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Rockingham County Personal Documentation Inventory

Series I:

The Adoption Records contain completed adoption case files from 1892-1950. Within each file, one can find the birth name of the adopted child, information on who the birth mother and/or father was, as well as information on the adoptive parents. Files also contain character witness statements and social worker reports, all related to determining the suitability of the potential adoptive parents. Due to the code of VA section 63.2-1245, these records are not eligible for use or view by the general public and are only to be made available to attorneys of record, social service officials, court officials, and to such other persons as the circuit court shall direct in specific cases by order of the circuit court entered in accordance with § 63.2-1246.

Series II:

The second series, Citizenship Records, is further divided into two subseries; Petitions for Naturalization and Declarations of intent, based on the provenance of these records. Typically, an individual wishing to gain citizenship during the 20th century would first fill out a Petition for Naturalization, then the Declaration of Intent. Petitions typically listed the full name of the petitioner, their present address of residence, occupation, date of birth, the date on which they emigrated, the country from which they emigrated, where they arrived and on what vessel, a list of any children they had and finally, from what government they wished to renounce citizenship. Within this volume, there are but two completed petitions, both of which are dated 1909. Declarations of Intent list similar information, however, they do provide detailed descriptions of physical characteristics of said person, including; skin color, complexion, height, weight, hair color, eye color, and any visible marks. In the entire volume, there is but one form completed, which is dated 1909.

Series III:

There are seven books containing Birth records housed by the circuit court. The first is a general index to all births recorded for the county of Rockingham from 1862-1894. This book provided the name of the child, date of birth, and what book and page their birth had originally been recorded in. The courthouse retains both an original and typed edition of birth records for 1862-1870. The typed edition was likely produced sometime in the late 1890s or early 1900s. In both books, one can expect to find the name of the child born, the date, their race, sex, place of birth, father's name, father's occupation, father's residence, mother's name, the number of children at birth, any deformities, and the name of the person providing birth information. The next two books are the original handwritten records recorded by the Commissioner of Revenue for each district for the years 1870-1894. The same information can be found here as in the 1862-1870 volume. The two final books are typed editions of all birth records from 1870-1894.

Series IV:

Marriage Records are divided into four subseries; Petitions to Obtain Marriage License 1875-1905, Certifications of Age 1872-1899, Consent to Grant Marriage License 1853-1901, and miscellaneous Marriage Records. Note that the Circuit Court also houses a copy of all marriage applications/licenses for the county of Rockingham from 1778-1912. These are available for viewing on our in house records system, accessible to the public Mon-Friday 8:30 am-5pm.

Series V: 

There are two Registers of Death, both dated 1870-1894. The first is the original handwritten documentation filled out each year by the district Commissioner of Revenue. Here one can find the full name of the deceased, their race, sex, date of death, place of death, cause of death, age, name of parents, where they were born, occupation, name of spouse, and name of the person providing death information. The forms are arranged chronologically and by the district. The second book, which also dates from 1870-1894, is simply a copy of the original, likely produced some time in the late 1890s or early 1900s. These are typed rather than handwritten.