A Guide to the Norfolk County (Va.) Register of Convicts, 1870-1932 Norfolk County (Va.) Register of Convicts, 1870-1932 Norfolk County (Va.) Reel 279

A Guide to the Norfolk County (Va.) Register of Convicts, 1870-1932

A Collection in
the Library of Virginia
Microfilm reel number: Norfolk County (Va.) Reel 279


Library of Virginia

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Processed by: Library of Virginia staff

The Library of Virginia
Microfilm reel number
Norfolk County (Va.) Reel 279
Norfolk County (Va.) Register of Convicts, 1870-1932
Physical Characteristics
1 microfilm reel.
Chesapeake (Va.) Circuit Court.
Library of Virginia

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

Use microfilm copy, Norfolk County (Va.) 279.

Preferred Citation

Norfolk County (Va.) Register of Convicts, 1870-1932. Norfolk County (Va.) Reel 279, Local government records collection, Chesapeake (City)/Norfolk County Court Records. The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia 23219.

Acquisition Information

Microfilm Reel 279 was generated by a field operator from the Virginia State Library's (now the Library of Virginia) Microfilm Section while filming in the City of Chesapeake's Circuit Court Clerk's Office.

Historical Information

Norfolk County was created in 1691 when Lower Norfolk County was divided into Norfolk County and Princess Anne County. Norfolk County became extinct on 1 January 1963, when it was consolidated with the city of South Norfolk to form the city of Chesapeake.

During the 1869-1870 session, the General Assembly passed an "Act to Secure Identification of Persons Convicted of Criminal Offences." On 2 November 1870, the act was approved. The act specified that "every clerk of the court of each county and corporation shall keep a register of full and accurate descriptive lists of every person convicted in his own or any other court of record of his county or corporation, of felony or other infamous offence, and a duly certified and attested copy of any such descriptive list may be used as prima facie evidence of the facts therein stated in any question of identity. Such registers shall be kept written up, well indexed, and shall be open to public inspection at reasonable hours. The register shall follow a set form and each descriptive list shall be attested by said clerk."

In addition, "the clerk of every court of record of each county or corporation, other than the county or corporation court, shall within ten days from the date of conviction of any person in his court of any offence mentioned in the first section of this act, deliver to the clerk of the county or corporation court, for record in said register, an attested descriptive list of the person so convicted, in the form hereinbefore prescribed." The judges of the respective courts are responsible for seeing that the provisions of the act are "punctually and properly carried out" by their respective clerks. The act was amended on 18 January 1871 and outlined the following: "For the services mentioned in this or the first section of this act, the clerk shall be entitled to a fee of fifty cents, to be paid out of the state treasury." By and large, the county and circuit court clerks went about compiling these registers throughout the counties of Virginia as late as the 1960s.

Order books and/or Minute books record all matters brought before the court when it was in session and may contain important information not found anywhere else. A wide variety of information is found in order/minute books--including individuals convicted of felonies.

This original register was created by the County and Circuit Courts.

Scope and Content

Norfolk County (Va.) Register of Convicts, 1870-1932, is a comprehensive list of "persons convicted of felony or other infamous offences" in the county. Based on a set form, the listings of each conviction include the individual's name in full and any aliases, the present and last known residence of the accused, the color or race of the individual (including white, black, brown, yellow and mulatto), the individual's height, eye color, hair color and any identifying marks, the apparent or known age of the accused, his or her occupation, the offence, the court in which convicted, the date of conviction and page of record and whether the judgment was reversed or pardon granted and date thereof. The volume has 148 pages. There is an internal index to the volume. The index is arranged alphabetically by the surname of the convict, A-Y. Instead of a court conviction, sometimes an individual was convicted by a Justice of the Peace.

Related Material

Additional Norfolk County Court Records can be found on microflm at the Library of Virginia. Consult "A Guide to Virginia County and City Records on Microfilm."

Index Terms

Adjunct Descriptive Data

Significant Places Associated With the Collection

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