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March 9, 2013 / Joanne Yeck

Buckingham Courthouse: Lost Records

Buckingham County: Courthouse

Despite the loss of virtually all of the Buckingham Courthouse records prior to 1869, many wills and deeds were rerecorded in the months following the devastating fire.  My ancestor George Chambers’ 1846 will is a good example.  Given up for lost, it is one of the first wills rerecorded post-fire, as is the  November 18, 1856 deed between my ancestor John M. Harris and his wife, Harriet (Tate), and Henry St. George Harris.  This deed transferred a large part of Harris’ Sharps Creek plantation to his nephew who would become a leading figure in Buckingham County in the coming years.  In fact, on March 11, 1869, Henry St. George Harris and John C. Turner were named as two of the commissioners who would develop plans for a new courthouse.  Interestingly, Turner would eventually win the bid to construct the new building.

Moral of the story: Be sure to check the deed and will indexes for Buckingham County.  You just might find a very valuable pre-1869 document.

Also take a moment to look at the Library of Virginia’s digital collection of “Lost Records.”  I got lucky and found two wills I’d given up for lost.  Click on the link below and click again on Buckingham.

Lost Records Localities Digital Collection

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