A Guide to the Hanover County (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1831-1913 Hanover County (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1831-1913 Hanover County (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1831-001-1913-041

A Guide to the Hanover County (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1831-1913

A Collection in
the Library of Virginia
Chancery Records Index: Hanover County (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1831-001-1913-041


Library of Virginia

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Processed by: Field processors

The Library of Virginia
Chancery Records Index
Hanover County (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1831-001-1913-041
Hanover County (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1831-1913
Physical Characteristics
Digital images
Hanover County (Va.) Circuit Court
Library of Virginia

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

Patrons are to use digital images of Hanover County Chancery Causes found on the Chancery Records Index available electronically at the website of the Library of Virginia.

Preferred Citation

Hanover County (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1831-1913. (Cite style of suit and chancery index no.). Local government records collection, Hanover County Court Records. The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.

Acquisition Information

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

Historical Information

Chancery causes 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.

Hanover County was named for George I, who at the time of his ascent to the English throne was elector of Hanover in Germany. The county was formed from New Kent in 1720.

Most county court records, particularly deeds, wills, and marriage records, were destroyed by fire in Richmond on 3 April 1865, where they had been moved for safekeeping during the Civil War. The circuit court records were not moved to Richmond and were relatively unscathed. Consequently, there is a strong run of common law papers and chancery papers after 1831 that were generated by the circuit superior court of law and chancery and its successor, the circuit court.

Scope and Content

Hanover County (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1831-1913, 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.

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 Hanover County Court Records can be found on microfilm at The Library of Virginia. Consult "A Guide to Virginia County and City Records on Microfilm."

See 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 .

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

Index Terms

    Corporate Names:

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

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

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

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

Significant Places Associated With the Collection

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

Selected Suits of Interest

1834-003 Exr of Mahala v. Admr of John Bowe, etc.:

Mahala was a mulatto free woman living in Hanover County. She was emancipated by John Bowe in 1824 and was formerly the property of Col. Thomas Tinsley. John Bowe also freed another unnamed mulatto girl. This girl was purchased from Mrs. Bowler and was emancipated in Hanover Court. John Bowe wished to school both. Mahala died and her will was recorded in 1831. In her will, Mahala states that she purchased her children from Col. Thomas Tinsley.

1834-011 Betsey Bazinett v. Charles Tinsley, etc.:

Plaintiff states that she is a free coloured girl and daughter of Matilda Bazinett, a free woman. Betsey states that she was born free and her mother and grandmother before her were free persons. Her father, John, was a slave and the property of Charles Tinsley of Hanover County. Her father was a blacksmith. Her parents were separated. Plaintiff was put with her father's mother. Plaintiff left Tinsley when she found out that he wished to deprive her of her freedom and take her off to parts unknown. She was afraid that she would be seized upon and sold.

1839-003 Hester Ann Jones by, etc. v. Elisha Jones, infant, etc.:

Military Bounty Land Warrant No. 6908 was granted heirs of Ella Jones, an heir of Absalom Jones. Bounty land warrants were given to certain officers and soldiers of the Virginia Line, Navy and Continental Army during the Revolutionary War--3,373 acres.

1843-002 Abemeluh Johnson v. Thomas Childs, etc.:

Rebecca Chiles nee Harris sold enslaved Diannah to Joseph F. Dabney-identified as a slave trader. Diannah was eventually removed from Virginia. She was taken from Hanover to City of Richmond. She was sent to Richmond by rail from Beaverdam Depot. Dabney typically conveyed slaves to southern states.

1848-001 Charles Webb v. Richard and Robert Gaines:

Land in Middlesex County Virginia called Plankatank. Land in Caroline County called Beverly Plain. Various individuals from King William, King and Queen and Powhatan counties. Enslaved individuals Milly, Caty, Julia, Harry and Sutton sold by John Gaines at auction in Richmond. John Gaines sold enslaved individuals Beverly, Nancy and her 2 children to prevent Robert B. Gaines, his brother, from taking them on vessel and selling them in Norfolk. Enslaved individuals Maria and Isbell were taken by Robert B. Gaines to King William County and sold by sheriff at King William Courthouse. Enslaved Richard, Hetty and Claiborne were also sold. Miller of Powhatan County possessed half and sold some of the enslaved. Crops were sold in Norfolk. Sales of enslaved individuals expected to take place at Stevensville at William Hill's estate and at Urbanna at estate of John Fauntleroy. Sales took place at different times and perhaps different years. Hetty was sold to pay John Gaines expenses as a student at William and Mary in 1808. Enslaved Jinney and Solomon were sold in Richmond at the request of Robert B. Gaines. Enslaved Caty was also sold by Robert B. Gaines. Enslaved Betsey was sold in Richmond. Enslaved Fenton had a light complexion.

1853-003 Elizabeth Berkeley Cooke and John Cooke v. Nelson Berkeley, etc.:

Refers to 671 acre Airwell estate and Bushy Park estate. Nelson Berkeley resided in Prince William County, Virginia. Enslaved Bob is identified as a plougher. Enslaved Lewis is identified as a part time blacksmith. Enslaved Humphrey is identified as a carpenter. Enslaved individuals Henry and Tom were sold-most likely because they were runaways. Numerous accounts in cause showed various individuals were paid for the apprehension of runaway slaves. Enslaved Tom was jailed in Henrico County and a jailor was paid in Fredericksburg as well. In one account, James Cassety is identified as a freeman of colour.

1858-002 Maria Beazley, etc. v. William W. White:

Sanford Beazley died in Orange County, Virginia. His enslaved in the state of Missouri were sold on 18 December 1826 for $2,752.12. Enslaved Ben was sold for $415.00 in 1827 or 28 because he was very unmangeable and unruly. Enslaved Isaac was hired out to Bell Tavern in Richmond.

1860-011 Charles Thompson v. John C. Dickinson, etc.:

Land in cause includes Mason's which lies in Caroline and Spotsylvania counties, Woolfolks and Ashley's which lie in Hanover County and Walnut level which lies in Caroline County. Charles Thompson owned 160 acres in the state of Missouri. John C. Dickenson engaged in waggoning tobacco to Richmond and selling it and had a habit of gaming. George N. Clough was a clerk on Shockhoe Hill in Richmond City. He also took tolls for the Brooke Turnpike Company. He was a grocer in Hanover County. He was also a tavern owner, ran a wagon , was a farmer, was a stock trader and was a slave trader. Like Clough, Joshua Alvis was a slave trader. He bought slaves in Louisa, Orange and Spotsylvania counties and sold them in the South.

1861-006 Admr of Lucy Dickinson v. James B. Cason:

Lucy Dickinson was the aunt of James B. Cason. She was said to be a weakly woman, illiterate and under his influence. He was said to be a gambler and drinker. Cason was said to verbally abuse Dickinson and had forged stock that she owned in the Central Virginia Railroad for his own gain. Dickinson also had a considerable number of enslaved persons who helped her manage her plantation known as Queens. These enslaved individuals used to drive a cart and team in hauling coal and wood and going to the mill. Cason considered them burdensome, unmanageable and unproductive-primarily because she was said to indulge her them and managed them through leniency. He sold and hired out a number of these individuals for money-most notably Fanny, who was sold to slave trader Fendall Carpenter of Tennessee. He also sold others acquired by marriage and some from the estate of William Ashley. Samuel Moran used enslaved individuals Lewis and William to work at brick layers trade and also hired them to work on the Virginia Central Railroad. Cason was the administrator for William Cason who had mental issues. William Cason had 5 enslaved individuals. James Cason once bought a pair of boots from Henry Tyler for a free boy in the neighborhood known as "Free Jim."

1861-029 William Fanning Wickham, gdn v. Robert Carter Wickham, etc.:

Lucy Carter married Edmund Fanning Wickham. They owned a plantation of over 2,000 acres called South Wales. Lucy Carter was the daughter of Robert Hill Carter of Shirley Plantation. She died in 1835 and her husband Edmund died in 1843. They left six surviving children and then son Robert Carter Wickham (cause's principle defendant) passed away. Numerous enslaved individuals were hired to cultivate the property since most of the enslaved were women and young children. Enslaved Betsy and Eliza were sold by R.H. Dickinson and Bro]. The plantation was sold and purchased by Edmund Winston. Enslaved John Rowe was a blacksmith. William F. Wickham owned 15 enslaved individuals that worked on the South Wales plantation. Enslaved Dick, Billy and Joe were sold at New South Wales plantation. A number of the enslaved have surnames.

1864-002 Petition of George W. Doswell, admr:

Petition of former county sheriff. He sold the personal and real estate of Thomas L. Page. Problem with distributing $3,000 in funds. First off, funds were in only current circulating currency-Confederate Treasury notes that were quickly depreciating. Additional problems included many parties entitled to funds resided within the lines of the public enemy. Others entitled to the funds were in military service and could not be located. The currency issues pops up again and again especially in debt suits beginning in 1863.

1868-037 J.A Wingfield v. Temple J Blunt:

Plaintiff and defendant had a business partnership, Wingfield and Blunt.] Had a contract to erect a tavern house, known as Stone Tavern, for keeping of store and a tavern/hotel near Depot of Virginia Central Railroad near Hanover Courthouse. Plaintiff was to furnish materials and Defendant was to erect building or procure them to be erected. Judgment against defendant was destroyed by a fire in the county court clerk's office on 2 April (actually 3 April) 1865. Cause discusses named and unnamed enslaved that worked on farm and at tavern. Cause also contains unrelated marriage record between Tom Lacy and Elvira Taylor married on 6 January 1867 in Caroline County.