Where to Find your Amelia County Ancestors - Names of Families in Old Wills and Estates

Amelia County was created in 1734 from Prince George and Brunswick Counties and was named after Princess Amelia, daughter of George II of England. In 1754, Prince Edward County was formed from Amelia County, and later the County was reduced to its current size when Nottoway County was separated in 1789. The British under General Tarleton raided the county in 1781 during the Revolutionary War. The first courthouse was located near Pridesville, Virginia, but was destroyed by fire in 1766. Later, it was located at Dennisville until 1849 when it was removed to its present site.

How Genealogy Websites Save You Tons of Money!

The byword during the 1960s when I first began my own research, was that it cost more than $10,00 to gather information from different parts of the country. I quickly got the message as I traveled around interviewing relatives and paying for copies of documents, etc. Acquiring vital records was a long, tedious, and rather expensive bureaucratic process. Courthouse documents written into large bulky ledgers were difficult to handle and almost impossible to photocopy. Most places charged 15 to 25 cents per copy. There were days that I left, my check at the Georgia Archives for $60 or more (just for copies), not to mention rental copies of film at Family History Centers and the one 25-cent copier. It was either make a copy or continue to incur the expense of travel to courthouses, archives (including the Federal Archives in Washington, D. C.), historical societies, libraries, and the former homes of the relatives! Nowadays some people gripe about the cost of an online genealogy membership. Realistically, online genealogy websites are a real blessing! The easy indexes save time, effort, and money. Yes, lots of money!
Indexes to Wills, Inventories and Accounts
  • 1734 to 1761
  • 1761 to 1771
  • 1771 to 1780
  • 1780 to 1786
Vital Records
  • Births 1853 to 1871
  • Deaths 1853 to 1871
  • Marriages (taken from Gates County, North Carolina Marriage Bonds)
  • Marriage Bonds 1735 to 1834
  • Marriage Index 1853 to 1918
  • Marriages from Fee Books 1747-1749
  • Certificate of Allegiance (Revolutionary War)
  • Muster Rolls 1861 to 1865

Images of Amelia County Wills 1734-1761

Testators: Anderson, Henry;Appling, Thomas;Baldwin, William;Blanshard, John;Booker, Edmund Sr.;Booker, Edward (2); Booker, Edward Sr.;Booker, Judith;Booker, Richard;Booker, William;Bowman, Robert;Bragg, Hugh;Brewer, Edmund;Bridgforth, John;Burton, Abraham;Burton, Ann;Butler, John; Cabiness, George; Caldwell, George;Chambers, Richard;Chiles, Henry;Claiborn, James;Clarke, Lucy;Clarke, Richard;Clements, William Sr.; Cocke, Abraham;Cobbs, Edith;Cobbs, Samuel;Coleman, Godfrey; Coleman, William;Cousins, Charles;Crawford, Sarah;Croucher, Dorothy;Duffey, John;Elmore, Thomas;Fain, William O.;Finney, William;Ford, Hezekiah;Forrest, Abraham Sr.;Garrott, John; Giles, Arthur;Grainger, Joseph;Gray, Joseph;Green, Elizabeth; Green, William;Hammons, John;Harper, Howard;Hill, Charles; Hinton, Christopher;Hinton, Richard;Hudson, James;Hulmes, Richard;Jones, Abraham;Jones, Emanuel;Jones, John;Jones, Martha; Jones, Peter;Jones, Richard Sr.;Jurden, Samuel;Lockett, James; Long, James;Lowell, John;Marchbanks, George;Mayes, William; Mayton, John;Moor, John;Morris, Isaac;Munford, James;Neall, Heph. Jr.;Neall, Roger;Neall, Thomas;Ogleby, Richard;Penix, William;Powell, John;Roberts, Thomas;Scott, James;Scott, Joseph; Shepard, George;Sherwin, Samuel;Southall, Stephen;Stanly, Daney; Stokes, Frances;Stone, William;Tally, John;Tarley, Peter;Teaston, William;Tesdale, William;Tishey, Alexander; Tomlinson, Henry;Truly, Hector;Tucker, Robert;Vasser, William; Vaughan, Henry;Vaughn, Thomas;Wallace, John Sr.;Waters, James; Watkins, Stephen;Watson, William;West, Frances;West, John(2); Wingo, John;Woodleif, Robert;Yarbrough, Hezekiah;Yarbrough, Moses;Yarbrough, William

Images of Amelia County Wills 1734-1761

Images of Wills and Estates 1771 to 1780

Names not provided due to lack of space.

Images of Wills and Estates 1780 to 1786
Names not provided due to lack of space.
Miscellaneous Will and Estates (Transcripts)
  • Booker, Edward, Sr., LWT
  • Clarke, Richard, LWT
  • Collicott, Wiliam, LWT dated 1765 (Will Bk 2, 1771-1780)
  • Goode, Philip, LWT (transcript)
  • Hutcherson, Charles, LWT, 1768 (digital image)
  • Hutcheson, William, LWT, 1792 (digital image)
  • Moor, John, LWT
  • Neill, Roger, LWT
  • Ogleby, Richard, LWT
  • Penix, William, LWT
  • Scott, Joseph, Estate, Inventory
  • Steagall, John, LWT dated 1769 (digital image)
  • Stone, William, Estate, Inventory
  • Tucker, Robert, LWT
  • Warick, Edward, Estate
  • Watson, William, LWT
Traced genealogies and family histories of Amelia County are available to Members: Jordan family

The Colonial Homestead

Towards the end of the 17th century and the struggles of its earliest colonists, the colonial Virginia homestead began to take shape. The house of the planter was substantial and comfortable. The inventory of such planter mentions, as belonging to the homestead, ” a parlor chamber, chamber over said chamber, chamber over the parlor, nursery, old nursery, room over the Ladies chamber, Ladies chamber, entry, store, home house quarter, home house, quarter over the creek, Smiths shop, Barne, kitchen, Dary, chamber over the old Dary, Flemings quarter, Robinson’s quarter, Whitaker’s quarter, Black Walnut Quarter.” The house of the rich in the towns boasted a parlor, but its furnishing was simple. A white floor sprinkled with clean white sand, large tables, and heavy high-backed chairs of solid, dark oak decorated a parlor enough for anybody, says the chronicler of Baltimore. William Fitzhugh directs Mistress Sarah Bland in London (1682) to procure him a suit of tapestry hangings for a room twenty feet long, sixteen feet wide, and nine feet high; and half a dozen chairs suitable. The kitchen was typically separated from the dining room and generally set off in a separate building, due to fires and odors. The dining room, with its broad buffet, its well-filled cellarette, its silver plate, and its quaint old English furniture. Opening out of the dining room, between it and the parlor, ran the wide hall, with doors at either end, a carved stairway, and paneled walls often hung with family portraits.

Colonists Manufactured the Necessities

Within the Colonial home stood the great and small wheels for wool and flax, the carding comb, and the molds for making candles of green myrtle berry wax which were not greasy to touch, nor would melt in the hottest weather. In 1698, the typical inventory of a Virginian household included a feather bed, one sett Kitterminster curtains, and Vallens bedstead, one pair of white linen sheets with two do. pillow biers, 2 Rusha-leather chairs, 5 Rush-bottom chairs, a burning glass, a flask fork, and 6 Alchemy spoons (alchemy being a mixed metal). In addition to these articles, the list includes a brass skimmer and 2 pairs of pot hooks, and, as its crowning glory, one old silver Dram cup. No doubt the possessor had sat with his boon companions on many a cold night, by the great chimney, plunging the hot poker into the fire nursing the loggerhead

Wigwam Plantation of Chula, Virginia

The former home of Governor William B. Giles is surrounded by over 100 acres of farmland. It consists of 18 rooms under a gable roof and dormers. The house originally had 5 full baths and includes 4 chimneys that serve 13 fireplaces. There are 65 windows in all, 17 of which are dormers. A window in a room in the basement has bars with attached shackles and is thought to have been used to secure Union army prisoners in the War Between the States. After the governor died, the family of William Henry Harrison consisting of seven children resided there. A grandson of Harrison acquired the home temporarily in the 1960s in order to effect its restoration.

Why Tracking the Old Home Place is Essential to Finding the Past

It is essential for the genealogist to locate the exact spot of the old home place, if possible. Generally speaking, the early settlers located along river beds, such as the Nottoway River in Virginia. This may sound difficult, but not if one focuses on the adjoining farms and the names of the neighbors, then do what is called a ” title search” at the courthouse. That is to say, trace a certain property back to the first owner (or land grant), and then forward it to later owners. What this does is identify the original tract of land which contained vague descriptions to more detailed data, such as local streams, ponds, types of forest land, and names in the neighborhood. It also locates some interesting situations, such as deeds of gift when the owner transfers title to his children or otherkin. A comparison in the tax digests and old last wills and testaments where land bequests were granted, will help confirm the data. John Ellis owned 600 acres in Amelia County, which lands adjoined Hardaway Wade, Finney, and Samuel Smith.

 Part of this land bordered the corner of Hampton Wade near the Jacks branch. Also, there were 138 acres of land on both sides of the Nottoway River, which included the mill. This description of the location of the plantation was written by John Ellis and incorporated into his last will and testament in 1762. The genealogist can usually achieve some success in finding the home place simply by reviewing the tax digests and observing adjoining neighbors and waterways. The earliest deeds (if they survived) were quite vague in the use of chains and measures. Another popular marker was slashed upon certain trees, creeks, forests, and the like. Also, a visit to the site is quite beneficial and rewarding in locating old churches, communities, and cemeteries, especially if one takes a county map that contains a legend.