Behold Virginia: The Jurisdictional Challenge—

Behold Virginia: The Jurisdictional Challenge—A Preliminary Checklist

c2008, Arlene H. Eakle, The Genealogical Institute, PO Box 129, Tremonton UT 84337

Virginia Jurisdictions and Genealogical Research
Government Jurisdictions:
General Court (Governor and his Council)
House of Burgesses (Local Justices of the Peace)

Court Districts: District of West Augusta [V]
Superior Court Districts (3) 1802-1812
District of Prince Edward

County: 8 est. 1634, 61 in 1775, 100 now
41 have suffered record loss [VIII]

Local Justices of the Peace est. 1662,
4 in each county 1775

Independent City: 4 corporations est. 1619 [VIII]
38 now. Also called “Burgs” or boroughs
not subject to county jurisdiction

Parish: 56 functioning in 18th century [II]
Civil government jurisdiction
Church of England ecclesiastical jurisdiction
Abolished as government jurisdiction c. 1780

Hundreds: 44 est. 1619 to support 100 families each
include Jordan’s Journey, Shirley Hundred, Berkeley Hundred
largely replaced by parish and county

Militia Districts in each parish, county, and Independent City

Military Jurisdictions:
Military Bounty Land Districts: 2 areas used for French and Indian War:
Old Rowan area of NC, 1755-63; Both sides of Ohio River, 1755-63.
3 areas used for Revolutionary War Service: Ohio, 1784-1876
Kentucky (south of Green River), 1781-91
Indiana (Illinois Regiment under George Rogers Clark)

Forts: 4 est. 1645, commanded by powerful and prominent men,
received land grants of 600 acres each for providing stockade

Stations: 28 set up for frontier defense in 18th century,
also called blockhouses; received land grants of 600 acres each [VIII]

Special and Private Jurisdictions:
Council Grants of Jurisdiction and Land: [I]
Northern Neck Proprietary, 1690-1874
Benjamin Borden Grant
Beverley Manor Grant

Manors: Several located in what is now West Virginia
Cedar Creek, Dunmore County (defunct county)
Leeds, Fauquier and Dunmore Counties
Potomac, Berkeley County
South Branch, Berkeley County
Patterson Creek, Great Falls, Swan Ponds, Gooney Run, Greenway Court
–all located within Northern Neck Proprietary

Commercial, Mercantile Jurisdictions:
Merchants: Association of Merchants, 1770 included 74 [IV]
John Norton & Co. of London and Virginia, 1750-95
Lloyd’s of London; William Cunningham and Co;
Buchanans of Greenock, Glasgow, and London

Chiswell Lead Mines, owned by Col. John Chiswell, Sr.
Accounts 1778-1789, include lists of Black and Indian slaves
hired from plantations in Eastern Virginia
to work in the mines during the American Revolution

Ports: 7 Ports–Subject to Admiralty Law

Joint-Stock Companies: based in England, Royal-sanctioned
Virginia Company: jurisdiction over whole colony,
became Royal Colony 1624 after Indian Massacre of 1623
50 acres of land per share, increased to 100 acres
Berkeley Company: Gloucestershire England; Berkeley Hundred, Virginia

Land Companies: 18th c. in West Augusta, KY, TN, Ohio [II, V]

Tobacco Warehouses: 66 listed in 1732 to store, market, and ship the crop. Incl. Alexandria (orig. called Belhaven), Dumfries, Lynchburg, Quantico [IX]

Note: Roman Numeral indicates the volume of Arlene Eakle’s Virginia Scrapbooks where this jurisdiction is listed, mapped, or discussed. A more detailed and illustrated treatment can be found in Virginia Jurisdictions and Your Genealogical Research–NEW in 2008. [This was to be a part of the Virginia Scrapbooks series–it is too long, and is a work of original research. So I will publish it as a separate book.] Your favorite Virginia genealogist, Arlene Eakle

PS You’ll want your own copy of Virginia Jurisdictions. So put it on your wish list! I’ll print the Table of Contents soon.

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