The Library of Virginia (LVA) is pleased to announce the completion of an additional digital scanning project. The processing, indexing, and digital reformatting of the Russell County chancery causes is now complete. The images have been added to the Chancery Records Index (CRI) on Virginia Memory. The Russell County chancery images span the years 1864 through 1933 (the index covers through 1960).
This locality joins forty-four counties and cities whose chancery causes have been digitally reformatted and made available through the Library’s innovative Circuit Court Records Preservation Program, which seeks to preserve the historic records of Virginia’s Circuit Courts.
To date, the Library of Virginia has posted over 4.8 million digital chancery images. Additional localities are presently being scanned and will be posted in the coming months. However, due to the recent budget reductions to the Library of Virginia’s budget, the pace of the agency’s digital chancery projects will necessarily proceed more slowly. Please know these projects remain a very high priority for the agency and it is hoped that the initiative can be resumed in full when the economy and the agency’s budget situation improve. Please see the Chancery Records Index for a listing of the available locality chancery collections.
Chancery causes are cases that are decided on the basis of equity and fairness as opposed to the strictly formulated rules of common law cases. Chancery cases are especially useful when researching local history, genealogical information, and land or estate divisions. They are a valuable source of local, state, social, and legal history and serve as a primary source for understanding a locality’s history. Chancery causes often contain correspondence; property lists, including slaves; lists of heirs; and vital statistics, along with many other records. Some of the more common types of chancery causes involve divisions of the estate of a person who died intestate (without a will); divorces; settlements of dissolved business partnerships; and resolutions of land disputes.
If you have any comments, questions, or corrections regarding the CRI or scanned images, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Vince Brooks, Senior Local Records Archivist