Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Henrico County, VA Early Records



Henrico County is one of the eight original Shires of Virginia established by the English in 1636 in the Virginia Colony, and one of seven considered still extant in their original form (county).


Formed originally as Henrico Shire, and shortly thereafter termed a "county," Henrico County was named for Henricus, a community founded in 1611 by Sir Thomas Dale. During theIndian Massacre of 1622, the chief Opechancanough led the Powhatan Confederacy against the English settlements to try to expel them from the territory; warriors destroyed Henricus.
Cape Henry at the southern mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, Henricus, Henrico Cittie, and later Henrico County, were all named for Henry Frederick, Prince of Wales, the eldest son of James I of England. Prince Henry showed great promise, and his death from typhoid fever at the age of eighteen was regarded as a tragedy for England.
On November 18, 1618, the Virginia Company of London, proprietor of the colony, gave instructions on the formation of a laudable government for the Colony to Sir George Yeardleywhen he departed from London to become full governor of Virginia. As directed, in 1619, Governor Yeardly established four large corporations, termed citties, which were designated to encompass the developed portion of the colony. These were Kecoughtan (later renamed Elizabeth Cittie), James CittieCharles Cittie, and Henrico Cittie.
In 1634, the King of England ordered the colony, which numbered about 5,000 settlers, to be divided into eight shires, or counties. One of these original shires (of which six are still considered extant) was Henrico County.
Henrico County originally extended to both the north and south sides of the James River (named in 1607 for King James I). Henrico's first boundaries incorporated an area from which 10 Virginia counties were later formed in whole or in part, as well as the independent cities of RichmondCharlottesville, and Colonial Heights.
Archeologists located the original site of Henricus late in the 20th century. On the south side of the James River (across from the original site of Varina, it is now located inChesterfield County. The county developed Henricus Historical Park around the archeological site.

[edit]County seat, College of William and Mary

Henrico County Courthouse, ca. 1898
The original county seat was at Varina, at the Varina Farms plantation across the James River from Henricus. John Rolfe and his wifePocahontas were thought to have lived there, where their son Thomas Rolfe may have been born. (In modern times, Varina Farm is still actively cultivated and can be seen from Interstate 295 to the east just north of the Varina-Enon Bridge.)
The Henrico-Glebe house at Varina was the location where Reverend Dr. James Blair, rector of Henrico Parish, is believed to have drawn up the plans for a new school, long a goal of the colonists of Virginia. Working in the last quarter of the 17th century, he was believed to have based his plans on earlier ones from Henricus, where a college had been started. After Blair's two-year mission to England at the request of the House of Burgesses, the government granted a charter for the college. It was built and named the College of William and Mary at Middle Plantation in 1693, the second oldest school of higher education in the United States.
The county seat remained at Varina until 1752, when it was relocated to the new Henrico County Court House, located at 22nd and Main streets (2125 East Main Street). There it remained for more than 200 years, although after Richmond was separated as an independent city, the county seat was within the city limits.

[edit]American Civil War battle sites

Cannons at the site of the Battle of Malvern Hill
During the Civil War, in 1862 Henrico County was the site of the following numerous battles during the Peninsula Campaign:
Additional significant battles took place in 1864 during the Overland Campaign prior to and during the Siege of Petersburg, which led to the fall of Richmond. Confederate General J.E.B. Stuart was mortally wounded in Henrico County at the Battle of Yellow Tavern on May 12, 1864.

Submitted by Cindy Young

The Library of Virginia
Land Office Patents & Grants/Northern Neck Grants & Surveys : Catalog Card

Staples, David 15 Sept 1752 Henrico County
400 acres begg. at a corner pine of Michael Goings thence on Orphants line; south &c. to a corner white oak on Farrars Branch
Land office Patents #31, 1751-1756 (v.1 & 2 p. 1-175), p. 193 (Reel 29)

Various American Indian Records Submitted By Steven Pony Hill

November 6, 1752 - Henrico Co. VA
Grand Jury presentment against Thomas Moseley, David Going, James Matthews, and William Gwinn for not listing their wives as tithables, "being mulattos". Presentment against Jane Scott, Patt Scott, Lucy Scott, Betty Scott, Elizabeth Scott, Sarah Scott, and Hannah the wife of John Scott for not listing as tithables, "being mulattos."


1 comment:

  1. Digital Library on American Slavery

    Petition 21685314 Details
    Location: Henrico, Virginia
    Salutation: To the worshipful Justices of the County Court of Henrico in chancery sitting(, )
    Filing Court and Date: Chancery, 1853-February-7
    Ending Court and Date: Chancery, 1853-March-7
    General Petition Information
    Abstract: Thomas Nuckolls "is desirous that a division of" a slave family be made. He recounts that Stephen H. Dillard bequeathed to his daughter, FRANCES GOYNE, "one negro girl named Martha ... and at her death the said negro with all her increase shall go to the lawful issue of her body." The petitioner notes that the said Frances died in October 1851 and "at her death left surviving her, her said husband and by him five children." He also cites that the said Martha "has had the following children to wit Tom, Ellen, Moscow and James." Reporting that he has purchased the interests held by two of Frances's children in Martha and her family," Nuckolls requests "that his 2/5ths may be allotted to him, and the other 3/5ths to the said infants." He is of the opinion "that such division may be made in kind especially if the interests of said infants are not separated which he thinks would be the better plan." Nuckolls therefore prays "that a decree may be pronounced for the division of said slaves according to the legal rights of the parties."
    Document mentions the names of COURTNEY GOYNE, EUGENIA GOYNE, JOSEPH GOYNE, and LUCIUS GOYNE.
    Result: granted
    # of Petition Pages: 2
    Related Documents: Answer, Joseph Goyne, John and America Williams, 7 February 1853; Copy of Order, 7 February 1853; Commissioners' Certification and Report, 7 March 1853
    Pages of Related Documents: 7