A Guide to the Amherst County (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1773-1838 Amherst County (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1779-1838 Amherst County (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1779-001-1838-007

A Guide to the Amherst County (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1773-1838

A Collection in
the Library of Virginia
Barcode numbers: Amherst County (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1779-001-1838-007


Library of Virginia

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© 2008 By The Library of Virginia. All Rights Reserved.

Processed by: LVA staff

The Library of Virginia
Barcode numbers
Amherst County (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1779-001-1838-007
Amherst County (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1779-1838
Physical Characteristics
Digital images.
Amherst County (Va.) Circuit Court.
Library of Virginia

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

Patrons are to use digital images of Amherst County (Va.) Chancery Causes 1779-001-1838-007 found on the Chancery Records Index available electronically at the website of the Library of Virginia.

Preferred Citation

Amherst County (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1779-1838. (Cite style of suit and chancery index no.). Local government records collection, Amherst County Court Records. The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia, 23219.

Acquisition Information

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

A portion of the collection was transferred to the Library of Virginia under the accession number 52092.

Historical Information

Amherst County was named for Major General Jeffery Amherst, British commander in North America during the latter part of the French and Indian War and governor of Virginia from 1759 to 1768. It was formed from Albemarle County in 1761. Islands in the Fluvanna (now the James) River were added in 1770.

Scope and Content

Amherst County (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1779-1838 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. 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, plats, wills, slave records, business records or vital statistics, among other items.

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.

Arrangement of documents within each folder are as follows: Bill, Answer, and Final Decree (if found.)

Related Material

Additional Amherst County 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 .

Index Terms

    Corporate Names:

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

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

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

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

Significant Places Associated With the Collection

  • Amherst County (Va.)--Genealogy
  • Amherst County (Va.)--History

Selected Causes of Interest

1800-007: Henry Camden vs. Alexander Brydie and Co, etc.:

Cause involves dispute sell of enslaved woman suffereing from a venereal disease.

1801-008: John Ball vs. John Sparrow:

Defendant is a free person of color. Ball trying to dissolve judgment won against him for assault and battery by Sparrow. Sparrow's answer includes sentence, "Sparrow is truly sensible of the difference which the laws of the land have made between himself and free white persons, and he hopes that no instance can be produced in which he has deviated from that respectful conduct, which ought to have observed towards those who the laws of this country have made his superiors."

1815-002: Prisiller, etc. vs. Thomas Coppage:

Freedom suit.

1830-011: Joseph Dillard vs. Adms. of Thomas Clasby:

Enslaved person constantly running away.

1833-024: Sarah, etc. vs. George P. Luck:

Freedom Suit: Sarah sued for her freedom. She refused to go with other enslaved people to Ohio. See also Chancery Cause 1834-006.

1834-006: Sarah, etc. vs. Elisha Rucker, etc.:

Plaintiffs won freedom in 1833. See also Chancery Cause 1833-024

1834-012: John Ware, etc. vs. Archibald Robertson, etc.:

Enslaved people were removed fom jurisdiction without permission of court. The court is authorized to take possession of the enslaved people.

1836-032: Gdn. Of Benjamin Miles vs. Benjamin Miles, Infant:

Enslaved man Henry ran away for fear he would be killed.

1837-008: Nancy Holloway vs. Admr. of Thomas S. Holloway, etc.:

Freedom Suit.

1837-021: William J. Isabell vs. Elisha Peters, etc.:

Plaintiff accuesed defendant of selling him a "diseased" enslaved person who died a few months after purchase.