Surnames and Family Research Forum
Southampton Co. VA Records Project
Southampton County VA Project
For those of you that research Southampton County VA (and the surrounding counties Sussex, Surry, Isle of Wight, Nansemond, etc) or NC, Alabama, SC etc. researchers who find their family on the 1870 census and the oldest person in the house is said to be born in “VA”, there is now a great website which gives you access to invaluable manuscript records on your computer…digital images (thousands of them) along with an every name index for each book The indexes are being produced by VOLUNTEERS. (Remember these are volunteers when you want to start screaming they spelled your name wrong). They are still looking for VOLUNTEERS if you are interested.
Southampton County was formed in 1749 from Isle of Wight County, (a part of Nansemond County was added later). Isle of Wight was an original shire established in 1634. Most of the folks residing in these counties were early white settlers and African slaves that arrived in the 1600’s and 1700’s, enslaved or free and Indians and or children of same. These white slave owners and or their descendants would later migrate to other parts of the state or into other states. They would take their slaves with them, give them in wills and deeds to their children or sell them west or to the lower south. Many of these Free Black families would migrate out of VA as the laws became more restrictive as their numbers increased.
Needless to say this is NOT where you begin your search and try to work your way forward (you can not just assume that the PETER listed below in 1749 is the same Peter seen in a will in 1800 in North Carolina)….but it gives you access to a variety of documents which span over 150 years from the period of enslavement to freedom. For those who Know or think that their families are in this county or close by I would start with the documents generated AFTER APRIL 1865 and emancipation…marriages, wills, deeds, etc. , the voter registration book is great, last 6 pages are "Colored Voters". For those whose families were “free” prior to 1865 this is a great addition to add to the work at Heinnegs site:
USING THE INDEX:
The records include:
COURT MINUTE BOOKS 1786 TO 1861
MARRIAGE RECORDS – 1750-1890
WILL BOOKS 1747-1881
DEED BOOKS 1749-1881
BIRTH RECORDS 1853 - images of pages are there...not indexed yet.
COMMISSION OF SAFETY 1775-1776
PROCESSION MAP BOOK 1826-1836
VOTER REGISTRATION BOOK – 1902 (REMEMBER MALES ONLY)
DEATH RECORDS 1853-1890 (NOT AVAILABLE YET)
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