A Guide to the Petersburg (Va.) Registers of Births, 1853-1896 Petersburg (Va.) Registers of Births, 1853-1896 0007762445, 0007762446

A Guide to the Petersburg (Va.) Registers of Births, 1853-1896

A Collection in
the Library of Virginia
Barcode number: 0007762445, 0007762446


Library of Virginia

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The Library of Virginia
Barcode number
0007762445, 0007762446
Petersburg (Va.) Registers of Births, 1853-1896
Physical Characteristics
2 v.
Petersburg (Va.) Circuit Court.
Library of Virginia

Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Use Restrictions

There are no restrictions.

Preferred Citation

Petersburg (Va.) Registers of Births, 1853-1896, Local government records collection, Petersburg Court Records. The Library of Virginia, Richmond, Virginia 23219.

Acquisition Information

These items came to the Library of Virginia in a transfer from Petersburg Circuit Court under the accession number 52919.

Historical Information

Petersburg was formed from parts of Dinwiddie, Prince George, and Chesterfield Counties. A garrison and fur trading post called Fort Henry was established there in 1645 on the site of the Indian town Appamattuck. The present name, suggested in 1733 by William Byrd (1674-1744), honors Peter Jones, Byrd's companion on expeditions into the Virginia backcountry. Petersburg was established in 1748 and incorporated as a town in 1784. In the latter year the towns of Blandford, Pocahontas, and Ravenscroft were added to Petersburg. It was incorporated as a city in 1850.

A law requiring the systematic statewide recording of births and deaths was passed by the General Assembly on April 11 1853. Every commissioner of revenue registered births and deaths in his district annually, at the same time personal property subject to taxation was ascertained. The commissioner recorded births and deaths that had occurred prior to 31 December of the preceding year and returned the record to the clerk of court by 1 June. Information was obtained from heads of family, physicians, surgeons, or coroners. The law imposed penalties for failing to furnish or collect the information. The clerk of court in each locality entered the information supplied by the commissioner into registers and prepared an accompanying alphabetical index. A copy of each register was forwarded to the Auditor of Public Accounts. The law went into effect on 1 July 1853, and continued until 1896, when an economy-conscious legislature repealed the recording provisions.

Scope and Content

Petersburg (Va.) Registers of Births, 1853-1896, contain headings for: date and place of birth; name of child (if named); color (if "colored," whether enslaved or free); sex; whether born alive or dead; name of father or owner; father's occupation; father's residence (county or locality in the county); mother's name; how many infants at this birth (whether this was a multiple birth); deformities or any circumstances of interest; name of the person giving the information; and the relation of the informant to the person born.

Related Material

Additional Petersburg Marriage and Vital Statistics Records can be found on microfilm at the Library of Virginia. Consult "A Guide to Virginia County and City Records on Microfilm" found on the Library of Virginia web site.

Index Terms

Adjunct Descriptive Data

Significant Places Associated With the Collection

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