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Amelia County Coroners' Inquisitions, 1779-1830. Local government records collection, Amelia County Court Records. The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Va. 23219.
These items came to the Library of Virginia in shipments of court papers from Amelia County.
Amelia County was named for Amelia Sophia Eleanora, daughter of George II of England. It was formed from Prince George and Brunswick Counties in 1734. Its area is 366 square miles and the county seat is Amelia.
The separate office of coroner appeared in Virginia about 1660. The judicial duty of the office is to hold inquisitions in cases when persons meet sudden, violent, unnatural or suspicious death, or death without medical attendance. The coroner would summon a jury to assist him in determining cause of death. Prior to November 1877, the jurors numbered twelve. Between November 1877 and March 1926, the jurors numbered six. The jury viewed the body of the deceased and heard the testimony of witnesses. The coroner was required to write down witness testimony. After seeing and hearing the evidence, the jury delivered in writing to the coroner their conclusion concerning cause of death referred to as the inquisition. After March 1926, only the coroner determined cause of death. He could require physicians to assist him with determing cause of death. If a criminal act was determined to be the cause of death, the coroner was to deliver the guilty person to the sheriff and the coroners' inquests would be used as evidence in the criminal trial.
Amelia County (Va.) Coroners' Inquisitions, 1779-1830, are investigations into the deaths of individuals who died by a sudden, violent, unnatural or suspicious manner, or died without medical attendance. Causes of death found in coroners' inquisitions include murder, infanticide, suicide, exposure to elements, drownings, train accidents, and natural causes, or as commonly referred to in the 19th century, visitation by God. Documents commonly found in coroners' inquests include the inquisition, depositions, and summons. Information found in the inquisition include the name of the coroner, the names of the jurors, the name and age of the deceased if known, gender and race of the deceased, where the deceased was from, if known, and when, how, and by what means the deceased came to his or her death. If the deceased was African American, the inquest would identify the deceased as a slave or free person if known. If the deceased was a slave, the inquest would include, if known, the name of the slaveowner and the slaveowner's residence. Information found in the depositions include the name of the deponent and his or her account of the circumstances that led to the death of the deceased.
Chronological by date coroner filed inquisition in the court.
- Amelia County (Va.) Circuit Court
- African Americans--History
- Coroners--Virginia--Amelia County
- Death--Causes--Virginia--Amelia County
- Murder victims--Virginia--Amelia County
- Murder--Investigation--Virginia--Amelia County
- Slaveholders--Virginia--Amelia County
- Slaves--Virginia--Amelia County
- Suicide--Virginia--Amelia County
- Women--Virginia--Amelia County
- Amelia County (Va.)--History
- Death records--Virginia--Amelia County
- Local government records--Virginia--Amelia County
- Reports--Virginia--Amelia County
Genre and Form Terms:
Polydore, a slave owned by the estate of Peter R Bland, death was occasioned by Abram Lockett and John Clay Brooks beating him with a large stick and other ill usage.
Dick, a slave owned by Samuel Sherwin, was killed by accident in a scuffle with one of his fellow servants.
Was killed by a large limb that fell on him from the top of a tree.
Joseph Ligon di discharge the contents of said gun and shot the said Sally Ligon in the head.
Did volentarily and of his malice fore thought did shoot himself in the left breast of which mortal wound he died.
James Henderson then and there held in his right hand the aforesaid Peter Robertson in and upton the right side of part of his belly of the said Peter Robertson a little below the navel and then and there struck and pierced and gave one mortal wound.
James Atkinson did murder himself by discharging a gun placed under his chin, so as to force the load through his head.
Tom, a slave owned by the estate of William Powell, came to his death as a result of blows from switches or cowhide by Frances Powell.
Caleb, a slave owned by Thomas Goode, either drowned by accident or willfully drowned himself.
Shot himself as there was sufficient reason for the same.