Parishes | Gilliams of Virginia
Parishes of Virginia
Updated March 20, 2016

Overview:
Parish Registers and Vestries contain much information vital to the genealogist. Laws requiring the recording of births and deaths in Virginia were enacted as early as 1632, when a law directed ministers or churchwardens in each parish to present a "register of all burialls, christenings, and marriages" yearly at the June meeting of the court. A similar act passed in 1659 stated that "enquiries are often made for persons imported into the collonie, of whose death no positive certificate can be granted for want of registers." Few records survive from these early decades.

In 1713 the General Assembly noted that earlier acts had "for a long time been disused" and once again directed the recording of births and deaths by the minister or clerk of each parish. A return made the same year noted that the list of births and deaths was not complete since many parishes failed to make returns "for tis a thing so new to the people that neither they care to Register their Births and Burials, nor are the Parish Clerks yet brought into a regular method of transmitting them."

The recording of vital statistics continued to be an ecclesiastical function throughout the colonial period. With the disestablishment of the Anglican church after the American Revolution and the rise of other religious denominations, the record-keeping process for vital statistics fell more and more to the individual family. By the mid-nineteenth century, however, medical science began to recognize the advantages of accurate birth and mortality information in controlling and treating communicable diseases. Pressure from local and national health organizations and medical professionals resulted in the passage of vital statistics registration laws. Virginia was one of the earliest states to pass such a law.

In addition to birth and death records, parish records also contain processioning and other useful information from which relationships can be gleaned.



Parish
Counties
Abingdon Parish
Gloucester County, about 1653
Accomack Parish
Accomack County, 1634-1643
Accomack Parish
Accomack County, 1663
Albemarle Parish
Surry County; 1738-1753
Sussex County, 1753
Amherst Parish
Amherst County, 1761
Antrim Parish
Halifax County, 1752
Appomattox Parish
After 1653-1664 Westmoreland County
Argall's Gift Parish
James City County, 1618-before 1640 (called Chickahominy by 1640)
Augusta Parish
Augusta County, 1738
Bath Parish
Prince George County, 1742-1752;
Dinwiddie County, 1752
Beckford Parish
Frederick County, 1769-1772;
Dunmore County, 1772-1778;
Shenandoah County, 1778
Berkeley Parish
Spotsylvania County, 1769
Blisland Parish
James City County, about 1653;
York County, about 1653-1654;
New Kent County, 1654
Blount Point Parish
Warwick County, before 1634-?
Botetourt Parish
Botetourt County, 1769
Boutracy Parish
Northumberland County, before 1679-before 1716
Bristol Parish
Charles City County, 1643-1702;
Henrico County, 1643-1735;
Prince George County, 1702-;
Dinwiddie County, 1752
Bromfield Parish
Culpeper County, 1752
Brunswick Parish
King George County, 1732;
Stafford County, 1776
Bruton Parish
James City County, by 1674;
York County by 1674
Camden Parish
Pittsylvania County, 1766;
Henry County, 1776-1778
Cameron Parish
Fairfax County, 1748-1763;
Loudoun County, 1757
Charles City Parish
Charles City County, 1613-?
Charles Parish
York County, about 1692
Charles River Parish
About 1634-1642 (name changed to York Parish by 1642)
York County, about 1634-1642
Chickacoan Parish
Before 1640-1643 (later Wallingford Parish) Charles City County, before 1640-1643;
James City County, Before 1640-1643
Chippokes Parish
James City County, 1643-1647
Chiskiack Parish
(Name changed to Hampton Parish) York County, 1640-1643
Chotank Parish
Stafford County, about 1680-before 1702
Christ Church Parish
Lancaster County, 1666-about 1669;
Middlesex County, about 1669 Christ Church Parish (also referred to as Great Christ Church Parish);
Lancaster County, about 1670
Chuckatuck Parish
Nansemond County, after 1643-1737
Cople Parish
Westmoreland County, about 1664
Cornwall Parish
Lunenburg County, 1757-1764;
Charlotte County, 1764
Cumberland Parish
Lunenburg County, 1745;
Bedford County, 1753-1756
Dale Parish
Henrico County, 1734-1749;
Chesterfield County, 1749
Denbigh Parish
Warwick County, about 1635-about 1730
Dettingen Parish
Prince William County, 1744
Drysdale Parish
King and Queen County, 1723;
Caroline County, 1728
East Parish
Upper Norfolk County, 1643-1646;
Nansemond County, 1646-1744
Elizabeth City Parish
Kecoughtann Parish;
Elizabeth City County, 1619;
Warwick County, 1619
Elizabeth River Parish
New Norfolk County, 1636-1637;
Upper Norfolk County, before 1643-1643;
Lower Norfolk County, before 1643-1691;
Norfolk County, 1691
Fairfax Parish
Fairfax County, 1764
Fairfield Parish
Northumberland County, 1664-before 1699
Farnham Parish
Old Rappahannock County, about 1656-before 1683
Flowerdew Hundred Parish
(See Jordan's Journey Parish)
Fluvanna Parish
Fluvanna County, 1777
Frederick Parish
Frederick County, 1738
Fredericksville Parish
Louisa County, 1742;
Albemarle County, 1744
Great Christ Church Parish
(See Christ Church Parish, Lancaster)
Hamilton Parish
Stafford County, 1730-about 1731;
Prince William County, 1730-1769;
Fauquier County, 1759
Hampton Parish
York County, 1643-1707
Hanover Parish
Richmond County, 1713-1720;
King George County, 1720
Harrop Parish
James City County, 1645-1658
Henrico Parish
(Varina used interchangeably, about 1680-1714)
Henrico County, about 1611
Hog Island Parish
James City County, about 1624-?
Hungars Parish
Northampton County, 1691
James City Parish
James City County, 1607
Jordan's Journey Parish
(or Flowerdew Hundred Parish)
Charles City County, about 1620s-1688
Kecoughtan Parish
(Name changed to Elizabeth City Parish)
Elizabeth City County, about 1610-1619
Kingston Parish
Gloucester County, about 1652
King William Parish
Henrico County, 1700-1749;
Goochland County, 1728-1749;
Cumberland County, 1749-1777;
Chesterfield County, 1749;
Powhatan County, 1777
Lancaster Parish
Lancaster County, 1651-1654, 1657-1666
Lawnes Creek Parish
James City County, 1640-1652;
Surry County, 1652-1738
Lee Parish
(Wicomico Parish called Lee Parish for a short time) Northumberland County, 1664-before 1680
Leeds Parish
Fauquier County, 1769;
Prince William County, 1769
Lexington Parish
Amherst County, 1778
Littleton Parish
Cumberland County, 1772
Lower Parish
Northampton County, 1643-1734
Lower Parish
(See also Newport Parish; Isle of Wight County, 1643-1734)
Lower Parish
Upper Norfolk County, after 1643-1646;
Nansemond County, 1646-1737
Lower Parish
Lancaster County, 1654-1656
Lower Parish
Stafford County, about 1664-about 1680
Lower Parish
Nansemond County, 1744
Lower Parish of Elizabeth City County
Elizabeth City County, before 1632-1636
Lower Suffolk Parish
Nansemond County, after 1744
Lunenburg Parish
Richmond County, 1732
Lynnhaven Parish
Lower Norfolk County, 1643-1691;
Princess Anne County, 1691
Machodick Parish
Westmoreland County, after 1653-1664
Manchester Parish
Chesterfield County, 1772
Marston Parish
York County, 1654-1674
Martin's Brandon Parish
Charles City County, 1655-1702;
Prince George County, 1702
Martin's Hundred Parish
James City County, 1622-1712
Meherrin Parish
Brunswick County, 1753;
Greensville County, 1780
Middle Plantation Parish
James City County, 1633-1658;
York County, 1634-1658
Middletowne Parish
James City County, 1658-1674;
York County, 1658-1674
Montgomery Parish
Montgomery County, 1776
Mulberry Island Parish
Warwick County, about 1635-about 1730
New Poquoson Parish
York County, about 1635-1692
Newport Parish
Name is use before 1734;
Isle of Wight County, before 1734
Nomini Parish
Northumberland County, before 1653-1653;
Westmoreland County 1653-by 1660
Norborne Parish
Frederick County, 1769-1772
Northampton Parish
Northampton County, about 1643-1663
North Farnham Parish
Old Rappahannock County, about 1683-1692;
Richmond County, 1692
Nottoway Parish
Isle of Wight county, 1734-1749;
Southampton County, 1749
Nottoway Parish
Amelia County, 1748;
Prince Edward County, 1753-1755
Nutmeg Quarter Parish
Elizabeth City County, 1630s;
Warwick County, 1630s-1657
Occohannock Parish
Northampton County, 1652-1663
Overwharton Parish
Stafford County, about 1702;
King George County, 1776
Patrick Parish
Henry County, 1778;
Franklin County, 1785
Petsworth Parish
Gloucester County, about 1652
Piankatank Parish
Lancaster County, 1657-1666
Piscataway Parish
(Mentioned in a Deed of 1681) Old Rappahannock County, about 1681
Poropotank Parish
Lancaster County, before 1661-1666
Portsmouth Parish
Norfolk County, 1761
Potomac Parish
Westmoreland County, about 1653-1664;
Stafford County, 1664-before 1680
Raleigh Parish
Amelia County, 1734
Richmond Parish
Richmond County, 1691-at least 1693
Rockbridge Parish
Rockbridge County, 1777
Rockingham Parish
Rockingham County, 1777
Russell Parish
Bedford County, 1754;
Campbell County, 1781;
Franklin County, 1785
Saint Andrew's Parish
Brunswick County, 1720;
Greensville County, 1781
Saint Anne's Parish
Essex County, 1704;
Caroline County, 1728
Saint Anne's Parish
Albemarle County, 1744
Saint Asaph's Parish
Caroline County, 1779
Saint Brides Parish
Norfolk County, 1761
Saint David's Parish
King William County, 1744
Saint George's Parish
Essex County, 1714-1720;
Spotsylvania County, 1720
Saint George's Parish
Accomack County, 1762
Saint James Northam Parish
Goochland County, 1744
Saint James Southam Parish
Goochland County, 1744-1749;
Cumberland County, 1749-1777;
Powhatan County, 1777
Saint James’ Parish
Henrico County, 1720-1728;
Goochland County, 1728-1744
Saint James’ Parish
Lunenburg County, 1761-1764;
Mecklenburg County, 1764
Saint John's Parish
New Kent County, 1680-1691;
King and Queen County, 1691-1701;
King William County, 1701
Saint Luke's Parish
Southampton County, 1762
Saint Margaret's Parish
King William County, 1720-1744;
Caroline County, 1728
Saint Mark's Parish
Spotsylvania County, 1730-1734;
Orange County, 1734-1752;
Culpeper County, 1748
Saint Martin's Parish
Hanover County, 1726;
Louisa County, 1742
Saint Mary's Parish
Old Rappahannock County, about 1677-1692;
Richmond County, 1692-1713;
Essex County, 1692-1713;
Caroline County, 1728
Saint Mary's Whitechapel Parish
Lancaster County, before 1669-1752
Saint Patrick's Parish
Prince Edward County, 1755
Saint Paul's Parish
Stafford County, before 1702-1720;
King George County, 1776
Saint Paul's Parish
New Kent County, 1704-1720;
Hanover County, 1720
Saint Peter's Parish
James City County, 1679-1767;
New Kent County, 1679
Saint Stephen's Parish
New Kent County, before 1674-1691;
King and Queen County, 1691
Saint Stephen's Parish
Northumberland County, about 1698
Saint Thomas Parish
Orange County, 1740
Shelburne Parish
Loudoun County, 1769
Sittenburne Parish
Old Rappahannock County, before 1664-1692;
Essex County, 1692-1704;
Richmond County, 1692-1732;
King George County, 1720-1732
Smith's Hundred Parish
Charles City County, about 1617-about 1619
South Parish
Upper Norfolk County, 1643-1646;
Nansemond County 1646-1744
Southampton Parish
Charles City County, 1619-1622
South Farnham Parish
Old Rappahannock County, about 1683-1692;
Essex County, 1692
Southwark Parish
James City County, 1647-1652;
Surry County, 1652
Stafford Parish
Stafford County, about 1680-before 1702
Santley Hundred Parish
Elizabeth City County, about 1628-about 1635;
Warwick County, about 1628-about 1635
Stratton Major Parish
New Kent County, 1655-1691;
King and Queen County, 1691
Suffolk Parish
Nansemond County, 1737
Tillotson Parish
Albemarle County, 1757-1761;
Buckingham County, 1761
Trinity Parish
(Parish name used but parish not officially established) Lancaster County, about 1670-about 1724
Trinity Parish
Louisa County, 1761
Truro Parish
Prince William County, 1732-1742;
Fairfax County, 1742
Upper Parish
Northampton County, 1643-1734
Upper Parish
Isle of Wight county, 1643-1734
Upper Parish
Upper Norfolk County, after 1643-1646;
Nansemond County, 1646-after 1744
Upper Parish
Lancaster County, 1654-1656
Upper Parish
Stafford County, about 1664-before 1680
Upper Parish of Elizabeth City County
Elizabeth City County, before 1632-about 1636
Upper Suffolk Parish
Nansemond County, after 1744
Varina Parish
(See Henrico Parish)
Wallingford Parish
(First called Chickahominy Parish) Charles City County, 1643-1720;
James City County, 1643-1720
Ware Parish
Gloucester County, about 1652
Warrosquyoake Parish
Warrosquyoake County, before 1629-1637;
Isle of Wight County, 1637-1734
Warwick Parish
Warwick County, about 1725
Washington Parish
Westmoreland County, 1664
Washington Parish
Washington County, 1776
Waters Creek Parish
Elizabeth City County, 1629-1634;
Warwick County, 1629-about 1643
West Parish
Upper Norfolk County, 1643-1646;
Nansemond County, 1646-before 1737
West and Shirley Parish
Charles City County, about 1613-1622
Westbury Parish
Westmoreland County, 1664-about 1680
Westover Parish
Charles City County, by 1625-1702;
Prince George County, 1702-1720
Weyanoke Parish
Charles City County, about 1618-1702;
Prince George County, 1702-1720
Wicomico Parish
(see also Lee Parish) Northumberland County, about 1648
Wilmington Parish
Charles City County, about 1658-1723;
James City County, about 1658-1723
York Parish
York County, about 1638-1707
Yorkhampton Parish
York County, 1707;
James City County, 1712



Sources
  • Library of Virginia. Using Vital Statistics Records in the Archives at the Library of Virginia, (Research Notes Number 2)
  • Salmon, Emily J. and Edward D. C. Campbell, Jr. The Hornbook of Virginia History, 4th edition, Library of Virginia, Richmond, 1994.