Sunday, June 1, 2008

Amherst County, VA Early Records



Amherst County was formed in 1761, from parts of Albemarle County. The county was named for Sir Jeffrey Amherst, known as the "Conqueror of Canada". Jeffrey Amherst was named Governor of Virginia, although he never came to the colony. Native Americans were the first humans to populate the area. They hunted and fished mainly along the countless rivers and streams in the county. With the establishment of the Virginia Colony in 1607, English emigrants arrived in North America. By the late 17th century English explorers and traders traveled up the James River to this area. Early trading posts formed between 1710 and 1720. By 1730, many new families moved into the land currently known as Amherst County drawn by the desire for land and the good tobacco-growing soil.
In 1761, Amherst County was formed from the southern half of Albemarle County. The original county seat had been in Cabelsville, now Colleen in what would later become Nelson County. The county was named for Sir Jeffrey Amherst who commanded the British forces that successfully secured Canada from the French. In 1806 the county assumed its present proportions when Nelson County was formed from its northern half. At that point, the county seat was moved to the village of Five Oaks, later renamed Amherst. The present county courthouse was built in 1870 and has served the county ever since. On a historically interesting note, Amherst County produced more Confederate soldiers per capita than anywhere else in the C.S.A.
In the early days, the major crop raised in Amherst County was tobacco. Apple orchards were part of mixed farming that replaced tobacco, especially in the late 19th century. Timber, mining and milling were also important industries. The introduction of the railroad in the late 19th century greatly influenced the county's growth. The county contains many good examples of 18th, 19th and early 20th century rural and small town architecture. The downtown area of Amherst is a classic example of early 20th century commercial architecture.

1787 Amherst Map from The Personal Property Tax List For The Year 1787 For Amherst County, Virginia by Netti Schreiner-Yantis and Florene Love.

Additional sources for the 1787 Amherst Map provided by Payton Cunningham:
The title of the map is;

Map of the State of Virginia
Constructed in conformity to Law, from the state Surveys authorized by the Legislature and other original and authentic Documents.
by Herman Boye

Corrected by order of the Executive 1859
by L. v. Buchholtz (Lewis von)

The map can also be viewed at:


The Deeds of Amherst County, Virginia 1761-1807 and
Albemarle County, Virginia 1748-1763 by The Rev. Bailey Fulton Davis

Page 334. 6 May 1782. FRANCIS WEST & wife ELIZ., AC, to WM. CABELL, AC, on 20 Jul 1780. Lines: MOSES GOING. Wit: JNO. MARTIN JR, ABRAHAM WARWICK, THOS. JOPLING.

Page 425. 22 Feb 1806. WM. MEGUFFIN, AC, to JNO. THOMPSON, overseer, JACOB SWISER of Augusta; 1 bought of JNO. STEWART, 1 bought of PENN, 1 bought of JNO. YORKSHIRE of Augusta; 1 bought of CHAS. THOMPSON SR, 1 bought of GEO. W. VARNUM; beds, etc. Wit: THOS E. FORTUNE, WM. GOWING, HENRY MASSIE. Orig. del. To BARTLETT THOMPSON, 16 Feb 1807.


Library of Virginia microfilm reels 18 and 19

white tithes/ slaves 16+/ cattle/ horses
frame 4
Philip Going 1093

white tithables/ slaves 16+/ slaves 12-16/ horses/ cattle
frame 21
Philip Going 10038

whites 21+/ whites 16-21/ slaves 16+/ slave under 16/ horses/ cattle
frame 53
Going, Philip 10025

frame 71
Going, Philip 10002/ 5 cattle

1787 A, Amherst Parish (First District)
frame 83
Going, Philip 100043

1788 A
whites/ slaves 16+/ slaves 12-16/ horses
frame 121
Philip Going 1002

1789 A
frame 149
Going, Philip 1002

1790 A
frame 180
Going, Phillip 1002

1791 A
frame 210
Going, Philip 1003

1793 A
frame 272
Going, Philip son William 2003

1794 A (Amherst Parish)
frame 307
Gowen, Philip & son Wm 2004

1795 A
frame 337
Gowen, Philip 2004
1796 A
frame 359
Going, Philip 2003

1797 A
frame 382
Going, Philip 2002

1798 A
frame 406
Going, Landon 1000
Going, Philip 2002

1799 A
frame 435
Aaron Going 1000
Landon Going 1000
Philip Going 1002

1800 A
frame 465
Phillip Going 2003
Landon Going 1000
William Going 1000
Aaron Going 1000

1801 A
frame 499
Going, William 1001
Going, Samuel 1000
Going, Philip 1002
Going, Landon 1001

1802 A
frame 534
William Gowen 1001
Phillip Gowen 2002
Landon Gowen 1001

1803 A
frame 571
Going, Landon, 1001
Going, Philip 1003
Going, William 1001
Going, Samuel 1000

1804 A
frame 5
Philip Going 1002
Samuel Going 1001
William Going 1001
Landon Going 1000

1805 A
frame 45
Philip Going 1002
Saml Going 1001
William Going 1001
Landon Going 1000

1806 A
frame 85
Philip Gowing 2002
Saml Going 1001

1807 A
frame 128
Philip Gowing 1001
Saml Gowing 1001

1809 A
frame 168
Linsy Gunn a free Negro 1000

frame 190
Lindsay Gunn, free Negro, 1000

frame 212
Lindsey Gunn, free Negro, 1001

frame 233
Maurice Guinea, F Negro, 1001

1818 B
frame 503, A List of Mulattoes and free Negroes in the 2nd Hundred
Lindsay Gunn, ditto, ditto, 1000

1819 B
Lindsay Gunn a free Mulatto 1000

The Deeds of Amherst County, Virginia 1807-1827 Books L-R
By The Reverend Bailey Fulton Davis

223. - 4 November 1822. SAMUEL GOWING, Amherst County, and ELIZABETH BRYANT, Amherst County, 1; WILL STAPLES, Amherst County, 2; JAMES L. PENDLETON and Company, 3 …$1.00; Deed of Trust; debt to JAMES L. PENDLETON and Company—about L3000 tobacco; one cow bought of HENRY FRANKLIN, stock, furniture—to enjoy until 1 March 1823.

326. – 9 May 1823. ELLIS WILLS and wife, MARY G., Amherst County, to WILLIAM PENDLETON, Amherst County…$700 105 ½ acres on James River and where RICHARD WHITEHEAD lived and sold by him to BENJAMIN GOING, Pittslyvania, and by BENJAMIN GOING to ELIAS WILLS. Lines: JAMES WILLS. Justices of the Peace: NELSON C. DAWSON and JAMES L. LAMKIN. To WILLIAM PENDLETON, 28 April 1824.


The Wills of Amherst County, Virginia 1761-1865
By The Rev. Bailey Fulton Davis

MILLIE EVANS – Book 8, Page 416 – Administrator’s Bond – June 17, 1834: WM. GOWING (GOWIN). Bondsmen: RO. WINGFIELD; GEO. GOWING.
Book 8, Page 589 – Adminstator’s Account – so indexed, but not there and not in 9 or 10 on these pages.

GALVILLA SKINNER – Book 11, Page 116 – Guardians Bond – WM. L. WATTS and JAS. GOING, March 20, 1843, for WM. L. WATTS as guardian of GALVILLA SKINNER, orphan of TALIPHARO SKINNER, deceased.

The Deeds of Amherst County, Virginia 1827-1852 Books S-Z
By The Rev. Bailey Fulton Davis

388. – 4 December 1832. SAMUEL GOING and MICAJAH BRYANT, 1; SAMUEL SIMMONS, 2; and YOUNG HAWKINS, 2; JOHNATHAN N. ROSE and JONATHAN THOMPSON, JR., 3…partners of ROSE and TH--, November 1831, Nelson Court—firm recovered judgment; $1.00 stock; crops; in Nelson where SAMUEL GOING lives; also debt due HENRY J. ROSE on Nelson judgment; crops on tract rented from MISS MARGARET ROSE in Nelson. Recorded Amherst County, 28, March 1834.

437. – 29 July 1834. JOHNATHAN COLEMAN and wife, SARAH M., to WILLIAM GOWING…to M. H. GARLAND, executor of Z.D. TINSLEY, 12 May 1886--$363.75 291 acres east side Buffaloe Ridge and headwaters of Elk Island Creek. Lines: N. LOFFBOROUGH, deceased, grantee, grantor. Part of a tract. DAVID S. GARLAND and EDWARD A. CABELL, Justices of the Peace.

205. – 27 June 1833. HENRY J ROSE to SOPHIA GOWING, daughter of SAMUEL GOWING, Nelson County….$1.00 and charitable considerations—cows, tools, furniture—sold under Deed of Trust on 11 January 1827, and bought by HENRY J. ROSE. Witnesses: JOSEPH K. IRVING, CHARLES B. CLAIBORNE, SERLING CLAIBORNE. Recorded Nelson, 22 July 1833; Amherst County 4 August 1835.

358. – 9 September 1836. JOHNATHAN HORSLEY, 1; FREDERICK M. CABELL, 2; various creditors, 3 …sent to trustee by FREDERICK HORSELEY, per order of agent, 22 September 1836; $10; all accounts due and annexed; long list of creditors; one—WILLIAM E. ANDERSON, Nashville; JOHNATHAN WILLS under will; reference to Deed of Trust, 5 April 1836, to CABELL and ALEXANDER MUNDY; accounts for HORSLEY FARIS, 30 June 1836; long list--$4695.80 due firm. Amonf them: GEORGE M. PENN, JR. RANDOLPH, Tennessee, ELISHA PETERS, South Carolina--several of these people are dead; PHILLIP GOWEN--00.67 besides 160 acres in Missouri; JONATHAN STRONG, West Tennessee; new total of $8921.82 and then more creditors and accounts.

222. – 15 September 1837. JOHNATHAN COLEMAN and wife, SARAH, to WILLIAM RIDGEWAY, GEORGE M. PAYNE and WILLIAM C. MOSELEY…to negro boy, WILSON, by WILLIAM RIDGEWAY’s order, 8 June 1838--$1862 931 acres headwaters Elk Island Creek and east side Buffaloe Ridge. Lines: NELSON SEAY, MICAJAH PENDLTON, LEWIS JEFFERSON, WILLIAM GOWIN. JOSEPH PETTYJOHN and LINDSEY COLEMAN, Justices of the Peace.

274. – 5 April 1838. JOHNATHAN VIAR, 1; WILLIAM GOWING, 2; MARTHA JANE SNEAD, 3 …friendship for MARTHA JANE SNEAD who is daughter of his wife; $5.00; stock; furniture. Sent to MARTHA JANE SNEAD by JOHNATHAN VIAR, 28 March 1850, and returned.

344. – 22 November 1842. JAMES W. GOING, 1 WILLIAM H. GOING, 2 PHILLIP GOING, 3…love for youngest brothers; $1.00, stock.

31. – 10 December 1842. WILLIAM KELLY to GEORGE W. GOING, infant son of MICAJAH GOING…love for grandson; $1.00; five year old horse; bed.

109. – 24 February 1844. WILLIAM GOING, 1; PAULAS POWELL, 2; JOSEPH KYLE, 3 …nineteenth of month, WILLIAM GOING qualified as administrator of JAMES EVANS and JOSEPH KYLE on bond. %5.00; where WILLIAM GOING lives. Lines: PETER DILLARD, copper mining company and Furnace Company. 300 or 330 acres. To JOSEPH KYLE, 14, May 1850.

560. – 22 July 1846. JONATHAN COLEMAN, 1; PAULUS POWELL, 2; SALLY W. COLEMAN, 3, wife of JONATHAN COLEMAN….JONATHAN COLEMAN has sold to Ridgeway and Company; NELSON SEAY; WILLIAM GOWEN; LEAKE CHRISTIAN and one-third of Rocky Creek Mills and tract. She relinquished dower; $5.00; furniture; stock.

1 comment:

  1. In 560, 22 July 1846 deed note, a Rocky Creek in amherst county is mentioned. I believe my ancestor Daniel W. Jennings may have owned and operated a Rocky Creek Mills (sawmill and blacksmith shop) on this creek in the period 1850-190. Anyone have any reference to this fact or the Jennings? Logan Jennings