The Resource James City County/Williamsburg (Va.) Chancery Causes, (electronic resource)

James City County/Williamsburg (Va.) Chancery Causes, (electronic resource)

James City County/Williamsburg (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1799-1933
James City County/Williamsburg (Va.) Chancery Causes
Inclusive dates
  • James City County/Williamsburg (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1799-1933, 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 (James City County/Williamsburg). Browse search: James City County/Williamsburg (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.
  • Beginning in 1770, the courts of James City County and Williamsburg shared a common courthouse.
  • James City County was named for King James I. It was one of the eight shires, or counties, enumerated in 1634. Subsequent additions from the Williamsburg section of York County were made in 1769, 1852, and 1880.
  • Williamsburg, in James City and York Counties, was established by the General Assembly as Middle Plantation in 1633. After the capitol at Jamestown burned in 1698, the assembly decided to move the capital of the colony to Middle Plantation, which was renamed Williamsburg in 1699 in honor of William III. Williamsburg was established in 1699 and declared a "city Incorporate" in 1722, although its actual status was that of a borough. It served as the capital of Virginia from 1699 until 1780. Williamsburg was incorporated as a city in 1884.
  • During the Civil War, the records of James City County and Williamsburg were transferred to Richmond for safekeeping but were destroyed by fire in Richmond on 3 April 1865.
Cataloging source
Location of other archival material
  • Additional James City County/Williamsburg Court Records can be found on microfilm at The Library of Virginia web site. Consult "A Guide to Virginia County and City Records on Microfilm."
  • See the Chancery Records Index found on the Library of Virginia web site for the chancery records of other Virginia localities.
  • James City County/Williamsburg County is one of Virginia's Lost Records Localities. Additional James City County/Williamsburg County Court Records may be found in the Virginia Lost Records Localities Digital Collection.
James City County/Williamsburg (Va.) Chancery Causes, (electronic resource)
  • These items came to the Library of Virginia in transfer of court papers from James City County/Williamsburg County under the accession number 43503
  • Digital images were generated by Crowley Micrographics through the Library of Virginia's Circuit Court Records Preservation Program
  • The Chancery Records Index and images for James City County/Williamsburg 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
Digital images.
Governing access note
There are no restrictions
Immediate source of acquisition
  • James City County/Williamsburg Circuit Court
  • Crowley Micrographics
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
There are no restrictions.

Library Locations

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