A Guide to the Fluvanna County (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1779-1882 (bulk 1796-1873) Fluvanna County (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1779-1882 (bulk 1796-1873) Fluvanna County (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1779-001-1882-001

A Guide to the Fluvanna County (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1779-1882 (bulk 1796-1873)

A Collection in
the Library of Virginia
Chancery Records Index: Fluvanna County (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1779-001-1882-001


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© 2011 By The Library of Virginia. All Rights Reserved.

Processed by: Catherine OBrion

The Library of Virginia
Chancery Records Index
Fluvanna County (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1779-001-1882-001
Fluvanna County (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1779-1882 (bulk 1796-1873)
Physical Characteristics
Digital images
Fluvanna County (Va.) Circuit Court.
Library of Virginia

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

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

Preferred Citation

Fluvanna County (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1779-1882 (bulk 1796-1873). (Cite style of suit and chancery index no.). Local Government Records Collection, Fluvanna County Court Records. The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia.

Acquisition Information

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

Historical Information

Fluvanna County takes its name from an eighteenth-century designation of the upper James River. The name, meaning river of Anne, was originally bestowed in honor of Queen Anne of England. The county was formed from Albemarle County in 1777. The county seat is Palmyra.

Scope and Content

Fluvanna County (Va.) Chancery Causes, 1779-1882 (bulk 1796-1873) 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 Fluvanna County Court Records can be found on microfilm at The Library of Virginia. See A Guide to Virginia County and City Records on Microfilm

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

Index Terms

    Corporate Names:

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

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

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

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

Significant Places Associated With the Collection

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

Selected Suits of Interest

1779-001: Elizabeth Thominson, widow vs. Thomas Pleasants, etc.:

Destitute widow suing for access to dower land from her husband's estate; claims her husband gave the land to Pleasants before he died, and Pleasants sold it; but she never relinquished her dower rights to it.

1784-003: Benjamin Fitzpatrick and wife vs. Exrs. of Joseph Fitzpatrick:

The bill describes an agreement between the mother of the bride and the father of the groom whereby the father of the groom agreed to give the bride two young enslaved girls if she would marry his son. After they were married, the father-in-law offered to keep the children until they were old enough for service. He has died, and now the son and daughter-in-law are trying to get the two slaves from the executors of his estate.

1785-001: Thomas Hurd and wife vs. Heir of Catharine Napier, etc.:

Heirs challenge a bequest of an enslaved woman and her increase; claim benefactor was not mentally competent.

1785-002: Tandy Rice vs. Sandy Lindsey:

Dispute over the depreciation of paper currency.

1789-004: John Clark, etc. vs. Peter Crawford:

Dispute over terms of a contract to hire a slave; plaintiff claims slave ran away and lost time; defendant claims he didn't.

1791-001: Thomas Chiles vs. Robert Clough:

Bill concerns debt acquired while gaming when drunk.

1792-003: Tandy Rice vs. John Michie:

Lawyer suing to collect debt from client.

1794-004: Anthony Haden vs. Thomas Jefferson:

Haden is suing in chancery to overturn a verdict on the law side, in which Jefferson collected a debt owed him for legal services in 1772, 1773, and 1774. The case also involves Edmund Randolph and Thomas Garth.

1795-001: Meriwether Morris vs. Benjamin D. Wills:

Bill describes dispute over a contract to deliver wheat to the James River canal landing in Richmond.

1796-001: John Bryant vs. Turner Anderson:

Contract dispute; bill of complaint filed by overseer for payment; defendant claims he didn't fulfill his terms of the contract.

1796-005: John Robertson vs. Admr. of John Clarke:

Dispute over value of a castrated horse; castrated because of complaints of neighbors that he was a nuisance.

1796-007: William Appleberry, etc. vs. Champion Napier:

Contract dispute over purchase of land in Kentucky.

1798-003: John Lightfoot, etc. vs. John Ware, etc.:

Dispute over agreement to serve as Deputy Sheriff and divide profits of the office of sheriff.

1800-003: Howell Lewis vs. William Price, etc.:

Plaintiff describes going to the western country to join the western army.

1802-002: John Peyton vs. William Fenwick:

Case concerns flour milling and Richmond merchants Galt and Gamble.

1802-007: Joseph Haden vs. Doctor James Bryden:

Case concerns dispute of fees charged by two physicians.

1802-008: Abner Strange vs. Elizabeth Price:

Plaintiff hired to act as overseer for a plantation in Fluvanna County superintended by Price, and owned by David Ross.

1806-003: Thomas Appleberry vs. Admr. of John Williamson:

Williamson volunteered to serve, and died, in the "late rebellion in the Northern people" in 1794, probably the Whiskey Rebellion.

1807-004: Duncan McLauchlan vs. David Ross:

Suit concerns a partnership in a mercantile store at Old Ferry, circa 1780-1781; a house at Point of Fork; business interests in Richmond and Petersburg, a schoolmaster to the Cary family in Fluvanna County, the mental health of an African American woman, Mary, and the murder of an enslaved man by another enslaved man. Ross' answer includes details about his business with McLauchlan in the town of Columbia in the 1790s and early 1800s, and copies of letters about the business.

1808-001: John Quarles vs. William G. Garner, etc.:

Bill describes gaming in Charlotesville; faro, drunkenness, losing money.

1810-002: William Price, survpar vs. Exr. of John Peyton:

Case involves purchase of slaves by a slave-trading firm, Peyton and Price.

1811-012: Thomas Appleberry vs. John Quarles:

Case involves dispute over whether to sell a woman and her six children together or not. A deposition contains a description of a slave sale, called a crying. The case pertains to debts owed to David Ross.

1812-007: William Stone vs. William Galt, etc.:

Case contains a 1725 patent and a List of Land in Fluvanna County in 1796, listing who owned what land in the county. The case has to do with title to lands of British subjects escheated by Act of the Commonwealth in 1779.

1814-003: Peter H. Ware vs. Robert Hill:

Case contains a bill of sale for the sale of Robin and his wife Hannah.

1817-002: George Layne vs. Admr. of Booker Parrish:

Bill and answer give detailed description of a sharecropping lease agreement for the cultivation of tobacco.

1822-008: John N. Haden vs. Legts. of Joseph Haden:

Case includes detailed division of land and slaves of Joseph Haden, prominent Fluvanna citizen.

1822-009: Philip Carter vs. Daniel Norris:

Case involves a contract dispute over the hire of an enslaved waterman; bill and answer describe the terms of the contract.

1822-033: Harrison Peyton vs. William Price, survpar.:

Dispute between partners; Peyton sues for wages as an agent for Peyton and Price.

1823-001: Legts. of Peter Ross vs. Exr. of Peter Ross, etc.:

One of many cases in which a death precedes sale of slaves.

1825-003: William Wood vs. Exr. of John Haden:

Dispute over contract to hire slaves from the state of John Haden, deceased. Bill and answer give information about how costs and charges of lost time; includes a letter offering a price for the hire of two men.

1825-005: Thomas Lyne vs. William H Lyne, by etc.:

Case shows the migration of Lyne family to Tennessee.

1826-002: Howell Lewis vs. Hopkins Hughes:

Contract dispute over an agreement to build a kitchen and a smokehouse.

1826-005: Garland White vs. Elizabeth Clarke:

Contract dispute over the purchase of a horse from a femme sole.

1828-006: William Weaver vs. Oliver Patten, etc.:

Contract dispute over the purchase of eight lots in the town of Columbia.

1831-005: Samuel~ alias Samuel Peyton vs. Alexander Crawford, etc.:

Freedom suit; no final decree. The plaintiff and others freed by the will of John Peyton had been enjoying their freedom for several years when Alexander Crawford sued to collect a debt on the estate. The Exrs. of Peyton are threatening to sell Samuel Peyton to pay it. No final decree. Related to 1832-008, Elijah May vs. Exr. of John Peyton. ; see also 1832-009, Mary Duncan vs. Exr. of John Peyton.

1831-012: Anderson Johnson vs. George Holman:

Bill describes a business partnership among three partners involving an overseers, slaves, and farming tobacco in Goochland County. Each partner provided three hands, provisions, and two horses, all to be under the direction of the plaintiff; includes a copy of the agreement, accounts and several depositions describing the farming operation.

1832-025: Joseph Haden, Comt. vs. Smith Payne, etc.:

Plaintiff trying to prevent the sale of slaves Daniel and wife Patt for debts.

1832-037: Dudley Richardson vs. Abraham Shepherd, etc.:

Contract dispute for bricklaying work for mercantile business.

1832-040: Robert Herndon, etc. vs. James Cheatham:

The plaintiff alleges fraud in sale of an enslaved boy to pay a debt in 1816, when the boy was already sold to a firm in the town of Columbia. Plaintiff sues to recover the boy.

1834-005: John H. Timberlake vs. Rivanna Navigation Co.:

Dispute involving construction of a dam at White Rock.

1834-010: David A. Gillaspy vs. John R. Perkins:

Case involves accusation of fraud against a slave trader who purchased a slave in Norfolk. Documents describe treatment of slave, suspected poor treatment, hunger, illness.

1834-022: Ludlow Branham vs. Peter R. Johnson, etc.:

Dispute between partners in a mercantile business in Columbia.

1835-011: Heirs of Col. Wilson Miles Cary vs. Sarah Newsum:

Case concerns an annuity and the division of the dower slaves owned by Cary's widow in Virginia and Tennessee. Heirs have migrated to Tennessee, Mississippi, and New Orleans.

1835-012: William Wills, etc. vs. Miles C Wills:

One brother charges another brother with taking advantage of a third brother, who was mentally imcompetent, in the management of that brother's slaves.

1836-006: Louisa A. Tompkins vs. Craven Peyton, etc.:

Plaintiff is trying to collect money ($600) she loaned her father; she earned the money from working as a school-mistress before she was married. Peyton is one of her father's creditors; he sold a slave to her father.

1838-003: Ludlow Branham, survpart vs. Hezekiah Stone:

The bill discusses a business selling tobacco on the New York market and in Richmond and a store in the town of Columbia.

1839-006: William C. Huggason by etc. vs. Admr. of Elizabeth Martin:

Case describes plans to hire an enslaved man, George, and use the profits from his labor to educate an heir to the estate.

1841-001: Sarah B. Pence by etc. vs. John H Pence:

Case concerns a marriage contract setting aside slaves and other property in trust for the exclusive use of Sarah.

1841-006: Admr. of Christopher Shepherd vs. Legts. of Christopher Shepherd:

Suit includes an 1840 letter from Crawford County, Arkansas, to someone in Kentucky, describint land, farming, and politics, including Van Buren's candidacy.

1842-003: John Kent vs. Exr. of Robert Kent, etc.:

Case concerns provisions made in a will for Jack, who was enslaved, to have the proceeds of his own labor and the support of the family when he was no longer able to work.

1844-002: William Appleberry vs. Heirs of Absalom Appleberry:

Plat showing the division of land includes a small sketch of the two-story mansion house.

1845-005: Catharine Bruce vs. Admr. of Andrew Bruce, etc.:

Plaintiff petitions for permission to sell a slave the laintiff believes to have been involved with the murder of her husband.

1846-002: Lucy Holland, Admx. Vs. Heirs of Shandy Holland:

Case documents how a widow administered and managed an estate of 1,000 acres and 15-18 slaves until her children were grown.

1846-005: W J Farrar vs. Archibald Bryce, etc.:

Dispute over authorization to treat slaves with numerous costly medicines. Plaintiff is the physician who was asked to treat the slaves.

1847-0005: Peyton Harrison vs. Lavnia B. Harrison, etc.:

Estate dispute over Carysbrook estate.

1848-009: Martin Tutwiler vs. James W. Mason, etc.:

Case contains deed, articles of agreement for a packet boat business.

1849-002: Nancy Holland by etc. vs. John Holland:

Woman suing for separate maintenance in addition to the property (3 slaves) that was set aside for her under the terms of a marriage agreement.

1850-005: Richard D. Shackleford vs. Sarah D. Shackleford, Admx.:

Case involves efforts to avoid sale of slaves, migration to Mississippi. Sales inherited from estate in Spostsylvania County.

1851-003: Sarah Sutherland vs. Admr. of Thomas Sutherland:

Widow renounces her husband's will, and migrates to Ohio. Case also involves hiring out of slaves.

1851-010: Benjamin C. Flanagan vs. S B Flanagan, etc.:

Case contains two letters, 1844 and 1850; 1850 letter describes agricultural conditions in Limestone County, Alabama in 1850; 1844 letter mentions Yazoo City, Mississippi.

1852-002: Joseph L. Perkins and wife, etc. vs. Mary Shepherd:

Plaintiffs seek to sell the widow's dower slaves and provide for her maintenance, because she's no longer able to manage the estate effectively. Contains family correspondence.

1852-004: John S. Martin, etc. vs. Mary Martin, etc.:

Plaintiffs seek permission to sell a slave "in consequence of [her] bad and tricky character" , and her three children, one of whom is a "cripple for life." Petitioner argues the slaves are unprofitable to heirs.

1852-008: John F. Miller, etc. vs. Mary Frances Jennings, etc.:

Will includes provisions to respect slave marriages; Suit contains blunt langage describing slave children as assets. Plaintiffs "sincerely believe that their interests would be promoted by changing or converting the said boys Patteson and Thomas into a small farm as a home for your respondents." . Plaintiffs petition to sell children of a slave for the benefit of the heirs. There is a request in the will for slave Dinah, "who has a husband in the neighbourhood should be sold by my executors privately. . . to some humane master, convenient to her husband" Also Peter and Rosanna, who are also "married in the neighborhood."

1854-004: William Johnson, etc. vs. Trst. Of Nancy Perkins, etc.:

Report of sale of slaves includes ages of slaves.

1856-003: Susan Moore vs. Admr. of Samuel Clarke:

Estate consists of a land warrant for 80 acres for military service of Samuel Clarke, granted him by act of the General Assembly, 1856.

1857-004: John H. Mayo, etc. vs. Joseph Mayo:

Plaintiff's mother was the widow of Benjamin Mayo, a private in the Revolutionary War. She received land for a pension in 1856.

1860-007: Frances E. Price by etc. vs. Henry M. Price:

Marriage Contract includes names and ages of slaves, brought from Isle of Wight County, that are set aside as bride's property.

1860-009: William B. Hodgson vs. Philip P. Pannell, etc.:

Suit for separation.

1864-006: John S. Martin vs. Mary Martin, etc.:

Will of John Haden, 1820, lists slaves, including Jack, a shoemaker.

1865-005: Louis Hardin and wife vs. Holman Bragg, Gdn.:

Depositions include detailed testimony about conditions of slaves, their children, and hiring out.

1866-003: James Smith vs. Patrick Woodson, etc.:

1830 will of Polly Woodson provides for the will of older servant, Linney.

1866-007: Chapman White, Legt vs. Widow of Garland White:

Plaintiffs accuse defendant of trying to sell enslaved people loaned to her as dower slaves.

1870-002: Joseph G. Bullock, etc. vs. Keziah Parrish, etc.:

Purchase of slaves by a busness, Union Manufacturing Co.

1872-006: Heirs of William Woodson vs. Exr. of Booth Woodson:

Suit concerns a bequest in the will of Booth Woodson to education poor children of Goochland County. Also contains a reference to an enslaved person's mental illness.