Owing to an unfortunate error in Clayton Torrence's Virginia Wills and Administrations it is widely believed that the early probate records of Elizabeth City County do not exist. This present volume is in large part a correction of that error, and indeed the bulk of it is devoted to abstracts of the county's wills and administrations for the period 1688 to 1800. Arranged in alphabetical order by the surname of the deceased, the abstracts give the names of legatees (usually with relationships specified), summaries of bequests made, names of executors and witnesses, dates of instrument and probate, and citations to the original will books; or, in the case of administrations, the names of appraisers and administrators and the dates of the various depositions.
As an aid to research in the county (now the independent city of Hampton), this work further includes such items as an index to land patents, the quit rent rolls for 1704, tithables of 1782, soldiers of 1776, marriage records, and lists of burgesses, justices, sheriffs, clerks, surveyors, and much else besides. Altogether some 6,000 persons are cited in the index. Our publication is an improved edition of the original 1941 publication, re-organized, re-typed, and re-indexed.