A Guide to the Dunmore County (Va.) Rent Rolls, 1774-1776 Dunmore County (Va.) Rent Rolls, 1774-1776 1156712

A Guide to the Dunmore County (Va.) Rent Rolls, 1774-1776

A Collection in
the Library of Virginia
Barcode number: 1156712


Library of Virginia

The Library of Virginia
800 East Broad Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219-8000
Phone: (804) 692-3888 (Archives Reference)
Fax: (804) 692-3556 (Archives Reference)
Email: archdesk@lva.virginia.gov(Archives)
URL: http://www.lva.virginia.gov/

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

Processed by: Sarah Nerney

The Library of Virginia
Barcode number
Dunmore County (Va.) Rent Rolls, 1774-1776
Physical Characteristics
53 leaves.
Shenandoah County (Va.) Circuit Court.
Library of Virginia

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

Should you wish to quote from or reproduce images of any of the materials, you must write to the Librarian of the Huntington Library, 1151 Oxford Road, San Marino, CA 91108, requesting formal permission to do so. Please note that you do not have to obtain permission if you are quoting fewer than fifty words, or if you are only citing the document. Images made with microfilm-reader printers from the microfilm or photocopies of the negative photostats are for research use only and may not be used for publication without permission.

Also available on microfilm, Miscellaneous Reel 4624, as part of the Robert Alonzo Brock Collection, Fairfax Family Northern Neck Proprietary papers, 1675-1843, Series V. Personal papers collection, Accession 41008.

Preferred Citation

Dunmore County (Va.) Rent Rolls, 1774-1776. Local government records collection, Shenandoah County Court Records. The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia 23219.

Acquisition Information

These items came to the Library of Virginia under the accession numbers 20806, 20807, and 20808.

This collection forms part of the Robert Alonzo Brock Collection at The Huntington Library, San Marino, California.

Historical Information

Shenandoah County was named for the Shenandoah River, which passed through the county. Shenandoah is an Indian word meaning beautiful daughter of the stars. The county was named Dunmore when it was formed from Frederick County in 1772 and named for John Murray, fourth earl of Dunmore and governor of Virginia from 1771 to 1775. Lord Dunmore's actions at the outbreak of the American Revolution made him so unpopular with Virginians that the General Assembly changed the county's name to Shanando (now Shenandoah) in 1778.

In September 1649, King Charles II of England granted to seven Englishmen all land in the Northern Neck of Virginia, or that lying between the Rappahannock and Potomac Rivers, as a proprietary, or land over which private owners exercised all ownership, control and use. By 1681, Lord Culpeper owned 5/6 of the proprietary. In 1688, just before King James II was expelled and replaced in the Glorious Revolution by William and Mary, Culpeper got the last Stuart king to renew his grant. When Lord Culpeper died in 1689, his only legitimate child, daughter Catherine (or Katherine) Culpeper, inherited his 5/6th of the "proprietorship." She married Thomas, Fifth Lord Fairfax, whose mother controlled the other 1/6th. During the colonial era, the Virginia government based in Jamestown (until 1699) and Williamsburg (after 1699) objected to the claims of the Culpepers and Fairfaxes. Under terms of the grant, the colonial governor and General Assembly retained political and legal authority over the Northern Neck, but colonial officials did not want to lose the authority to grant land in that area and to collect fees from processing such grants. Thomas, Fifth Lord Fairfax, refused to sell the family's proprietary claim to the colony. After the English monarchs changed in the Glorious Revolution of 1688, he successfully blocked efforts of colonial officials to get the grant cancelled, and succeeded in having William and Mary reaffirm his rights again in 1693. Starting in 1690, two years after James II had reaffirmed the grant, all patents between the Rappahannock-Potomac rivers were recorded in special Northern Neck grant books, separate from other Land Office grant books used for the rest of the colony of Virginia. The Fairfaxes used Virginia-based agents to manage the proprietary and collect fees and quit rents. Thomas, Sixth Lord Fairfax (grandson of Lord Culpeper) inherited 100 percent of the claim after his father (Thomas, Fifth Lord Fairfax) and grandmother (Margaret Lady Culpeper, wife of Thomas, Second Lord Culpeper) died in 1710. Continued legislative threats to his legal rights triggered Fairfax to ask the Privy Council in London to reaffirm his claim and order a final survey of the boundaries of his ownership. After constant disagreements between Fairfax and the colonial government over the boundaries, in 1733 the Privy Council in London ordered that surveyors mark the Fairfax Grant boundaries. In 1745, the Privy Council in London decided finally in favor of Lord Fairfax and allowed him to establish control over 5.2 million acres between the Rappahannock and Potomac rivers, until he died at the end of the American Revolution. The new Commonwealth of Virginia acquired title to the Fairfax lands that had not already been sold, while those who had purchased lands directly from Fairfax or his heirs got clear title to their lands.

Scope and Content

Dunmore County (Va.) Rent Rolls, 1774-1776, are negative photostatic copies of three rent rolls recording quit rents or land taxes due to Lord Fairfax from persons receiving land grants from the Northern Neck Proprietary. The rolls list landholders names, number of acres, number of years the tax is in arrears, the amount due in pounds, shillings and denarii (pennies), and a field for notes which generally are about payments received. The lists were recorded by John Snap or Snapp. Following the alphabetical list of quit rents in each year are lists of tenants and taxes due from Cedar Creek Manour, Leeds Manour, or the Forest.


Arranged chronologically then alphabetically.

Index Terms


  • Fairfax, Thomas Fairfax, Lord, 1693-1781.
  • Corporate Names:

  • Shenandoah County (Va.) Circuit Court.
  • Subjects:

  • Rent charges -- Virginia -- Dunmore County.
  • Rent charges -- Virginia -- Northern Neck.
  • Geographical Names:

  • Dunmore County (Va.) -- History -- 18th century.
  • Northern Neck (Va.) -- History -- 18th century.
  • Shenandoah County (Va.) -- History -- 18th century.
  • Genre and Form Terms:

  • Lists -- Virginia -- Dunmore County.
  • Local government records -- Virginia -- Dunmore County.
  • Tax and fiscal records -- Virginia -- Dunmore County.

Significant Persons Associated With the Collection

  • Fairfax, Thomas Fairfax, Lord, 1693-1781.

Significant Places Associated With the Collection

  • Dunmore County (Va.) -- History -- 18th century.
  • Northern Neck (Va.) -- History -- 18th century.
  • Shenandoah County (Va.) -- History -- 18th century.