A Guide to the Portsmouth (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1859-1932 (bulk 1859-1913) Portsmouth (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1859-1932 (bulk 1859-1913) Portsmouth (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1859-001-1932-002

A Guide to the Portsmouth (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1859-1932 (bulk 1859-1913)

A Collection in
the Library of Virginia
Chancery Records Index: Portsmouth (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1859-001-1932-002


Library of Virginia

The Library of Virginia
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Richmond, Virginia 23219-8000
Phone: (804) 692-3888 (Archives Reference)
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Email: archdesk@lva.virginia.gov(Archives)
URL: http://www.lva.virginia.gov/

© 2009 By The Library of Virginia. All Rights Reserved.

Processed by: Louise Jones

The Library of Virginia
Chancery Records Index
Portsmouth (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1859-001-1932-002
Portsmouth (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1859-1932 (bulk 1859-1913)
Physical Characteristics
Digital images
Portsmouth (Va.) Circuit Court.
Library of Virginia

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

Patrons are to use digital images of Portsmouth (Va.) Chancery Causes found on the Chancery Records Index available electronically at the website of the Library of Virginia.

Preferred Citation

Portsmouth (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1859-1932 (bulk 1859-1913). (Cite style of suit and chancery index no.). Local Government Records Collection, Portsmouth Court Records. The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.

Acquisition Information

Digital images were generated by OCLC through the Library of Virginia's Circuit Court Records Preservation Program.

Historical Information

Portsmouth was located in Norfolk County, which is now extinct. It was named by its founder, William Crawford, for the English seaport and was established in 1752. Portsmouth was incorporated as a town in 1836 and as a city in 1858.

The chancery causes of Portsmouth (Va.) described in this collection were created by the following courts: Hustings Court and Circuit Court.

The Hustings Court was the city equivalent of the County Court. It was dissolved in 1904 and its functions were assumed by the Circuit Court.

Scope and Content

Portsmouth (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1859-1932 (bulk 1859-1913) 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 predominant number of chancery causes in this collection were created by the Hustings Court prior to its dissolution in 1904.

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.

Related Material

Additional Portsmouth Court Records can be found on microfilm at The Library of Virginia. See A Guide to Virginia County and City Records on Microfilm

See the Chancery Records Index to find the chancery records of additional Virginia localities.

Separated Material

Index Terms

    Corporate Names:

  • Portsmouth (Va.) Circuit Court.
  • Subjects:

  • African Americans--History.
  • Business enterprises--Virginia--Portsmouth.
  • Debt--Virginia--Portsmouth.
  • Divorce suits--Virginia--Portsmouth.
  • Equity--Virginia--Portsmouth.
  • Estates (Law)--Virginia--Portsmouth.
  • Land subdivision--Virginia--Portsmouth.
  • Geographical Names:

  • Portsmouth (Va.)--Genealogy.
  • Portsmouth (Va.)--History.
  • Genre and Form Terms:

  • Chancery causes--Virginia--Portsmouth.
  • Deeds--Virginia--Portsmouth.
  • Judicial records--Virginia--Portsmouth.
  • Land records--Virginia--Portsmouth.
  • Local government records--Virginia--Portsmouth.
  • Plats--Virginia--Portsmouth.
  • Wills--Virginia--Portsmouth.

Significant Places Associated With the Collection

  • Portsmouth (Va.)--Genealogy.
  • Portsmouth (Va.)--History.