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Buchanan County, Virginia Genealogy

Guide to Buchanan County, Virginia ancestry, family history and genealogy birth records, marriage records, death records, census records, family history, immigration records, and military records.

Buchanan County, Virginia
Boundary map of Buchanan County, Virginia
Map of Virginia highlighting Buchanan County
Location in the state of Virginia
Map of the U.S. highlighting Virginia
Location of Virginia in the U.S.
Founded 1858
County Seat Grundy

County InformationEdit


Buchanan County is located in the Southwestern portion of the Commonwealth of Virginia and is the only county to border West Virginia and Kentucky. The County was named after the 15th U.S. President, James Buchanan[1].

Buchanan County Virginia CourthouseEdit

Buchanan County Courthouse
P.O. Box 929
Grundy, Virginia 24614
Phone:  540-935-6575

Courthouse burned in 1885
Clerk Circuit Cout has marriage, divorce,
probate, court and land records from 1885[2]

Known Beginning Dates for Major County Records[3]
Birth* Marriage Death* Court Land Probate Census
1853 1885 1853 1885 1885 1885 1810
Statewide registration for births and deaths began in 1912.
General compliance year is unknown.

Buchanan County Virginia HistoryEdit

President James Buchanan (1791-1868)

The county was named after President James Buchanan (1791-1868), who was in office at the time of the county's formation.

Parent CountyEdit

1858--Buchanan County was created 13 February 1858 from Russell and Tazewell Counties.
County seat: Grundy [2]

Boundary ChangesEdit

For animated maps illustrating Virginia county boundary changes, "Rotating Formation Virginia County Boundary Maps" (1617-1995) may be viewed for free at the website.

Record LossEdit


The courthouse burned in 1885 destroying many records. In 1977 a flood caused extreme damage to many later records.[2] [4] [5]

  • Lost census: 1890

For suggestions about research in places that suffered historic record losses, see:

Buchanan County Virginia Places/LocalitiesEdit

Populated PlacesEdit

Buchanan County Virginia Genealogy ResourcesEdit

Research GuidesEdit

  • A Guide to the Counties of Virginia: Buchanan County. The Virginia Genealogist, Vol. 6, No. 2 (Apr.-Jun. 1962):81-82. CD available at: American Ancestors ($).

African AmericansEdit

Bible RecordsEdit

Images of the Virginia Historical Society's family Bible collection have been digitized:


Tombstone Transcriptions Online Tombstone Transcriptions in Print List of Cemeteries in the county Family History Library
VAGenWeb WorldCat Billion Graves
VAGenWeb Archives
Tombstone Project
Billion Graves
See Virginia Cemeteries for more information.


For tips on accessing Buchanan County, Virginia Genealogy census records online, see: Virginia Census.

Historical populations
Census Pop.
1860 2,793
1870 3,777 35.2%
1880 5,694 50.8%
1890 5,867 3.0%
1900 9,692 65.2%
1910 12,334 27.3%
1920 15,441 25.2%
1930 16,740 8.4%
1940 31,477 88.0%
1950 35,748 13.6%
1960 36,724 2.7%
1970 32,071 −12.7%
1980 37,989 18.5%
1990 31,333 −17.5%
2000 26,978 −13.9%
2010 24,098 −10.7%
Source: "". United States Census Bureau.
1860 Agricultural Census
  • The 1860 Agriculture Ceneus [sic] of Buchanan County, Virginia. 1992. By Jeffrey C. Weaver. Clintwood, Virginia : Mullins Printing. Available at FHL.

1890 Union Veterans

Church RecordsEdit

Court RecordsEdit

Funeral HomesEdit


Compiled Genealogies by Surname

Compiled genealogies for multiple families

  • Atkins, Oscar T. Buchanan County, Virginia, Families 1860. Williamson, West Virginia: East Kentucky/Southern W.Va. Family Records, 1997. FHL Collection ["Taken in part from the federal census of Buchanan County, Virginia, for 1860, ... and from tax lists, from other census records, marriage records, and from the library and files of the compiler."--T.p.]
  • Sutherland, Elihu Jasper. Some Sandy Basin Characters. 1962; reprint, Clintwood, Va.: Hettie Sutherland, 1985. FHL Collection
  • Early Southwest Virginia Families: Families of Kelly, Smyth, Buchanan, Clark and Related Families of Edmondson, Keys, Beattie, Ryburn, McDonald. 1960. By Elizabeth Kelly Allison. Ann Arbor, MI : Edwards Brothers, Inc. Online at: Hathitrust.

Land and PropertyEdit

Local HistoriesEdit

  • Looking Back One Hundred Years, a Brief Story of Buchanan County and Its People. 1979. By Hannibal Albert Compton. Knightstown, Indiana : Bookmark. At various libraries (WorldCat).
  • The Forests of Buchanan County, Virginia. 1918. By W. G. Schwab. Charlottesville, Virginia : Office of State Forester, University of Virginia. Online at: Hathitrust, Google Books.


Dickenson CountyRussell CountyTazewell CountyMcDowell CountyMingo CountyPike CountyVA BUCHANAN.PNG
Click a neighboring county
for more resources


War of 1812Edit
  • List of Pensioners on the Roll, January 1, 1883; Giving the Name of Each Pensioner, the Cause for Why Pensioned, the Post-Office Address, the Rate of Pension Per Month, and the Date of Original Allowance... 1883. Washington, D.C : Government Printing Office. Online at: Internet Archive, Google Books. See Vol. 5, Virginia, Buchanan County, p. 65.
Civil WarEdit

Regiments. Service men in Buchanan County, Virginia Genealogy served in various regiments. Men often joined a company (within a regiment) that originated in their county. Listed below are companies that were specifically formed in Buchanan County, Virginia Genealogy:

- 2nd Regiment, Virginia Infantry (State Line) (Confederate)
- 2nd Regiment, Virginia State Line (Cavalry) (Confederate). Company D, likely Company I.
- 4th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (State Line) (Confederate)
- 7th Battalion, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate)
- 10th Regiment, Kentucky Cavalry (Confederate)
- 14th Regiment, Kentucky Cavalry (Confederate). Companies C, F, G, H, and I
- 21st Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Confederate)
- 22nd Regiment, Virginia Cavalry (Bowen's Virginia Mounted Riflemen) (Confederate). Company B.
- 29th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate). Company F.[6]
- 34th Battalion, Virginia Cavalry (Witcher's Battalion, Virginia Mounted Rifles) (Confederate). Company C and Company E.[7]
- 50th Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate)
- 51st Regiment, Virginia Infantry (Confederate)
- 64th Regiment, Virginia Mounted Infantry (Confederate). Company F2.[8]
- French's Battalion, Virginia Infantry (Confederate)

Records and histories are available, including:

World War IIEdit

Miscellaneous RecordsEdit



The Virginia Newspapers Project identifies local Buchanan County, Virginia Genealogy newspapers.

Probate RecordsEdit


Vital RecordsEdit

Indexes to Buchanan County, Virginia Genealogy births, marriages, and deaths are available online. These collections are incomplete, but are easy to search. Most records can also be ordered electronically online as well. Courtesy: FamilySearch. See also How to order Virginia Vital Records


Buchanan County, Virginia Genealogy deaths are online in the Library of Virginia's Death Index of Virginia, 1853-1896, sponsored by The Virginia Genealogical Society.

Vital Record SubstitutesEdit

Buchanan County Virginia Genealogy Societies and LibrariesEdit

Family History CentersEdit

Family History Centers provide one-on-one assistance, free access to center-only databases, and to premium genealogical websites.
FamilySearch Affiliate Libraries have access to most center-only databases, but may not always have full services normally provided by a family history center.

Local Centers and Libraries

Buchanan County Virginia Genealogy WebsitesEdit

Buchanan County Virginia Genealogy ReferencesEdit

  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Buchanan County, Virginia. Page 711 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002.
  3. Handybook for Genealogists: United States of America, 10th ed. (Draper, Utah: Everton Pub., 2002), Buchanan County, Virginia . Page 710-723 At various libraries (WorldCat); FHL Book 973 D27e 2002; Alice Eichholz, ed. Ancestry’s Red Book: American State, County, and Town Sources, Third ed. (Provo, Utah: Ancestry, 2004), 715-720.
  4. Burned Record Counties (VA-NOTES). (n.d.). Library of Virginia. Retrieved 4 May 2012, from
  5. Lost Records Localities: Counties and Cities with Missing Records, 2, in Library of Virginia (accessed 4 April 2014).
  6. John Perry Alderman, 29th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1989). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 53.
  7. Scott C. Cole, 34th Virginia Cavalry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1993). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 94.
  8. Jeffrey C. Weaver, 64th Virginia Infantry (Lynchburg, Va.: H.E. Howard, 1992). FHL Book 975.5 M2vr v. 89.