Buckingham County was created in 1761 from the part of Albemarle County that lies below the Fluvanna/James River. When the Buckingham County courthouse burned in 1869, most of its records were destroyed, making subsequent genealogical and historical research extremely difficult. One of the few survivors from the county’s old records is the Surveyor’s Plat Book (1762-1858), which is housed at the Virginia State Library and here abstracted and edited by D.A.R. Librarian Eric Grundset.
The abstracts and two indexes in this publication include the names of every person and place appearing in the Surveyor’s Book. The abstracts typically supply the name of the landholder, the date the plat was surveyed, the size of the lot, the names of neighbors, references to any transfer of the property, and the names of any abutting creeks, rivers, mountains, roads, or ferries. In all, the abstracts refer to about 3,000 early inhabitants of Buckingham County (most of them prior to 1820), and they are easily identified in the name index at the back of the volume. The author has prepared a map of Buckingham County to serve as a general location-finder to place names, which are also indexed. All in all, this diminutive book is a major resource for Buckingham County research and, when used with modern plat maps, land tax records, and other post-1869 sources, will enable the researcher to piece together more information on county families. (Researchers should note, as Mr. Grundset points out in his Preface, that owing to changes in Virginia county boundaries, a number of the tracts abstracted herein are now situated in Appomattox and Cumberland counties.)
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