I visited the Halifax County Courthouse on 15 and 16 November 2012. I was very impressed by the friendly staff and volunteers. There are loose Halifax County Chancery Court cases going back to the 1700s. Records before 1835 have not been microfilmed but they are indexed and prepared for shipment to the Library of Virginia for inclusion in the Chancery Records project. Unfortunately the Library of Virginia’s funding for digitizing the Halifax County records is in jeopardy. Currently the only way to access the pre-1835 records is at the Halifax County Courthouse. There is a computer index available at the Courthouse for the pre-1835 Chancery Court records and Mr. Lawrence Martin, a volunteer who is usually at the Courthouse on Thursday and Friday, will help researchers locate the files. The originals can be viewed at the courthouse or copied for 50 cents per page by Mr. Martin. Halifax County had a grant that paid Mr. Martin a small sum for his services. This grant ended on 31 October 2012. Mr. Martin now charges $15.00 per hour for his services to offset the loss of the grant. Mr. Martin is extremely knowledgeable about Halifax County records and his time is well worth this small fee. You can call ahead to make an appointment with Mr. Martin or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Halifax County also has loose judgment records from the 1750s forward. Volunteers are preparing these records at the Halifax County Courthouse. They are flattening them and placing them in acid-free folders labeled with the name of the court case. There is no index for the records. See the Library of Virginia webpage for a description of judgment records and how to locate the date of judgment using Court Order books:http://www.lva.virginia.gov/public/guides/rn29_judgments.pdf
I was able to locate a number of judgment records with Mr. Martin’s help. Mr. Martin will research these records for $15.00 per hour.
Halifax County also has loose marriage bonds that have never been microfilmed by the Library of Virginia or LDS. A copy can be made by the Courthouse staff for $3.00 (all copies of marriage bonds are certified thus the higher fee.) I was thrilled to see the actual signature of my ancestor on his marriage bond and a permission slip containing the signature of his wife’s mother, naming her relationship to her daughter.
Cameras cannot be used in the courthouse. All copies of wills, deeds, and other microfilmed records will be from the microfilm of the records. You may view the original deed, will and plea books.
Laurel T. Baty, CG (SM)
Certified Genealogist and CG are proprietary service marks of the Board for Certification of Genealogists, used by the Board to identify its program of genealogical competency evaluation, and used under license by the Board’s certificants.