A Guide to the Rockbridge County (Va.) Register of Convicts, 1871-1916 Rockbridge County (Va.) Register of Convicts, 1871-1916 Rockbridge County (Va.) Reel 198

A Guide to the Rockbridge County (Va.) Register of Convicts, 1871-1916

A Collection in
the Library of Virginia
Microfilm Reel number: Rockbridge County (Va.) Reel 198


Library of Virginia

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© 2009 By The Library of Virginia. All Rights Reserved.

Processed by: Library of Virginia staff

The Library of Virginia
Microfilm Reel number
Rockbridge County (Va.) Reel 198
Rockbridge County (Va.) Register of Convicts, 1871-1916
Physical Characteristics
1 microfilm reel
Rockbridge County (Va.) Circuit Court.
Library of Virginia

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

Use microfilm copy, Rockbridge County (Va.) Reel 198.

Preferred Citation

Rockbridge County (Va.) Register of Convicts, 1871-1916. Rockbridge County (Va.) Reel 198, Local government records collection, Rockbridge County Court Records. The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia 23219.

Acquisition Information

Microfilm Reel 198 was generated by a field operator from the Virginia State Library's (now the Library of Virginia) Microfilm Section while filming in the Rockbridge County Circuit Court Clerk's Office.

Historical Information

Rockbridge County was formed from Augusta and Botetourt Counties in 1778, and another part of Botetourt was added in 1888. The county was named for Natural Bridge, an exceptional rock formation located in the county.

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/mintute books--including individuals convicted of felonies.

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

Scope and Content

Rockbridge County (Va.) Register of Convicts, 1871-1916, is a "descriptive list of persons convicted of felony and other infamous offences in the county." Based on a 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, dark brown, yellow and mulatto), the individual's height, eye color, hair color and any identifying marks, where the individual was born, the apparent or known age of the accused, his or her occupation, the offence, the court in which convicted, the date of conviction, the order book and page number and whether the judgment was reversed or pardon granted and date. There were no convictions listed for 1876 or 1888.

Related Material

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

Index Terms

    Corporate Names:

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

  • African American prisoners--Virginia--Rockbridge County.
  • African Americans--Employment--Virginia--Rockbridge County.
  • African Americans--History--1863-1877.
  • African Americans--History--1877-1964.
  • African Americans--Virginia--Rockbridge County.
  • Occupations--Virginia--Rockbridge County.
  • Prisoners--Virginia--Rockbridge County.
  • Public records--Virginia--Rockbridge County.
  • Racially mixed people--Virginia--Rockbridge County.
  • Geographical Names:

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

  • Criminal court records--Virginia--Rockbridge County.
  • Local government records--Virginia--Rockbridge County.
  • Order books--Virginia--Rockbridge County.
  • Registers (lists)--Virginia--Rockbridge County.
  • Added Entry - Corporate Name:

  • Rockbridge County (Va.) County Court.