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Criminal Court Records Inventory

Series I: Criminal Cases

This series contains all criminal cases heard in Rockingham County from 1820 to 1971. 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.

Series II: Warrants

Series two consists of arrest and search warrants issued for Rockingham County from 1891-1923. There are substantially more arrest warrants than there are search warrants. For each, one can expect to find the name of the individual who filed a complaint, the reason for arrest/search, and the day on which the execution was carried out. 

Series III: Appeals

Occasionally, those charged with a criminal offense would appeal to the supreme court of VA for a review of their trial. Reasons for appeals vary, but the present series records appeals for Rockingham County from 1886-1926.

Series IV: Summons

Series four, Summons, contains all summons for the Criminal Court of Rockingham County from 1813-1937. These include both summons for an individual charged with a crime and for those summoned as part of the jury for a criminal case.

Series V: Register of Convicts

This series contains two bound volumes, both of which list the name, age, race, and criminal charge of a convict recently committed to the prison of Rockingham County. Vol. one covers 1875 and vol. two covers the years 1910-1920.

Series VI: Prison(er) Records

Series six contains records for both the prison located in Rockingham County (such as renovations made, construction of, rules for, plats, jailor accounts, and prison admin correspondences) and of the prisoners themselves (including reports of prisoners committed to jail, prisoner lists, petitions, and release). This series is full of rich resources for those interested in learning more about the prison system and criminalization in Rockingham County from 1819-1935.

Series VII: Recognizance Records

A recognizance is defined as "a bond by which a person undertakes before a court or magistrate to observe some condition, especially to appear when summoned." This series contains recognizance records related to criminal charges brought against Rockingham County residents from 1870-1911. An individual would be bound to the commonwealth to pay a certain sum in exchange for evading prison. 

Series VIII: Bail Bonds

Series eight provides evidence of individuals released on bail from 1904-1930.

Series IX: Jury Records

This series contains several types of records related to criminal court jurors including; allowances for witnesses and jurors, grand jury and petit jury lists unassociated with a particular case, jury lists associated with cases (which we have no other existing record of), and jury instructions not easily identified as belonging to a specific case. 

Series X: Pardons/Certificates of Release

Series comprised of pardons and/or certificates of release for convicts from 1824-1951.

Series XI: Criminal Complaints 

This series contains records of complaints made by individuals of the county against another resident, whom they believe have broken the peace of the Commonwealth. This complaint precludes a formal summons or arrest warrant and typically provides explicit detail of the said criminal action.