Fincastle Co, VA

The book: The Hornbook of Virginia History, by Emily J. Salmon and Edward DC. Campbell, Jr., says:

"Fincastle County (extinct) was named either for George, Lord Fincastle, Lord Dunmore's son; for John Murray, fourth earl of Dunmore, Viscount Fincastle; or for the town of Fincastle, Virginia, which was established in 1772 and named after Lord Botetourt's home in England. The county was created from Botetourt County in 1772. It became extinct in 1776 when it was divided to form Montgomery, Washington, and Kentucky (now the state of Kentucky) Counties."

Court Records

Lewis Preston Summers' book: Annals of Southwest Virginia 1769-1800, includes 89 pages of Fincastle County records, mainly the "Minutes of the County Court during the life of this County". There is also a list of the "First Surveys of Land, Fincastle County, Virginia"; abstracts of three wills (Samuel Crockett, probated 3 Mar 1773; Samuel McAdams, probated 1 Aug 1775; and William Herbert, probated 3 Sep 1776); and a transcript of the "Fincastle Resolutions", perhaps the first statement of support for the Continental Congress.

Most of the Fincastle County records are presumably at the Montgomery Co Courthouse, as evidenced by the "Handy Book for Genealogist" saying their records go back to 1773, while Washington County's records only go back to 1776. However, it's been alleged that Lyman C. Draper was given permission to "take whatever he wished" from the Fincastle records. His papers are now housed at the Wisconson Historical Society, as Draper's Manuscripts.

Charles W. Crush, in his book: The Montgomery County Story 1776-1957, states that the original records of Fincastle Co are in the Court House in Christiansburg, and that they include "the Muster of the Militia; Minutes of the Committee of Safety; Court records; lands grants; warrants of arrest; appraisal of properties of George Washington; the criminal record of Romeo, a negro slave, for attempted murder of his master; records of service in Braddock's War; the Expedition against the Shawnnes; orginal patents; and most notorious of all, the bond signed by Daniel Boon and William Cown and the warrant issued for the arrest of Daniel Boone on the fourteenth of March, 1774, and the fifth of May, 1774."

According to Crush, "the first court of Fincastle County convened at the Lead Mines, now Austinville, on the fifth of January 1772, ... [at which] The Court then petitioned the Goveror to establish the Court House at McCall's place in lieu of the Lead Mines for the convenience that McCall's place lies on the Great Road."
Summer's says: "This Court doth recommend to his Excellency the Governor that he will be pleased to Establish the Courthouse for this County at a piece of Land Commonly called McCalls place now the property of Ross and Company and the Lands of Samuel Crockett in liew of the Lead Mines ..."
The book: Early Adventurers on the Western Waters, Volume I, by Mary B. Kegley & F.B. Kegley, contains an excellent section on Fincastle County's formation, records, and extinction.


Updated September 2, 2012