Thursday, March 17, 2011

Will and Probate Records from LVA, the State Archives

  This came through this morning on my rootsweb

Message Board Post:

You can Interlibrary Loan (ILL) microfilm from LVA (the Library of VA, the state archives).  They lend out of state, for free, although your local library may charge for postage.  For the list of Orange Co film available, see:
Be sure to list both the county name and the reel number as LVA reuses numbers from county to county.  Look to the top of the page, to "for Libraries and Educators", click on this and the ILL link on the menu. Print this info out to take to your local public library so they know LVA's "rules" for ILL.  If they've not borrowed from LVA before, this will make things easier for them and therefore for you.  I think they lend up to 5 reels at one time.  The time period is 3 or 4 weeks.  You will have to use the film at your public library although you can print out pages as you wish.  A digital camera will take good pictures of microfilm projections or screens.  Be sure to look at court records as well as probate records.  

Your post indicates an administrator's bond was posted 26 Mar 1743.  I'd look at the previous month's court minute records as well as the Mar ones.  There should be a record of the appointment of an administrator of the estate.  I guess you realize that administrators are appointed when there is no will, executors when there is a will.  Generally, administrators are appointed at the first court session after the death.  If there is a delay, this will usually be mentioned in the court record of the appointment.  Your post also mentions "Accounts rec".  This will be a separate court book called Accounts Receivable.  I have found inventories in such books.  Some of this stuff varies from county to county and I've not looked at probate records in Orange Co.  (My folks seem to have passed through that county!)  Sometimes, an estate isn't settled until the widow dies or the youngest child reaches 21 or marries.  So, do look well beyond the dates you have.  Anyway, this should get !
you started finding those records.  LVA is sometimes slow, be patient.  -------Jo

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DID Not know that estates are not settled for years and years due to age of youngest child.


  1. You can post it if you add a few things:
    1) Everyone should spend quality time with Cyndi has over 280,000 links for genealogists. There are sections for beginners, how to and how to tutorials which are very helpful. Some links are broken but there is a link at the bottom of every page to notify Cyndi of this. It is the internet, URLs change often. Cyndi has worked full time on this list for 15 years. We need to show appreciation for her hard work by using the info she provides us. There are sections of links for every state and every county within a state as well as most countries.

    2) Everyone who hasn't done so needs to go to their public library and check out some genealogy books. There are excellent how to books out there. It would be helpful to buy one so you have it on hand for reference.

    3) is great but they don't begin to have every possible document. Neither does Nor any other online site. We need to use all online sites but also be aware that many documents have not been digitized. Many probably never will be. The National archives (NARA), the various state archives, and a growing number of county sources have all sorts of databases and indexes online and even more documents on microfilm and even more on their shelves. You can find links to all of these sites at

    4) If you can't go to a place (the best possible idea) and the state archives doesn't do ILL, the FHL in Salt Lake rents microfilm through local LDS church family history centers. You do not have to be Mormon to rent the film or visit the centers. A list of centers is at as is a catalog of the library holdings. The last ones I rented were $7.50 each which can add up pretty fast but is almost always cheaper than going wherever the records or film are available although not nearly as much fun.

    5) Genealogy is a specialized sort of research and Ancestry is doing no favors for anybody by saying you don't have to know what you are looking for. Of course you do. You also need to know what you have when you find something. Others have done this research so there are lots of ways to learn how to do it yourself. In school, the teachers tell us what we need to learn. As adults who want to learn something, we have to find out own resources and teachers. It is up to us. This is true not only of genealogy but of anything else we want to learn. We can learn it, we just have to work at it. is a great place to start for online learning but don't forget local genealogical and historical societies which may have lectures and classes. Some libraries also have these. There are fairs and conferences on the local, state and national level. When I started 20 years ago, I bought a book. Now there are classes online and off, tutorials, webinars, conferences, blogs, videos, podcasts, TV programs, and many other options for learning.

  2. This was to be added per Jo's request. She sent this to the list. both articles.