Orange County, Virginia, will book I, 1735-1743

In the heart of Virginia, amidst the rolling hills and rich history, lies Orange County. Established in 1734, this vast expanse of land, originally stretching from the Rappahannock River to the Blue Ridge and further west to encompass what would become West Virginia and Kentucky, has been a witness to the early stories of America. “Orange County, Virginia, Will Book I, 1735-1743,” meticulously compiled by John Frederick Dorman and published in Washington, D.C., in 1958, serves as a crucial link to this foundational past.

This volume is not merely a collection of wills, inventories, and estate sales; it is a window into the lives and times of the people who inhabited Orange County during its formative years. The period covered in this book was one of stability for the county’s boundaries, which remained unchanged despite the sparse settlement in its more westerly portions. Notably, the area was home to individuals who would soon be residents of Augusta and Frederick counties, established in the late 1750s to accommodate growing populations.

Orange County’s significance is further highlighted by its comprehensive preservation of records. The effort to maintain not just the record books but also a vast array of original documents ensures that this book, alongside W. W. Scott’s “A History of Orange County, Virginia,” remains an indispensable resource for historians, genealogists, and anyone intrigued by the American colonial experience.

The administrative details provided in Dorman’s compilation, such as the transition of county clerks from Henry Willis to Jonathan Gibson, alongside the meticulous indexing of names and document marks, reveal the meticulous care taken in documenting the legal and personal affairs of its residents. The list of wills and other legal documents, ranging from the named individuals like Reuben Allen and John Calvert to the various Surnames and Locations within Orange County, underscores the diversity and complexity of early American life.

Moreover, the book does more than just catalog historical records; it paints a vivid picture of a burgeoning community within the vast American landscape. The establishment of parishes, the evolution of the county’s size and jurisdiction, and the individual stories of settlers, all contribute to our understanding of the socio-economic fabric of 18th-century Virginia.

List of Wills, Inventories, and Estate Sales.

The manuscript includes much more than these three categories of probate records. It also includes listings of bonds, guardianships, inventory adjustments, etc. See the index at the back of the manuscript on page 63 for a better idea of who is mentioned in these probate records.

  • Allen, Reuben, 1742
  • Amburger, Conrat, 1742
  • Axford, Higgons, 1743/4
  • Blackburn, Arthur, 1743
  • Blankenbeeckler, John Nicholas, 1743
  • Bloodworth, Joseph, 1743
  • Bloodworth, Joseph, 1744
  • Brackenridge, George, 1744
  • Bryant, Jermemiah, 1741
  • Calvert, John, 1738
  • Cannady, John, 1743
  • Chissum, John, 1743
  • Corley, Jno., 1743
  • Cox, James, 1738
  • Crosthwait, William, 1743
  • Curtis, Thomas, 1741
  • Curtiss, Mary, 1741
  • Durham, Thomas, 1743
  • Finney, James, 1743
  • Givens, James, 1740
  • Glover, Edward, 1741
  • Griffin, John, 1743
  • Hansley, Samuel, 1731/2
  • Hart, John, 1743
  • Hobson, John, 1742
  • Hobson, John, 1744
  • Hollyday, William, 1742
  • Hurt, Henry, 1743
  • Jennings, John, 1728
  • Kercher, Andrew, 1738
  • Koger, Nicholas, 1743
  • Largent, John, 1740
  • Lightfoot, John, undated, probated 1735
  • Lilburn, John, 1741
  • MacKenzie, Markham, 1741
  • Mallory, Roger, 1743
  • McDowel, John, Gent., 1743
  • Mckenzie, Markom, 1741
  • Murfye, Miles, 1742
  • Naylor, Ann, 1743/4
  • Parsons, Richard, 1739
  • Perkins, Elisha, 1741
  • Perkins, Elisha, 1742
  • Perry, Francis, 1741
  • Rhodes, William, 1743
  • Right, James, 1741
  • Rosser, Elizabeth, 1741
  • Rossor, Eliza, 1742
  • Rucker, John, 1741
  • Rucker, John, 1743
  • Rucker, Peter, 1742/3
  • Shepherd, Micah, 1740
  • Smith, Augustine, undated, probated 1736
  • Smith, Elizabeth, 1739
  • Smith, William, 1739
  • Southworth, Thomas, 1738
  • Spotswood, Alexander, 1740
  • Spotswood, Maj. Gen., 1741/2
  • Stanton, Thomas, 1741
  • Stanton, Thomas, 1742
  • Steep, Joseph, (ca. 1736)
  • Stover, Jacob, 1741
  • Stover, John Caspar, 1738
  • Strother, Jeremiah, 1740
  • Teater, George, 1744
  • Thurston, James, 1742
  • Thurston, James, 1743
  • Ward, Jonathan, 1741
  • Watts, Robert, undated, probated 1741
  • Whartington, Robert, 1735
  • Worthington, Samuel, 1742
  • Wright, James, 1741
  • Wright, Thomas, 1735

Orange County, Virginia, will book I, 1735-1743


Dorman, John Frederick, Orange County, Virginia, will book I, 1735-1743, Washington, D.C., 1958.

Orange County VA,


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