A Guide to the Montgomery County (Va.) Common Law and Judgments, 1772-1993 Montgomery County (Va.) Coroners' Inquisitions, 1822-1911, 1924-1946 001-002

A Guide to the Montgomery County (Va.) Coroners' Inquisitions, 1822-1911, 1924-1946

A Collection in
the Montgomery County (Va.) Circuit Court
Box numbers: 001-002


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Montgomery County (Va.) Circuit Court

Montgomery County Circuit Court
55 East Main Street, Suite 1
Christiansburg, VA 24073
Phone: (540) 382-5760

© 2016 By the Montgomery County (Va.) Circuit Court. All Rights Reserved.

Processed by: Sarah Nerney

Repository
Montgomery County (Va.) Circuit Court
Box numbers
001-002
Title
Montgomery County (Va.) Coroners' Inquisitions, 1822-1911, 1924-1946
Physical Characteristics
.90 cu. ft.
Collector
Montgomery County (Va.) Circuit Court
Location
Montgomery County (Va.) Circuit Court
Language
English

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Contact Montgomery County (Va.) Circuit Court clerk's office for availability.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Montgomery County (Va.) Coroners' Inquisitions, 1822-1911, 1924-1946. Montgomery County Court Records. Montgomery County (Va.) Circuit Court. Christiansburg, VA 24073.

Acquisition Information

These records were filed at the Montgomery County (Va.) Circuit Court during the course of court business.


Historical Information

Montgomery County was formed from Fincastle County in 1776, and the county court first met on 7 January 1777. Part of Botetourt County was added in 1790. Part of Pulaski County was added in 1842. The county was named for Richard Montgomery, who was killed in the American assault on Quebec late in 1775.

Fincastle County was created from Botetourt County in 1772, and the county court first met on 5 January 1773. Fincastle County became extinct on 31 December 1776 when it was divided to form Montgomery, Washington and Kentucky Counties. The county was named probably for George, Viscount Fincastle, Lord Dunmore's son; for John Murray, fourth earl of Dunmore, Viscount Fincastle; or for the town of Fincastle, Virginia, which was established in 1772 and named for George, Viscount Fincastle.

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 determining 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.

Scope and Content

Montgomery County (Va.) Coroners' Inquisitions, 1822-1911, 1924-1946 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, domestic violence, exposure to elements, drownings, train accidents, automobile 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. Criminal papers such as recognizance bonds can be found in coroner inquisitions. 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, 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 includes the name of the deponent and his or her account of the circumstances that led to the death of the deceased. Slaves were deponents in coroner investigations.

Records for the years 1911-1923 are not extant.

Arrangement

Chronological.