The Resource Richmond (Va.) Coroners' Inquisitions

Richmond (Va.) Coroners' Inquisitions

Label
Richmond (Va.) Coroners' Inquisitions, 1865-1946 (bulk 1916-1946)
Title
Richmond (Va.) Coroners' Inquisitions
Inclusive dates
1865-1946 (bulk 1916-1946)
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
Richmond (Va) Coroners' Inquisitions, 1865-1946 (bulk 1916-1946), 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 include 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
  • The city of Richmond, located between Henrico and Chesterfield Counties, was named by William Byrd (1674-1744), who envisioned the development of a city at the falls of the James River and with the help of William Mayo laid out the town in 1737. The name probably came from the English borough of Richmond upon Thames, which Byrd visited on several occasions. Richmond was established in 1742 and in 1779 was designated the capital of Virginia effective 30 April 1780. It was incorporated as a town, although "stiled the city of Richmond," in 1782 and was incorporated as a city in 1842. It served as the capital of the Confederacy from mid-1861 to April 1865. Richmond was enlarged by the annexation of Manchester (or South Richmond) in 1910, and by the addition of Barton Heights, Fairmount, and Highland Park in 1914. Further annexations from Chesterfield County occurred in 1942 and 1970.
  • 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
Richmond (Va.) Coroners' Inquisitions
Note
These items came to the Library of Virginia in a transfer of court records from Richmond
Arrangement
Chronological by date coroner filed inquisition in the court.
http://library.link/vocab/branchCode
  • The Library of Virginia
Cumulative index finding aids
A list of selected coroners' inquisitions of interest
Extent
10.80
Governing access note
There are no restrictions. A portion of the collection is unprocessed
Immediate source of acquisition
Richmond Circuit Court
http://library.link/vocab/recordID
001686330
Terms governing use
There are no restrictions.
Type of unit
cu. ft. (24 boxes)

Library Locations

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