Research Tips and Resources

Area resources of Frederick County, Virginia

To add information, email

Patsy Cline
Winchester & Frederick County Museums
Old Courthouse Civil War Museum
Shenandoah Valley Genealogical Society
Frederick County Genealogist Susan McCabe
Belle Grove Plantation
Clarke County Historical Association online archives

Frederick County Clerk's Office
5 N. Kent Street
Winchester, VA 22601

Their holdings:Clerk of the Circuit Court has birth records from 1853 to 1912, marriage records from 1782, death records from 1853, divorce records from 1870 and probate and land records from 1743. Frederick's records begin 1744 while Winchester's began 1790 and they are much smaller in volume as the town size did not change from 1754 until 1905.

Land and probate records for Winchester begin 1790, Marriage bonds for Winchester in 1790 and some marriage licenses for period 1843-1855. There are also a few birth and death records from 1855 to 1870. Unlike Frederick records, many of these records for Winchester were destroyed during the Civil War. The hours for both clerk's offices are 9 to 5, M-F and microfilm copies of many records are also available in the Archives Room of the Handley Library in Winchester.

The records for the City of Winchester are housed at the same address as the Clerk of the Winchester Circuit Court and the Clerk of the Frederick County Circuit Court are both housed together in the Frederick-Winchester Judicial Center, 5 N. Kent Street, Winchester, VA 22601 and the phone number for both is 540-667-5770

Stewart Bell Jr. Archives Room
Handley Regional Library
100 West Piccadilly Street

Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society
P.O. Box 58
Winchester, VA 22604
Phone: (540) 662-9041
Fax: (540) 722-4769
Email for Archives Room:

Handley Regional Library Main Page

If you live in the area or plan to visit in the SHENANDOAH VALLEY,
you are invited to research in the Stewart Bell Jr. Archives of the Handley Regional
Library in Winchester. It is a public library and archives that serves
Winchester, Frederick County and Clarke County, VA.  Recognized as one of
the best research centers in the region, Handley is located at the corner of
Braddock and Piccadilly Streets.

What is in the collection? Materials on people, places and events of the
Lower Shenandoah Valley from 1732 to present. The collection houses archival
material from both the Handley Library and the Winchester-Frederick County
Historical Society. There are extensive local histories and genealogical
books on families who live or have lived in this area. A Surname Index lists
individual families who are named in over 200 genealogical books in the
collection. This saves a lot of research time from not having to scan
manually through indexes of several hundred books. Also, there is a database
of names and addresses of individual researchers by surname.

Over 500 linear feet of manuscripts and ephemera are housed in the Archives.
These holdings include account books, funeral home records, diaries, and
correspondence. The Archives maintains an excellent collection of 100 maps
(some rare), including three maps of the area by Jedediah Hotchkiss,
Stonewall Jackson's mapmaker, plus 4,000 photographs.

U.S. Census records are maintained for Counties in the Lower Shenandoah
Valley, from 1790-1920. Indexes for Virginia and West Virginia counties
enable the researcher to quickly find the people they are researching.

Handley Archives has one of the best NEWSPAPER collections for a regional
public library. The Winchester Star is available on microfilm beginning in
1896. These papers are important for those seeking information on
deaths--obituaries-- during a period of almost 2 decades at the turn of the
20th century when death records were not collected by the Commonwealth nor
the Counties. Twenty additional newspapers are available to researchers,
some by microfilm and others by the original copies. These date from 1787 to

Virginia Gazette and Winchester Advertizer     1787-1791
Virginia Centinel or Winchester Mercury       1788-1790
Winchester Political Repository         1790-1791
Willis's Gazette and the Winchester Centinel    1796
Winchester Gazette                      1802-1824
The Philanthropist                      1808
Republican Constellation        1810-1817
Winchester Republican (destroyed by Union in 1862)   1821-1862
Winchester Virginian (destroyed by Union in 1862)  1828-1862
Winchester Journal              1865-1869
Winchester News         1865-1869
Winchester Times        1866-1905
Winchester Sentinel     1869-1870
People's Voice          1880-1881
Winchester Leader       1884-1899
Daily Item              1896-1897
Winchester Star         1898-present
Evening News Item       1896-1897
Morning News Item       1906-1907
Daily Independent       1923-1925
Also in Handley, Shenandoah County newspapers are available on microfilm for
the 1817-1914 period.

Archives staff will answer correspondence if the request is clearly defined.
Extensive research cannot be undertaken because of limited staff time. For
in-depth searches, a list of local researchers will be provided upon
request. A self-addressed, stamped envelope should accompany all queries.
There is a charge for photocopies. Correspondence should be addressed to:

Mrs. Rebecca Ebert, Archivist
The Handley Regional Library
P.O. Box 58
Winchester, VA 22604

(540) 662-9041

For those doing colonial research (prior to the Revolutionary War), you are
reminded that the Frederick County Courthouse in Winchester maintains
records from 1743 onward. Frederick is NOT a "Burned County." If you need to
do a deeper level of research in certain areas, you should be aware that
many kinds of original records are maintained by the Library of Virginia in
Richmond. An inventory of the Frederick County holdings is available from
the LoV.  As you may know, Old Frederick County consisted of 12 present-day
counties, viz. Frederick, Hampshire, Berkeley, Clarke, Shenandoah, Page,
Hardy, Morgan, Jefferson, Grant, Mineral and Warren. The Frederick County
Court served the people in all of these counties prior to their formations.
We hope that your visit to our beautiful Shenandoah Valley and Commonwealth
of Virginia will be enjoyable and productive. Virginia is for Lovers.

Wilmer L. Kerns
Former Volunteer Archivist
The Handley Regional Library


Book Lookups

Please email the county coordinator if you know of other books or are willing to provide lookups in Frederick County related books you may have at your disposal. This project only functions with the help of those such as yourself.

Lookup Volunteers "Legal-ese"

  • Volunteers may do unlimited lookups if and only if:
    1. The lookup volunteer is the actual author and copyright holder of the publication.
    2. The lookup volunteer is using primary source documents ... whether they are treking to the courthouse or using their own xeroxed copies of public domain documents.
    3. The lookup volunteer has written permission from the author / copyright holder to use their publication for lookups
  • Volunteers may be able to make certain limited scope lookups in copyrighted publications under the "fair use" provisions of existing law.
  • Potential volunteers are encouraged to review the explanations of copyright protection, especially the "fair use" provisions, available elsewhere on the Web.

Lookup Requests

  • Mention the name of the book in your message.
    • Our volunteers aren't mind-readers &
    • they may not remember which books they volunteered for, and may have many.
  • Make your requests for lookup limited in scope.
    • "Tell me everything about the Smiths" is probably too broad.
Researchers should not ask, nor may lookup volunteers offer, to violate copyright laws in responding to requests for lookups in any copyrighted material.

Hopewell Friends History, 1734-1934, Frederick County, Virginia. Lynn Dever
COUNTY, VIRGINIA by Cecil O'Dell ( 1995)
Tom Berg
I have several books that may contain information on some of the early settlers of Frederick County that came from other regions. I can do lookups....

Pennsylvania German Immigrants, 1709-1786, edited by Don Yoder.

Berks County Church Records of the 18th Century, Vol. 3, by F. Edward Wright

Maryland Marriages, 1634-1777, compiled by Robert Barnes

Early Lutheran Baptisms and Marriages in Southeastern Pennsylvania: The
records of Rev. John Casper Stoever from 1730-1779.

Records of Reed's Cemetery, Strouchburg, PA, published by Tulpehocken Settlement Historical Society.


“Shenandoah Valley Pioneers and Their Descendants-A History of Frederick County, Virginia” by T. K. Cartmell the Clerk of the Old County Court, 1909

“Some Worthy Lives” by Garland R. Quarles, 1988

“German Origins of Jost Hite-Virginia Pioneer” Shenandoah Genealogical Source Book No. 3 Authors: Henry Z. Jones, Jr., Ralph Connor, Klaus Wust, 1979.

“Virginia Valley Records” by John W. Wayland, 1930

“Abstract of Land Grant Surveys, Augusta & Rockingham Counties, 1761-1791” by Peter Cline Kaylor Assisted by George Warren Chappelear, 1938.

“1815 Directory of Virginia Landowners (and Gazetteer) Volume Four: Northern Region Abstracted by Roger G. Ward, 1999

“Fairfax Land Suit” Transcript of Copy in the British Museum, By Hunter Branson McKay, 1951

Frederick County Marriage Records 1772-1823” Volume I By: Sidney Marie Feathers

“What I Know About Winchester” Recollections of William Greenway Russell, 1800-1891

Volume II: Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society Papers Made possible by Farmers and Merchants Bank of Winchester, Virginia, 1953

“The Streets of Winchester, Virginia: The Origin and Significance of Their Names” By Garland R. Quarles, Prepared for The Farmers and Merchants National Bank, Winchester, Virginia

“A History of the Valley of Virginia” By Samuel Kercheval, 1909

“The Story of Winchester In Virginia”, By Frederick Morton, 1925

“Winchester Virginia And Its Beginnings, 1743-1814” By Katherine Glass Greene 1926

“History of the Descendants Jacob Gochenour”By Robert Lee Evans 1977

"This Heritage” Expanded Edition 1753-2003 By William Edward Eisenberg Grace Evangelical Lutheran Church Winchester, Virginia 2003

“Frederick County, Virginia Wills & Administrations 1795-1816” Compiled By: M. N. Kangas & D. E. Payne 1983

“Frederick County, Virginia: History Through Architecture” By Maral S. Kalbian Published by Winchester-Frederick County Historical Society Rural Landmarks Publication Committee 1999

“Shenandoah Marriage Bonds-1772-1853” Typed by the Genealogical Society of Utah Typist: James M. Black 1939

“Fauquier During the Proprietorship”, A Chronicle of the Colonization & Organization of a Northern Neck County By H. C. Groome 1927 (Good accounts of the Land Proprietor, Thomas Lord Fairfax’s influence in Frederick and surrounding counties.)

“The German Element Of The Shenandoah Valley of Virginia” By John W. Wayland

Charolette “Chocy” Brown

P.O. Box 211508

Chula Vista, CA 91914

I will do “limited” look-ups as my time permits. Please request one surname and one source book. If your surname is common, please include a given name and always give as much information as you have especially concerning the timeframe.

For African American researching,  Freedom By Deed: Manumission, Freedom and Emancipation Abstracts, 1752-1862 as found within the Winchester and Frederick Co. VA Deed Books
Published by the Shenandoah Valley Genealogical Society (, abstracted by Susan L. McCabe




Books for Sale
The Frederick County Web site does not warrant pricing information or availability.
These books are listed as a courtesy to our web site visitors.
Contact the vendor or author for current information.

By Wilmer L. Kerns

 Wilmer L. Kerns, Ph.D. has published 3 books pertaining to the Old Frederick Co., VA area.

"Historical Records of Old Frederick and Hampshire Counties, Virginia " (Revised), Heritage Books, Inc, 1992. This book contains, among other things, Historical and Genealogical Records, Ministerial Bonds; Business Licenses - Ordinary Bonds 1795-1799; Ordinary Bonds 1800-1840; Mill Owners in Old Frederick County; Kidwell Genealogy and History of Little Cacapon Primitive Baptist Church. (Indexed)

"Frederick County, Virginia: Settlement and Some First Families of Back Creek Valley, 1730-1830", Gateway Press, Inc, 1995. History of settlement: Indians and settlers; wagon roads, ordinaries and taverns; site selection, housing, and old houses; naming of rivers and streams; mill owners; religion and churches, cultural and physical geography, with maps developed by cartographer Sam Lehman, and relationship of Back Creek with surrounding settlements.

Some of the primary surnames, which cover 2-6 generations of Genealogical history are: Adams, Allemong, Anderson, Babb, Dalby, DeHaven, Dunlap, Harris, Haworth, Jenkins, Julian, Kerns, Larrick, Lockhart, McKee, Peacemaker, Printzler, Pugh, Purtlebaugh, Shane, Sine, Taylor, Trowbridge, Walker, Whitacre, Wright and others.(Indexed) (on line Index)

"Shanholtzer History and Allied Families Roots in Hampshire County, W.VA and Frederick county, VA". Includes eleven generatons of desc. Of Johannes Schoenholtzer, the German immigrant who settled in Chester Co., Pa, in 1727. Contains 223 pictures, most of which represent the earlier generations of people born 1792-1900 and much, much more. (Indexed)

Dr. Kerns, a native of the Shenandoah Valley, Has done extensive research in the Old Frederick Co., VA area over the past several years and has gained a vast amount of knowledge of the area.

If you would like more information regarding these books, you can e-mail Wilmer Kerns

"A History of the Nurses' Training School of Winchester Memorial Hospital, 1903-1964" Author of the book is Michael M. Foreman

"Life Along Holman's Creek", published in 1982 by Commercial Press, Stephens City, VA. Author of the book is Joseph Floyd Wine, a local historian.

"The Raceys of the Shenandoah Valley" is currently  at the publishers and will be ready for delivery
mid-to-end of February, 2002. The book will be 425 pages, hard-bound on acid free paper. There is an excellent Civil War chapter written by Wayne Smith. He did all his research at the National Archives, and traveled to most of the battlefields where Raceys fought, north and south.  Sources are documented throughout the book.  There are 125 pictures both black and white and colored. Contact Gail Racey Reither

Family Line Publications, Rear 63 E. Main Street, Westminster, MD 21157

  • Shipping US Mail $2.50 for first item, plus $0.50 each additional item
  • Shipping UPS $4.50 first item, plus $0.50 each additional item
  • Pioneers of Old Frederick County, VA, Cecil O'Dell, 1995, $49.50
    • the author has sought to name every person who was in old Frederick County before 1744
  • Frederick County, Virginia, Settlement and Some First Families of Back Creek Valley, 1730-1830, Wilmer L. Kerns, Ph.D, 1995, $45.00
  • Frederick County, Virginia, Wills & Administrations, 1795-1816, M. N. Kangas 7amp; D. E. Payne, 1995, $16.50

Genealogical Publishing Co, 1001 North Calvert St, Baltimore, MD 21202-3897

  • Postage is $3.50 for the first book and $1.25 for each additional book. Maryland residents add 5% tax, and Michigan residents add 4%
  • Visit their site at
  • Hopewell Friends History, 1734-1934, Frederick County, Virginia. Records of Hopewell Monthly Meetings and Meetings Reporting to Hopewell. (1936), repr. Balto., 1993. $38.50
  • Northern Neck, Virginia, Land Grants. Vol. II. 1742-1775. By Gertrude E. Gray. Balto., 1988. $25.00
  • Northern Neck, Virginia, Land Grants. Vol. III. 1775-1800. By Gertrude E. Gray. Balto., 1993. $28.50

Heritage Books, Inc.

  • Postage is $3.00, regardless of the number of books
  • Shenandoah Valley Pioneers and Their Descendants: T. K. Cartmell. (1909) reprint, $60.00
    • A History of Frederick County, Virginia from Its Formation in 1738 to 1908
  • The Virginia Genealogist - John Frederick Dorman, ed. Vol. 8, 1964, reprint, $20.00

  • Delaney-Painter and Susan L. McCabe
    It is a comprehensive research project supported by the Handley library and the Joint
    Archives Committee of an inventory of over 18,000 names with birth & death dates,
    directions to cemeteries and update on the condition/whereabouts of as many as 160
    area burial grounds.  $29.95 plus s&h.
    • Highlights include: Barton Family Bible, Frederick Co.;
  • The Virginia Genealogist - John Frederick Dorman, ed. Vol. 10, 1966, reprint, $21.00
    • Highlights include: A Guide to the Counties of VA: ... Frederick Counties;
  • Frederick County, Virginia, Marriage Bonds, 1773-1850 - Joan D. Hackett & Rebecca H. Good. 1992, $31.00
  • Historical Records of Old Frederick and Hampshire Counties, Virginia (Revised) - Wilmer L. Kerns. 1992, $32.00
    • A collection of records for the late 1700s to mid-1800s. About 7,000 people are named in this 2nd edition.
  • Winchester, Virginia, Register of Deaths, 1871-1891 - Dola S. Tylor. 1991, $26.00
    • Abstracts of the death records kept by the City of Winchester which are distinct from the records kept by Frederick County.

Iberian Publishing Co, 548 Cedar Creek Dr., Athens, GA, 30605

  • Postage on orders up to $10 = $2, $10-$25 = $3, $25-$50 = $4, over $50 = $5
  • Frederick county Marriages, 1738-1850, John Vogt & T. William Kethley, Jr., 1984, $20.00
  • The Federal Census of 1850 for Frederick Co., VA., James V. Hutton, Jr., 1987, $19.95
  • Tell Me of a Land That's Fair, James V. Hutton, Jr., 1987, $5.00
    • an essay on the occasion of the 250th celebration of Frederick county's formation.

Mountain Press, P.O. Box 400, Signal Mountain, TN 37377-0400

  • Postage is $3.50 for the first volume, and $1.00 for each additional volume
  • 1787 Census, $7.50
  • Virginia Revolutionary "Publick" Claims, for Frederick Co, $6.25


Walsworth Pub. Co. , Marceline, Mo

    Pioneers of old Frederick County, Virginia
    Cecil O'Dell, pub.  1995 .





Contact Us| ©2007 Alice Warner


Frederick County, Virginia