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Arlington County Chancery Causes

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Arlington County Chancery Causes

Posted: 11 Jun 2010 2:02PM GMT
Classification: Query
The Library of Virginia (LVA) is pleased to announce the completion of two more digital scanning projects. The processing, indexing, and digital reformatting of the Arlington and Tazewell County chancery causes is now complete. The images have been added to the Chancery Records Index (CRI) on Virginia Memory. The Tazewell County chancery index covers the years 1800 through 1920, and Arlington County contains the years 1790 though 1842 (additional post-1842 causes will be added at a later date). These localities join forty-four counties and cities whose chancery causes have been digitally reformatted and made available through the Library’s innovative Circuit Court Records Preservation Program, which seeks to preserve the historic records of Virginia’s Circuit Courts. The indexes and images can be found at the following link. http://www.virginiamemory.com/collections/chancery/

To date, The Library of Virginia has posted over 4.8 million digital chancery images for forty-four localities. Several localities are presently being scanned and will be posted in the coming months. However, due to the recent reductions to the Library of Virginia's budget, the pace of the agency's digital chancery projects will necessarily proceed more slowly. Please know these projects remain a very high priority for the agency and it is hoped that the initiative can be resumed in full when the economy and the agency's budget situation improve. Please see the Chancery Records Index for a listing of the available locality chancery collections.

Chancery causes are cases that are decided on the basis of equity and fairness as opposed to the strictly formulated rules of common law cases. Chancery cases are especially useful when researching local history, genealogical information, and land or estate divisions. They are a valuable source of local, state, social, and legal history and serve as a primary source for understanding a locality’s history. Chancery causes often contain correspondence; property lists, including slaves; lists of heirs; and vital statistics, along with many other records. Some of the more common types of chancery causes involve divisions of the estate of a person who died intestate (without a will); divorces; settlements of dissolved business partnerships; and resolutions of land disputes.

If you have any comments, questions, or corrections regarding the CRI or scanned images, please contact chancery@lva.virginia.gov.

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