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Culpeper County Classes, 1781 Index

An index to the Culpeper County conscription records for 1780–1781

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Culpeper County Classes, 1781 Index

Overview

On 16 October 1780, the Virginia Legislature passed “An act for recruiting this state's quota of troops to serve in the Continental Army” that called on each county to supply a specific number of men to serve in the Continental forces during the Revolutionary War. The county’s leaders were instructed to compile a conscription list by dividing the county militiamen into equal groups called classes. One man was chosen by lot from each class to serve for eighteen months.

This is an index to the conscription list for Culpeper County, which includes the names of all eligible county residents. They were divided into 106 classes, which was the county quota. The listing for each class had the name of the individual drafted. Substitutes who voluntarily took the place of the draftee were also listed. Occasionally a trade or physical description of the draftee or substitute was mentioned.

The Culpeper Class List is part of the records of the Auditor of Public Accounts (Record Group 48) and is described in Auditor of Public Accounts Inventory (entry 227). The Class List is available on microfilm (Miscellaneous Reel 6677).

Search Tips

  • Individuals with the same name are indexed under a single catalog entry. For example, under the entry for William Jones there are four different classes listed. 
  • Using quotes around phrases may return fewer, more relevant results.
  • Boolean operators OR, NOT and AND written in ALL CAPS may be used. By default, all search terms will be combined with the AND operator. To exclude terms, use the NOT operator before a term.
  • Wildcards can be used to find variant spellings. The question mark (?) will match any one character. For instance, “Ols?n” will match “Olsen” or “Olson”. The asterisk (*) will match any number of characters (including zero characters). “Ch*ter” would match “Charter”, “Character”, and “Chapter”, and “Temp*” would match “Temptation”, “Temple”, and “Temporary”. Wildcards cannot be used as the first character of a search or within phrase searches (quotation marks).

Related Resources

Publications

  • Blankenbaker, John. The Culpeper Classes. Chadds Ford: J. Blankenbaker, 1999. 
  • Van Atta, John R. “Conscription in Revolutionary Virginia: The Case of Culpeper County, 1780-1781,” Virginia Magazine of History and Biography, 92:3 (July 1984), 263–281. 

Archival Resources

  • Virginia Auditor of Public Accounts (1776–1928). List of the classes in Culpeper County for January 1781 for recruiting this state's quota of troops to serve in the Continental Army, 1781. Acc. APA 227. State government records collection, The Library of Virginia, Richmond, VA. Available on microfilm: Miscellaneous Reel 6677.

Revised February 2021