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Land Records

Collection Summary

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*Only part of this collection has been digitized

Title Rockingham County (VA) Land Records
Collection Reference Code  RCLR

Inclusive

Dates

1778-Present 
Extent  115 linear sq. feet 
Creator Rockingham County Circuit Court
Bio/Historical Note  Rockingham County was established in 1778 from Augusta County. In 1780, Harrisonburg was named the county seat and incorporated as a town. The county is named for Charles Watson-Wenworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham. Since its establishment, many individuals have called Rockingham County their home, and unsurprisingly, the record of land is quite extensive. Because of this, the Land Records collection houses many different types of records
Archival History Rockingham County Land records have been maintained continuously by the Circuit Court.
Scope and Content  The records housed within the Land Records collection vary, and a great deal of information can be found here. All deeds, land indentures, land petitions, maps, and land tax books can be found here. Our Maps series consists of maps, relating to the creation of the town of Shendun, Grottoes, and the Shenandoah National Park. The Land Indenture series houses all indentures of land made in the County of Rockingham from 1778-1850. A land indenture can be defined as a legal contract between two parties representing the pledge, promises, and covenants of its issuing parties. In many ways, land indentures resemble (and often act as) deeds. Petitions vary in their reasons, but many of them were created  as "attachments against property." Finally, the Land Tax Books hold annual lists of landowners for Rockingham County from 1778 to present. Information recorded in Virginia land tax records changes relatively little from 1782 to the present. The early laws required the tax commissioner in each district to record in "a fair alphabetical list" the names of persons owning land or town lots, the quantity of land owned, the value of the land or lots, and the amount of tax owed. Each tract or lot owned by an individual was to be entered separately. As time went on, some additional information was included such as whether the estate was held in fee or for life, distance from the courthouse, and an explanation of alterations to the land. Land owned by African Americans began to be listed separately within each district in 1891. 
Processing Information Processed by Kayla Heslin, 2019. 
Conditions Governing Access  This work has been identified as being free of known restrictions under copyright law, including all related and neighboring rights.
Arrangement Deed books are arranged chronologically and are readily available on the first floor of the courthouse in our Geneology room. Each deed book is also indexed and easily searchable through our inhouse information management system. For this reason, they do not appear on this finding aid. The Land Indentures and Land Petitions series are arranged chronologically, and alphabetically by the last name of the Grantor. All Land Tax books are arranged chronologically. 
Language English

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