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Accomack County (Va.) Census of Tobacco Plants, 1725, 1728-1729. Local government records collection, Accomack County Court Records. The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia 23219.
These items came to the Library of Virginia in a transfer of court papers from Accomack County.
Accomack County was named for the Accomac Indians, who lived on the Eastern Shore at the time of the first English settlement in Virginia. The word means "on-the-other-side-of-water place" or "across the water." It was one of the original eight shires, or counties, first enumerated in 1634 and spelled Accomac without the k. The county's name was changed to Northampton County in 1643. The present county was formed from Northampton about 1663. In October 1670, the General Assembly temporarily reunited Accomack and Northampton Counties as Northampton County. In November 1673, Accomack County was again separated from Northampton. In early records, the county's name was spelled many ways. In 1940 the General Assembly adopted the present spelling, Accomack. The county gained a small part of the southern end of Smith's Island from Somerset County, Maryland, in 1879, after the United States had approved boundary changes between Virginia and Maryland that had been agreed to in 1877. The county seat is Accomac.
A significant number of loose records from the 1700s suffered extreme water and pest damage. Volumes that record deeds, court orders, and wills exist.
Virginia's General Assembly passed Tobacco Acts in 1723 and 1729 that attempted to control the quantity and quality of tobacco grown in the colony. The 1723 act established limits on the number of plants that certain classes of persons could grow with slaveowners being allowed less plants. Each vestry of every parish had to appoint two people every year to count the number of plants being grown and report the numbers to the clerk of court by the month of August. Any number of plants over the allowed number were to be destroyed by the planter or, if the planter would not, by the counters. The act of 1729 provided various adjustments to and elaborations on the 1723 act. For full text of the acts which were not published in Hening's Statues, see The Virginia Magazine of History and Biography (Vol. 20, pp.158-178.)
Accomack County (Va.) Census of Tobacco Plants, 1725, 1728-1729, are three lists of tobacco plants. The 1725 list records the names of tithable persons, half shares, and the number of tobacco plants grown. The precinct is not given although the counters state that this list was drawn up at the order of the vestry at the Middle Church. The 1728 list records the names of all tithable persons and how many plants they were growing along with the number of plots or plantations in which the crop was being grown. Slave names are given along with their owners. A total of the number of plants in the county is given at the end of the list. The 1729 list is for the second precinct and records the same information as the 1728 list although without the land information.
Additional Accomack County Records can be found on microfilm at The Library of Virginia. Consult A Guide to Virginia County and City Records on Microfilm.
Accomack County is one of Virginia's Lost Records Localities. Additional Accomack County Records may be found in the Virginia Lost Records Localities Collection at the Library of Virginia. Search the Lost Records Localities Digital Collection available at Virginia Memory.
For more information and a listing of lost records localities see Lost Records research note.
- Accomack County (Va.). Circuit Court.
- African Americans -- Virginia -- Accomack County.
- Agriculture -- Virginia -- Accomack County.
- Slaveholders -- Virginia -- Accomack County.
- Tobacco -- Virginia -- Accomack County.
- Tobacco industry -- Virginia -- Accomack County.
- Accomack County (Va.) -- History -- 18th century.
- Lists -- Virginia -- Accomack County.
- Local government records -- Virginia -- Accomack County.