Warwick County, which merged with the city of Warwick, Virginia in 1952, was one of the Virginia Colony’s original shires upon its creation in 1634. (The county’s name changed from Warwick River County to simply Warwick County in 1642-43.)
The original records of Warwick County have never been transcribed–until now. Thanks to the prodigious efforts of Mr. Richard Dunn and The Jones House Association of Williamsburg, Virginia, however, we are now in possession of a meticulously transcribed volume which purports to gather up the crumbling documents of colonial Warwick–some of them from the 1640s–and make them accessible to researchers for the first time. In order to make their transcription as comprehensive as possible, Mr. Dunn and his colleagues examined original records not only from institutions like the Library of Virginia, the Virginia Historical Society, and the College of William and Mary but also from the New York Public Library, the Rosenback Museum and Library, and county archives throughout Virginia. Arranged by repository and thereunder chronologically, the entries derive mostly from court order books, record books, minutes, cattle accounts, and a variety of miscellaneous material. As is characteristic of court records in general, Warwick County’s records range over a multitude of contemporary affairs, such as estate settlements, petitions, appointments of local officials, orphan and bastardy cases, licenses, payments of debts, petty criminal matters, surveys and boundary disputes, the swearing in of justices of the peace, and so on. In the aggregate, the transcriptions do researchers the service of placing upwards of 10,000 Virginia ancestors in Warwick County at a particular moment during the colonial period. Thanks to the complete name index at the back of the volume, these heretofore inaccessible ancestors have not only been rescued from oblivion but are also available to us at the turn of a page.