A Collection in
the Library of Virginia
Chancery Records Index: Winchester Chancery Causes, 1787-001-1936-001
Library of VirginiaThe Library of Virginia
800 East Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219-8000
Phone: (804) 692-3888 (Archives Reference)
Fax: (804) 692-3556 (Archives Reference)
© 2009 By The Library of Virginia. All Rights Reserved.
Processed by: Eddie Woodward
There are no restrictions.
Patrons are to use digital images of Winchester (Va.) Chancery Causes found on the Chancery Records Index available electronically at the website of the Library of Virginia.
Winchester (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1787-1936 (bulk 1859-1936). (Cite style of suit and chancery index no.). Local Government Records Collection. The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.
Digital images were generated by Crowley Micrographics through the Library of Virginia's Circuit Court Records Preservation Program.
Chancery Causes are cases of equity. According to Black's Law Dictionary they are "administered according to fairness as contrasted with the strictly formulated rules of common law." A judge, not a jury, determines the outcome of the case.
Winchester, in Frederick County, was first known as Opequon, then as Frederick's Town (or Fredericktown), and, finally, on establishment as a town in 1752, as Winchester. According to tradition, one of the town's founders, James Wood, named the town in honor of his birthplace in England. Winchester was incorporated as a town in 1779 and as a city in 1874.
Winchester (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1787-1936 (bulk 1859-1936), are indexed into the Chancery Records Index. Cases are identified by style of suit consisting of plaintiff and defendant names. Surnames of others involved in a suit, including secondary plaintiffs and defendants, witnesses, deponents and affiants, and family members with surnames different from the plaintiff or defendant are indexed. Chancery causes often involved the following: divisions of estates or land, disputes over wills, divorces, debt, and business disputes. Predominant documents found in chancery causes include bills (plaintiff's complaint), answers (defendant's response), decrees (court's decision), depositions, affidavits, correspondence, lists of heirs, deeds, wills, slave records, business records or vital statistics, among other items. Plats, if present, are noted, as are wills from localities with an incomplete record of wills or localities other than the one being indexed. The collection also includes chancery suits heard in Frederick County Circuit Court.
Chancery causes are useful when researching local history, genealogical information, and land or estate divisions. They are a valuable source of local, state, social, and legal history and serve as a primary source for understanding a locality's history.
Organized by case, of which each is assigned a unique index number comprised of the latest year found in case and a sequentially increasing 3-digit number assigned by the processor as cases for that year are found. Arranged chronologically.
Additional Winchester Court Records can be found on microfilm at The Library of Virginia web site. Consult A Guide to Virginia County and City Records on Microfilm.
See the Chancery Records Index found on the Library of Virginia web site for the chancery records of other Virginia localities.
- Winchester (Va.) Circuit Court.
- African Americans -- History.
- Business enterprises -- Virginia -- Winchester.
- Debt -- Virginia -- Winchester.
- Divorce suits -- Virginia -- Winchester.
- Equity -- Virginia -- Winchester.
- Estates (Law) -- Virginia -- Winchester.
- Land subdivision -- Virginia -- Winchester.
- Winchester (Va.) -- Genealogy.
- Winchester (Va.) -- History.
- Chancery causes -- Virginia -- Frederick County.
- Chancery causes -- Virginia -- Winchester.
- Deeds -- Virginia -- Winchester.
- Judicial records -- Virginia -- Winchester.
- Land records -- Virginia -- Winchester.
- Local government records -- Virginia -- Winchester.
- Plats -- Virginia -- Winchester.
- Wills -- Virginia -- Winchester.
- Frederick County (Va.) Circuit Court.
Genre and Form Terms:
Added Entry - Corporate Name:
Dispute over ownership of an African-American Cemetery located in Winchester. The plaintiffs were members of John Mann Chapel, an African-American Methodist Church. They asserted ownership of the cemetery and that only members of their congregation were to be buried in it. The defendants, also African-American, claimed ownership of the cemetery stating their right came from the city of Winchester. They argued that the cemetery was to be for the burial of all African-Americans regardless of religious affiliation. The plaintiffs accused the defendants of illegally taking possession of the cemetery to bury deceased individuals not affiliated with the church and keeping the burial fees for themselves. See also Frederick County Chancery Cause 1849-004 which involves the Grim family. The plaintiffs reference a decree from this case in their bill of complaint.
A divorce suit involving Russian immigrants.
The plaintiffs leased an auditorium from the city to show "moving pictures." They wanted to show a movie titled "The Lure." The mayor of Winchester claimed the movie was indecent and prohibited them from screening the movie to the public. Plaintiffs questioned the legality of the Mayor's action.