The Resource Newport News (Va.) Coroners' Inquisitions

Newport News (Va.) Coroners' Inquisitions

Label
Newport News (Va.) Coroners' Inquisitions, 1879-1944
Title
Newport News (Va.) Coroners' Inquisitions
Inclusive dates
1879-1944
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Newport News (Va) Coroners' Inquisitions, 1879-1944, are investigations into the deaths of individuals who died by a sudden, violent, unnatural or suspicious manner, or died without medical attendance filed in the courts of Warwick County and Newport News. 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 inquisition, depositions, and summons. Criminal papers such as recognizance bonds can be found in coroner inquisitions. Information found in the inquisition 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
Action
Described
Biographical or historical data
  • Newport News was located in Warwick County, which is now extinct. The origin of the name is uncertain but the phrase "Newportes News" appeared in documents as early as 1619 and probably commemorated Christopher Newport, who made five voyages to Virginia between 1607 and 1619. Newport News was a small settlement until late in the nineteenth century, when it became the eastern terminus of the Chesapeake and Ohio Railway. The Old Dominion Land Company bought land there in 1880 and began laying out a new village in October. Newport News was incorporated as a city by act of the General Assembly in 1896 without ever having been incorporated as a town. On 1 July 1958 Newport News was enlarged by consolidation with the city of Warwick, which then became extinct.
  • Warwick County was named either for Robert Rich, earl of Warwick, a prominent member of the London Company, or for the county of Warwick in England. The county was originally called Warwick River and was one of the original shires, or counties, first enumerated in 1634. The shorter name was adopted in 1643. Warwick County became extinct in 1952, when it became the city of Warwick. The new city was consolidated with the city of Newport News in 1958 and took the latter's name. Denbigh was the county seat.
  • 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
Vi
Label
Newport News (Va.) Coroners' Inquisitions
Note
These items came to the Library of Virginia in a transfer of court records from Newport News
http://library.link/vocab/branchCode
  • The Library of Virginia
Cumulative index finding aids
A list of selected coroners' inquisitions of interest
Extent
6.50
Governing access note
There are no restrictions
Immediate source of acquisition
Newport News Circuit Court
http://library.link/vocab/recordID
001676647
Terms governing use
There are no restrictions.
Type of unit
cu. ft. (15 boxes)

Library Locations

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