Welcome to Histories along the Blue Ridge

Histories Along the Blue Ridge is the new name for the Exploring Rockingham’s Past project, which was launched in 2017-2018 to make selected historic records from the Rockingham County Court digitally available to the public. Keeping with the original project mission, each year, graduate students of James Madison University partner with local Circuit Court Clerk, Chaz Haywood, to make select collections digitally available. Since 2018, the project has grown rapidly beyond Rockingham County through collaborations with interested community actors and courthouses in neighboring counties along the Blue Ridge Mountain Range in Virginia. Future initiatives will also add select, non-court records to the HBR collection as well.

On this page, you will find information about our most recent digital collections and general updates about the project. To explore all digitized collections visit the "Browse Digital Collections" tab in the menu above.

In addition, HBR does provide information on collections housed by the Rockingham County courthouse that are not digitized. If the record group has not been digitized a note has been made at the top of the finding aid. For further information about all collections visit our "Finding Aids" page.

Major Contributors

The following institutions have contributed digitized archival materials along with structured descriptions to HRB:

  • Clerk of Court, Rockingham County
  • Clerk of Court, Augusta County (recently added)
  • Rappahannock County
  • Madison County

Finding Your Family

Much of what HBR makes available will be of great use to genealogists and those interested in simply learning more about their familial past. To facilitate local researchers' needs and interests, we have tried to index all surnames referenced in the records. A system of "Tags" is used to indicate the surnames associated with records across all collections. If you would like to search HBR’s records by surname visit the "Browse Items" tab in the menu box above and then choose the "Browse by Tag" link located in the middle left of the newly loaded page. You may also navigate a word cloud version of surnames by clicking this link.

Please note that while we strive to include every surname mentioned in the records, there is the possibility that some were missed. You may also search for your family using the search box located at the top right-hand corner of the page.

For more tips on how to best use the site, please visit the "Help" page.

HBR's Newest Collection

Rockingham County Criminal Court: Criminal Cases

This series contains all criminal cases heard in Rockingham County from 1820 to 1971 (currently digitized and included: 1900-1930.) The historical context contained within these records is rich, and one can expect to learn about various aspects concerning the social, cultural, and political climate of the day. Click this link.

Recently Added Items

Commonwealth v Salomon D Arbogast

ccr001_019_010_commonwealth-v-soloman-d-arbogast.pdf

defendant charged with felony murder (note: sketch of swastica, FBI)

Commonwealth v Malcolm Ray Morris

ccr001_019_006_commonwealth-v-malcolm-ray-morris.pdf

Defendant charged with felony involuntary manslaughter

Commonwealth v Malcolm Ray Morris

ccr001_019_005_commonwealth-v-malcolm-ray-morris.pdf

Defendant charged with felony involuntary manslaughter

Commonwealth of Virginia v George Briclear

ccr001_013_005_commonwealth-of-virginia-v-george-briclear.pdf

Defendant charged with involuntary manslaughter

Commonwealth of Virginia v Thomas Johnson

ccr001_013_011_commonwealth-v-thomas-johnson.pdf

Defendant charged with felony murder