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Annals of Southwest Virginia (1769-1800)
Number of CDs: 1
Author: Lewis Preston Summers
Pages: 3 maps and 1826
Pub. Date: (1929) 2008
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The student of early southwest Virginia history can find no better beginning point than Summers’ Annals. The bulk of this over 1000-page compilation focuses on abstracts of court minutes and early surveys which often mention early settlers who left no trace in wills and deeds. Although the stated area covered is the area south of the James River and west of the crest of the Blue Ridge Mountains to the Cumberland Gap, court records (Botetourt and Fincastle) include Kentucky until 1777 when Kentucky County was established and southern West Virginia to 1778 when Greenbrier County was established. The records continue to include the southeastern counties of West Virginia that were a part of Montgomery and Wythe counties to 1800; however, it should be noted that there are no extant court minutes for Wythe County for 17911794. Washington County court minutes from the establishment of the county in 1777 to 1787 are also available. Those from 1787 to 1800 are not extant and the records for Russell County which was established from Washington County in 1786 are not included. In addition to court minutes, records of extant early surveys Botetourt, Fincastle, Montgomery and Washington counties which are of primary importance in tracking early settlers have been abstracted. A number of the Washington County surveys document actual settlement in the area before 1770.
There are brief deed abstracts for Botetourt (17691785), Fincastle (17731777), Montgomery (17771800) and Washington (1778May 1799). Extant marriage records for the period and brief abstracts of some of the early wills and lists of participants in the French and Indian War, the Cherokee Expedition of 1776, the Battle of Point Pleasant and the Revolutionary War complete this section.
While the abstracted records as noted cover the period from 1769 when the county of Botetourt was established through 1800, Summers also includes the diaries of early explorers Batts and Fallam (1671), Dr. Thomas Walker (17491750) and Christopher Gist (1750) as well as Bickley’s History of Tazewell County and Charles B. Coale’s Wilburn Waters which together give the reader an in-depth view of the history of the exploration and settlement of the area.. Although there is an extensive name index to the printed volumes, the index does not include the semi-alphabetical lists of surveys, marriages, etc; nor is it a complete index to the other content as a search of these PDF files will show. For example, William Garrison, whose 1773 settlement in the Cove is noted on page 1442 appears in the index with references to pages 867 and 1432 only. Ninety percent of the surnames tested uncovered one or more names not in the index. In addition the ability to search on geographical locations will enable the researcher to locate other individuals who were neighbors and who may help determine the place of origin of a Southwest Virginia settler. Images of large foldout maps two of Southwest Virginia and one of Botetourt, often missing from the published versions, are included.
Summary by Barbara Vines Little, CG
for Archive CD Books USA
This electronic book includes high-quality images of every page as originally published (not just a transcript) and is fully searchable using Adobe Acrobat Reader (version 4 or later recommended) on any Windows, Macintosh, or Unix computer. The data files are completely self-contained, and require no installation.
Annals of Southwest Virginia (1769-1800)
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