Digital images.
Governing access note
There are no restrictions
Immediate source of acquisition
Backstage Library Works
Organization method
Organized by case, of which each is assigned a unique index number comprised of the latest year found in case and a sequentially increasing 3-digit number assigned by the processor as cases for that year are found.
Terms governing use
Patrons are to use digital images of Elizabeth City County (Va.) Chancery Causes found on the Chancery Records Index available electronically at the website of the Library of Virginia.

Library Locations

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