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Surry County, Virginia, Historical Society and Museums, Inc.
P. O. Box 262, Surry, VA 23883   Phone (757) 294-0404
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December 1999, page 2
James Atkins, Editor

Hot off the Press: The Dendron Historical Society has reprinted The Comp'ny, by H. Temple Crittendon. This rare book on the history of The Surry Lumber Company and the Surry, Sussex and Southampton Railroad is now available. Books can be ordered from The Dendron Historical Society, P0 Box 308, Dendron, Va. 23839. If the town hall is open, you can get them there. Price is $25.00 plus $2.00 if mailed. Everyone with a love of Surry County history should have a copy. Give a copy to your kinfolk for Christmas.

Surry County Courts and Courthouses: Court has been held at many places and in many buildings in Surry County. Gleaned from many sources, the following list shows most, if not all, of the places court has been held.

1. The colonial government of Virginia authorized courts to be established south of the James River in James City County by act approved by the General Assembly of Virginia in October, 1646. It was to be held the 16th of every other month, to determine all causes as large and ample as any other county court within the colony. Thus, court was held somewhere in Surry, likely Southwarke Church, for 6 years before we were a county. Records of this court are lost, likely burned with the rest of James City County's records.

2. In 1652 the county of Surry was formed and the county court started. The first courthouse was established at Wareneck or Southwarke, close to Underwood's mill.

3. 1707-1710. A new courthouse was built at Wareneck. 20,000 pounds of tobacco was paid Francis Clements to build the courthouse in November, 1707 and 20,000 pounds of tobacco was paid Nathaniel Harrison to finish the courthouse in 1710.

4. 1728. Surry county's courthouse was moved to the land of Howell Edmonds near Shingleton Plantation, south of the Blackwater River near present day Route 40, now in Sussex County. This was near the center of the population of Surry County at that time, which then extended to the North Carolina line. While some records state that it was near Littleton, this is incorrect.

5. 1754. As the result of Sussex County being split from Surry, the courthouse was moved back closer to the James River. It was built on the land of William Clinch called "Troopers." It was a wooden building.

6. 1765. The wooden courthouse at Troopers burned. It was replaced with a new brick courthouse on the same site.

7. 1787 The brick courthouse at Troopers burned. The records are silent as to where the court was held until April 25, 1797, when it first met in the new courthouse at Macintosh's Crossroads, now the town of Surry, Virginia. It was a one story brick courthouse, facing west, built on land given to the county by Robert Macintosh. He owned the ordinary and served as contractor of the new courthouse. 1795 Legislative Petition asking permission to build the new courthouse.

8. 1825-1826. The brick Clerk's Office across the lawn from the courthouse was built by John Hopkins for $979.00, the low bid. It was accepted by the county in May, 1826. For the first time in its 174 year history, Surry County had a permanent home for its records. Before this, records had been kept at home by the Clerk of Court. Continued on p. 3.

December '99 Newsletter, page 1         December '99 Newsletter, page 3

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