A Guide to the Lancaster County (Va.) Fiduciary Records, 1656-1927 Lancaster County (Va.) Fiduciary Records, 1656-1927 1111592-1111609 circa, 1133798-1135004 circa, 1161994-1161999 circa, 0007480493-0007619946

A Guide to the Lancaster County (Va.) Fiduciary Records, 1656-1927

A Collection in
the Library of Virginia
Barcode numbers: 1111592-1111609 circa, 1133798-1135004 circa, 1161994-1161999 circa, 0007480493-0007619946


Library of Virginia

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© 2012 By The Library of Virginia. All Rights Reserved.

Processed by: Library of Virginia staff

The Library of Virginia
Barcode numbers
1111592-1111609 circa, 1133798-1135004 circa, 1161994-1161999 circa, 0007480493-0007619946
Lancaster County (Va.) Fiduciary Records, 1656-1927
Physical Characteristics
8 vol, 25.5 cu. ft (48 boxes)
Lancaster County (Va.) Circuit Court.
Library of Virginia

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Lancaster County (Va.) Fiduciary Records, 1656-1927. Local Government Records Collection, Lancaster County Court Records. The Library of Virginia, Lancaster, Virginia.

Acquisition Information

These items came to the Library of Virginia in transfer of court papers from Lancaster County in part from accessions 41560 and 41565.

Historical Information

Lancaster County was named probably for the English county. It was formed from Northumberland and York Counties sometime between 26 March and 16 September 1651. The county court first met on 1 January 1652.

Part of the process of settling the estate after an individual's death was to take a probate inventory. The inventory listed the personal property in the possession of the owner at the time of death. The local county court assigned a person or group of people to make the inventory and value the estate. A credit-based economy, where tobacco was used as currency more often than cash was used, made taking inventories a necessary procedure. Before any outstanding debts were settled, the surviving members of the family needed to assess the value of the property. In Virginia, these inventories did not include buildings or land. Slaves included were often listed by name and individual value. Inventories taken after a person's death provide valuable information on everyday life such as social class, wealth, and occupation.

Scope and Content

Lancaster County (Va.) Fiduciary Records, 1656-1927, include miscellaneous records filed in a local court by trustees, administrators, executors, guardians, and committees that related to the performance of their duties managing a person's estate. These records typically include the following; bonds, appraisements, audits, inventories, accounts, estate divisions, settlements, dowery records, etc. Information related to enslaved people are commonly found in these records.

This collection primarily consists of estate administrator settlements, estate inventories, dower allotments, estate divisions, estate sales, and guardian accounts. Information recorded include the names of estate owners, list of personal property owned (including enslaved people), quantity and value of each item, and names of recipients of property. Some fiduciary records include additional information regarding enslaved people such as age, family relationships, physical or mental condition, sold to someone else, and if they were a runaway.

A donation to the Library of Virginia's Adopt Virginia's History program by the National Society Daughters of the Barons of Runnemede has helped to fund the conservation for Lancaster County Fiduciary Records, 1656-1714.

Lancaster County Fiduciary Records, 1656-1714, conserved by the Etherington Conservation Center, 2011.

Index Terms

    Corporate Names:

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

  • African Americans -- History.
  • Estates (Law) -- Virginia -- Lancaster County.
  • Slaveholders. -- Virginia -- Lancaster County.
  • Slaves -- Virginia -- Lancaster County.
  • Geographical Names:

  • Lancaster County -- History.
  • Genre and Form Terms:

  • Estate administration records -- Virginia -- Lancaster County.
  • Estate inventories -- Virginia -- Lancaster County.
  • Fiduciary records -- Virginia -- Lancaster County.
  • Local government records -- Virginia -- Lancaster County.