Numerous Virginia counties and cities, most of them in the eastern part of the state, have suffered tremendous losses of their early records because of military activity (predominantly during the Civil War), courthouse fires, and/or natural disasters. At some point, almost everyone conducting genealogical or historical research in Virginia will face the problem of finding information from a county or city described as a "lost records locality."
The Lost Record Localities Collection consists of court records that have survived from localities where most records no longer exist. These records have been identified during the course of records-processing projects, such as the Chancery Records Index, and added to an artificial online collection. This collection is updated periodically as new records are identified.
This collection does not include recovered records from higher or appeal courts. For an index of these records, see the Burned Jurisdiction Database.
If the record you are looking for is not in the Lost Record Localities Collection, additional resources exist:
Examples of alternative records include:
Revised January 2024