Hidden Wills : An Index of Wills Found in Central Virginia Chancery Records Through 1870

Author:Cooper, Jean, LB-Univ Librarian-GeneralUniversity of Virginia ORCID icon orcid.org/0000-0002-9236-886X

A will is a legal document containing instructions as to what should be done with one’s money and property after one's death. Wills often provide a detailed outline of more than one generation of the members of a family, and can reveal previously unknown connections among individuals. There are copies of many wills in the Chancery Court cases accessible through the Library of Virginia’s Chancery Records Index.

"According to Black’s Law Dictionary, a chancery cause is a case of equity where ‘Justice is administered according to fairness as contrasted with the strictly formulated rules of common law.’ In laypersons' terms, a chancery case was one that could not be readily decided by existing written laws. Cases in chancery often addressed estate and business disputes, debt, the resolution of land disputes, and divorce.” Because of the subject matter of chancery causes, the records frequently contain wills, depositions, plats, and administrative, financial, and inventory records, as well as other official documents.

This book tells you where to find wills recorded in the Chancery cases found in the Central Virginia counties of Albemarle, Amelia, Augusta, Bedford, Campbell, Caroline, Charlottesville City, Culpeper, Cumberland, Fluvanna, Goochland, Greene, Hanover, Louisa, Lynchburg City, Madison, Nelson, Orange, Page, Rockingham, Shenandoah, and Staunton City.

Virginia, History, Central Virginia, Wills, Chancery Courts, Index
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Source Citation:

Cooper, Jean L. Hidden Wills: An Index of Wills Found in Central Virginia Chancery Records Through 1870. Palmyra, VA: Shortwood Press, 2019.

Shortwood Press
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