Access Wise County Virginia Genealogy

Access Wise County Virginia genealogy using this page. This guide provides you with information on available online ancestry records including birth, court, death, land, and marriage, etc., as well as the history of the Wise County VA and the biography and genealogy of her people. This is the most complete and accurate listing of online records for Wise County Virginia.

Wise County Virginia Genealogy Information


Townships of Wise County Virginia

Virginia is unique in the existence of independent cities from the county they are located within. In Wise County the incorporated city is Norton. The towns of Wise County are Appalachia, Big Stone Gap, Coeburn, Pound, St. Paul, and Wise. Other communities that existed at some point in history within Wise County limits are Banner, Bond Town, Dooly, Dorchester, East Stone Gap, Eolia, Esserville, Exeter, Flatwoods, Gilley, Gladeville, Imboden, Intermont, Lipps, Mineral City, Prince’s Flats, Richmond, Riverview, Roaring Fork, Roberson, Robinson, Stonega, Tacoma, Toms Creek, and Walker.

Biographies of Wise County Virginia Residents

Hillman, James Noah

Hillman, Nancy Susanna (Greear)

Cemeteries of Wise County Virginia

Tombstone Inscriptions from Relocated Cemeteries
The dam impounding North Fork of Pound Reservoir is located on North Fork of Pound River, a distance of 184 miles above the mouth of Big Sandy River and 1.1 miles above the mouth of North Fork in Wise County, Virginia. Construction of the dam started in 1962. Cemetaries located above the dam, and in the impoundment areas were relocated to sites above the pool elevation subject to the desires of the nearest of kin. Data on these removals are included here. The nearest of kin living at the time of grave removal is indicated in each case.

Virginia Cemetery Records Roanoke to York Counties
Virginia Cemetery records are listed by county then name of cemetery within the Virginia county. Most of these are complete indices at the time of transcription, however, in some cases we list the listing when it is only a partial listing.

Census and Tax Records for Wise County Virginia

All Federal census records from 1790-1950 are now freely available on FamilySearch and as such we refer you to their databases. Since Wise County was formed in 1856, the first Federal census was the year of 1860. At the formation of the county there were already residents, and we suggest you search for your ancestor in Lee, Russell and Scott counties. You can also use the tax lists included below the census, as these started in 1810. For any additional census transcriptions or images, we suggest you refer to AccessGenealogy’s: Virginia Census Records

Church Records for Wise County Virginia

Indian Creek Regular Baptist Church of Christ
Church records, including minutes and membership lists from 1867 to 1885, were photocopied from the original documents. Mrs. Audrey Mullins Treu conducted the photocopying in 1991. These records comprise an undated membership list and detailed minutes covering the years 1867 to 1885. The minutes frequently reference members joining or departing the congregation. Some of the original writings have faded, resulting in unclear copies in certain sections. The Indian Creek Regular Baptist Church of Christ, where these records originated, was established in 1867.

Indian Creek Regular Baptist Church of Jesus Christ, 1867 – 1885
These records were found in a trunk that had belonged to Raleigh Kilgore, a member and an Elder in the above church. There are 57 pages to be transcribed. A descendant of Raleigh Kilgore, Audrey Mullins True copied and shared the church records. The church was located at the mouth of the Scott Robinson Hollow on Indian Creek. Almost certainly a transcription of the image file previously mentioned.

Big Stone Gap Presbyterian Church Records, 1908-1933 – This microfilm must be viewed at a local Family History center (FHC).
Microfilm of original records at the Presbyterian Historical Society, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Contains Session minutes 1908-1919 (includes congregational minutes) Church officials Communicants Baptisms 1912-1918, 1933 Marriages 1912, 1915 Deaths 1915

Bible Records

Bible Records Digital Collection
The Library of Virginia has digitized over 7,000 Bible Records in its collection, which grows with new donations regularly. Some early images—usually digitized from photocopies–are less legible than more recent scans due to the poor quality of the paper records.

David Crocket Powers Bible

Court Records for Wise County Virginia

Wise County Chancery Court Records

Chancery courts, or courts of equity, are specialized tribunals that apply principles of equity to render judgments in cases where legal remedies are inadequate, typically handling matters such as divorces or foreclosures without the need for a jury.

Virginia Chancery Records Index
The Chancery Records Index (CRI) is a result of archival processing and indexing projects overseen by the Library of Virginia. There are over 277,000 cases indexed in the database and over 12.5 million images of chancery causes available online. Each of Virginia’s circuit courts created chancery records that contain considerable historical and genealogical information. Because the records rely so heavily on testimony from witnesses, they offer a unique glimpse into the lives of Virginians from the early 18th century through the First World War. Wise County digital images available for the years 1855 through 1912. Indexed information and original records available through 1925, total of 3351 records.

Chancery Order Book, 1868-1885
Microfilm of original Chancery order book v. 3 at Wise County Courthouse in Wise, Virginia. This book covered the years of 1868-1885. Includes index.

Chancery order books, 1856-1903, 1981-1982
This microfilm collection features original records from the Wise County Courthouse in Wise, Virginia, where the courts operated primarily in a chancery capacity. The records include a comprehensive general index divided into four sections, as outlined in Kilgore’s ledgerizing index and reference system. Volumes 1 and 4 of this collection are also individually indexed. The chancery court rule docket provides detailed case names, attorney names, types of cases, dates, and explanations of actions taken, and orders issued by the court. Notably, volume 3 of the Circuit Court chancery order books is missing from the library. Some volumes may exhibit page damage, missing pages, or faded ink, affecting legibility.

Wise County Circuit Court Records

The County Court, which was dissolved in 1904, was subsequently replaced by the Circuit Court. Circuit courts cover a broad spectrum of serious legal matters, providing a comprehensive judicial process from trial to judgment or settlement.

Wise County Virginia County Court Order book, 1856-1867 – This microfilm must be viewed at a local Family History center (FHC).
Microfilm of original records at Wise County Courthouse in Wise, Virginia. In 1873 the County Court ordered the old Circuit Court order book to be transcribed into a new book. The transcription was completed in 1874. Includes index.

Wise County Virginia County Court Order books, 1856-1861, 1885-1902 – This microfilm must be viewed at a local Family History center (FHC).
Microfilm of original records at Wise County Courthouse in Wise, Virginia. Orders are judgments made by the court. Most volumes are individually indexed.

Wise County Virginia Bond books, 1889-1911 – This microfilm must be viewed at a local Family History center (FHC).
This microfilm contains reproductions of original records held at the Wise County Courthouse in Wise, Virginia. Records of later bonds are housed in the clerk’s office of the Circuit Court. A bond is a legal agreement committing an individual, along with their heirs, executors, and administrators, to pay a stipulated sum if certain obligations are unmet. The collection includes bonds related to court orders, government or public officials, ministers, administrators, executors, and guardians, among others. Each volume is indexed individually. However, some volumes exhibit page damage, and there may be missing pages; additionally, the ink on some pages has faded.

Record of title bonds, 1889-1934 – This microfilm must be viewed at a local Family History center (FHC).
Microfilm of original records at Wise County Courthouse in Wise, Virginia. Includes index. Contains bonds for the sale of property which were recorded with the clerk of the court.

Will books, 1856-1901, 1982; general index to wills, 1856-1953 – This microfilm must be viewed at a local Family History center (FHC).
This microfilm contains original records from the Wise County Courthouse in Wise, Virginia, specifically focusing on wills recorded in will book volume 46, housed in the clerk’s office of the Circuit Court. The collection features a comprehensive general index that covers will books volumes 1-18, fiduciary order books volumes 1-3, Circuit Court order books volumes 8-36 (limited to orders related to probate matters), and bond books volumes 5-18. Included in these records are documents pertinent to estate proceedings such as estate sale and appraisal bills, accounts, deeds, indentures, and settlements. This extensive documentation provides valuable insights into the legal and financial arrangements surrounding estates, reflecting the historical legal practices of Wise County.

Wise County Virginia Naturalization Records

Naturalization petitions of the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia, 1914-1929
Microfilm of original manuscripts in the National Archives, Philadelphia Branch, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Volumes include indexes. This court was held at Big Stone Gap, Virginia. NARA RG21 publication. Contains Applications for admission to citizenship 1923-1927 Petitions, v. 1-2, no. 1-114 ca. 1913-1927 (NARA Series M1645, Roll 1), and Petitions, v. 2, no. 114-148 1927-1929 (NARA Series M1645, Roll 2).

Directories of Wise County Virginia

Ethnic Records of Wise County Virginia

Genealogy of Wise County Virginia

Richard Baker and Abigail Beverly of Wise Co., VA
Richard Baker II was born on July 25, 1797 in Washington Co., TN and died August 25, 1871 in Wise Co., VA. He was the son of Richard Baker I and Mary “Polly” Mullins. Richard Baker II married Abigail Beverly. Abigail was born about 1805 in Wythe Co., VA and died 1862 in Wise Co., VA. Abigail was the daughter of Elijah Beverly, Sr. and Mary “Polly” Freeman. Richard and Abigail settled in Russell Co. (now Wise, Co.), VA on Guest’s River between Tacoma and Ramsey near Norton, VA. They later moved to the Bold Camp section of Wise Co., VA near Pound, VA. Richard and Abigail are buried in the Jim Baker Cemetery, Wise Co., VA. They had 12 children of which 11 lived to adulthood.

Charles Robert “Bob” Purkey’s Family Home Page
A family tree of the Purkey and Owens family. The Purkey family was from Wise County, Virginia.

Stanley Family
Jonathon Wesley Stanley was born February 1, 1847, in Russell County, Virginia. He was the son of Lovel Stanley and Isabelle Louvina Wright. He married Sarah Carolina Reedy November 7, 1867, in Wise County.

Stewart Family of Southwest Virginia
Ray Danner’s mother side of the family included the Stewart family from Scott and Wise counties.

Wheatley and other related families of Southwestern “Old” Virginia
This is an archived version of an old website featuring the Wheatley family of Southwestern Virginia. Because it is archived, some pages may not have been saved. It includes many surnames besides Wheatley, as many generations had far more daughters than sons. Surnames involved include Wheatley, Dougherty, Hamilton, Salyer(s), Robinett(e), Kilgore, Huff, Beverly, and Dotson, to name just a few.

History of Wise County Virginia

The Story of Wise County, Virginia
“The Story of Wise County, Virginia” by Luther F. Addington, published in 1956 by the Centennial Committee and School Board of Wise County, Virginia, serves as a historical record of the county from its inception through its first hundred years. Wise County, established in 1856 from sections of Russell, Lee, and Scott counties, carries the name of Governor Henry Alexander Wise, highlighting its significance in the state’s political and social life. This text outlines the county’s formation, development, and the various elements that have shaped its identity, including geography, notable events, and significant figures.

Some Sandy Basin Characters
It is the purpose of this volume to capture and preserve some of the more striking activities of a few prominent leaders of Sandy Basin, as learned from available records and the existing recollections of the pioneers, and to show how the men and women of its earlier days lived and exerted themselves to make a living for their own families and to be of service to their less fortunate neighbors.

A Narrative History of Wise County, Virginia – Ancestry $
This history is enriched with personal recollections and reminiscences. Its pages are filled with the names of those individuals who settled, or helped in some way to establish the County, as well as those who are remembered for various other reasons. The fifty-four illustrations include Wise County’s commonwealth attorneys, from the first (1856) to the twenty-first (1935).

Wise County : her industries, resources and prominent men.” – Ancestry $
An Industrial edition to Crawford’s Weekly was published in October, 1920, which contained a specially prepared history of Wise County by Gen. Rufus A. Ayers.

Big Stone Gap, Virginia
This booklet was commissioned and distributed by the Big Stone Gap Improvement Company as a sales brochure. It describes the gap’s natural and man-made attributes and makes use of many illustrations to enhance interest in the sales promotion. Published in 1890. includes extracts from Charles Dudley Warner’s “Description of a ride through Big Stone Gap,” which appeared in Harper’s Monthly magazine in January 1889.

Land Records for Wise County Virginia

Wise County Virgnia Plat Book, 1888-1921 – This microfilm must be viewed at a local Family History center (FHC).
This microfilm contains a single volume of original records featuring plats or surveys, held at the Wise County Courthouse in Wise, Virginia. These documents, recorded by either companies or individuals, were initially filed with the clerk of the County Court before 1904 and subsequently with the clerk of the Circuit Court post-1904. The records include an index for easy reference. Each entry typically provides a map or plat of the property, the date of the survey, the name of the requester, the purpose of the survey, the surveyor’s name, and occasionally a description of the property or its location in the deed books. This comprehensive format ensures detailed documentation of land assessments and transactions within the county.

Deed book, 1856-1901; general indexes to deeds, 1856-1931
Microfilm of original records at Wise County Courthouse in Wise, Virginia. Includes general indexes. Volumes, except v. 6-7, are also individually indexed. Some vols. suffered page damage. Ink has faded in places. Only volumes 1-3 are available to be viewed online. All others must be viewed at a local Family History Ceneter (FHC).

Wise County Virginia Surveyors’ Book, 1856-1924 – This microfilm must be viewed at a local Family History center (FHC).
The “Wise County Virginia Surveyors’ Book, 1856-1924” is a microfilm of original records housed at the Wise County Courthouse in Wise, Virginia. This collection includes an index for user convenience. The records contain detailed information about properties surveyed by the county surveyor, including the surveyor’s name, a legal description of the surveyed property, a map created by the surveyor, and the filing date of the survey. This documentation provides essential historical insights into land use and property boundaries within the county during this period.

Military Records of Wise County Virginia

Historical Newspapers in Wise County Virginia

Appalachia Independent
Published Weekly From 1920 To 1983 In Appalachia, Va. : Appalachia Printing Co.,

Big Stone Gap Post
Published Weekly From 1892 To 1928 In Big Stone Gap, Wise County, Va., C.M. Harris, 1892-1928.

Big Stone Post
Published Weekly From 1890 To 1892 In Big Stone Gap, Va. : Big Stone Post Publishing Co., 1890-1892.

Clinch Valley Times
Published Weekly From 1958 To 2017 In St. Paul, Va. : Stewart Publishing Company, Inc., -2017.

Crawford’s Weekly
Published Weekly from 1920 to 1935 in Norton, Va. Bruce Crawford, editor.
A special edition was published in October, 1920, which was titled: “Wise County : her industries, resources and prominent men.” It is only available on Ancestry. $

Dixie Yankee
Published Monthly From 1937 to 1940 in Joplin, Va. : C.C.C. Co. 2349, 1937-

Highland Cavalier
Published Weekly Monthly From 1954 To 9999 In Wise, Va. : Students Of The Clinch Valley Branch, University Of Virginia, 1954-. Published by the students of Clinch Valley College, in Wise, Va.

Published Weekly From 1928 To 9999 In Big Stone Gap, Wise County, Va. : Wise Printing Co., 1928-

The Gladeville Sun
Published Weekly From 1891 To 189u In Gladeville [Wise], Va. : The Gladeville Publishing Company

The Liberal
Published Weekly From 1929 To 19uu In Wise, Va. : J.T. Adams. The Liberal (Wise, Va.) continues the Vagabond gazette (Wise, Va.). J.T. Adams later published a literary journal also called the Vagabond gazette (Big Laurel, Va.). “With which is combined the Wise Gazette, the Neon News and the Coeburn Times.”

The Mountain Empire News
Published Quarterly From 1978 in Big Stone Gap, Va. : [s.n.]

Vagabond Gazette
Published Monthly From 1930 To 1938 In Wise, Va. J.T. Adams Company, “Vagabond Gazette with which is combined; the Liberal, the Mountain Magazine, and the Cumberland Echo.”

Vagabond Gazette
Published From 1928 To 1928 In Wise, Va. : James Taylor Adams, 1928-

Wise County Herald
Published From 1928 To 192u In Wise, Va. : James Taylor Adams, 1928-

Wise Gazette
Published Weekly From 1927 To 1928 In Wise, Va. : J.T. Adams,

Wise News
Published Weekly From 1901 To 1911 In Wise, Va. : W.H. Eads,

Wise Owl
Published From 1936 To 1936 In Big Stone Gap, Va

Vital Records for Wise County Virginia

The vital records of Wise County were filmed twice, first by the Genealogical Society of Utah in 1953, and then by the Virginia State Library in 1982. These films must be viewed at a local Family History Center (FHC).

Wise County Virginia Birth Records

Register of births, 1856-1871
Microfilm of original records at Wise County Courthouse in Wise, Virginia. The commissioner of the revenue registered births and deaths for the county and then turned his books over to the county clerk. Volumes are individually indexed. Birth register gives name of child, race, sex, born alive or dead, date and place of birth, names of parents, father’s occupation and residence, and other information.

1856 Wise Co Births
1857 Wise Co Births
1858 Wise Co Births
1859 Wise Co Births
1860 Wise Co Births
1861 Wise Co Births
Slave Births 1856-1861

Wise County Virginia Death Records

Register of deaths, 1856-1894
Microfilm of original records at Wise County Courthouse in Wise, Virginia. The commissioner of the revenue registered births and deaths for the county and then turned his books over to the county clerk. Volumes are individually indexed. Death register gives the name of deceased, sex, race, date and place of death, cause of death, age, names of parents, birthplace, occupation, and other information. Information is not always complete.

1856-1859 Deaths
1860-1869 Deaths
1870-1874 Deaths
1876-1879 Deaths
1880-1883 Deaths
1884-1886 Deaths
1884 Deaths pt 2
1887-1888 Deaths
1889-1890 Deaths
1891-1892 Deaths
1893-1894 Deaths
1860 Mortality Sch.
1870 Mortality Sch.

Wise County Virginia Marriage Records

Marriage registers, 1856-1908, 1968; general indexes to marriage registers, 1856-1935
Register gives the date and place of marriage, full name of parties, age and marital status, places of their birth, residences, parents’ names, husband’s occupation, name of person performing ceremony, and remarks. Information is not always complete.

Wise County Virginia Divorce Records

See the Wise County Chancery Court Records above.

Surnames “A ,B, C
Chancery Book 3
Circuit Book 2

Wise County Virginia Yearbooks

Lonesome Pine Regional Library Collection of Yearbooks
The Lonesome Pine Regional Library has digitized numerous yearbooks of schools in Virginia. These yearbook images they have placed online for everyone at Internet Archive. To facilitate your access, we have provided links to the individual yearbooks below, by year published, oldest to newest. All 321 of these yearbooks, can be read, and/or downloaded from the following links for free! The schools in Wise County included in this online collection are as follows:

  • The Accolade, 1970-1977 – Appalachia High School
  • School Bell, 1932-1957 – Big Stone Gap High School
  • The Reflector, 1941-1974 – Coeburn High School
  • Tendrils, 1930-1961 – Norton High School
  • St. Paul highlights, 1937-1944 – St. Paul High School
  • The Eureka, 1945 – St. Paul High School
  • Estonoa – 1949-1977 – St. Paul High School

Genealogy, History,

Wise County VA,


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