The Fairfax Circuit Court Historic Records Center holds several small records collections which are available for research. These records likely originated as part of the “Term Papers (Judgments)” record group, but were separated to form smaller, subject-specific collections.
CORONER’S INQUESTS, 1831 – 1915
In the 18th and 19th centuries, the coroner was responsible for holding inquisitions for those who had met violent or unusual deaths. The coroner summoned at least 12 jurors, who convened at a specific location and time, to view the deceased and discuss the circumstances surrounding his or her death. Together, they decided on the cause of death and made oath before the coroner, who then delivered the guilty party (if there was one) to the sheriff, and handled the affairs of the deceased’s estate.
This collection is arranged alphabetically by surname. Please note that this collection is not complete; several original inquests have been lost or destroyed. Coroner’s inquests can also be found in the Term Papers index, as the practice of removing coroner’s inquests from term papers has ended. Coroner’s Inquests, 1831 – 1915
FAIRFAX COUNTY SCHOOL LEDGERS AND RECORDS, 1870 – 1905
This collection contains early records of the Fairfax County School Board, as well as accounting books used by School Board Treasurer John Chichester, which were presented as evidence in a court case. This collection includes, but is not limited to, demographic and financial records, accounting ledgers, and correspondence. Fairfax County School Ledgers and Records, 1870 – 1905
SHERIFF’S EXECUTIONS, 1840-1905
A sheriff’s execution is a court order issued to a sheriff or other local official to a.) bring a defendant before the court to satisfy the debt and damages of a judgment against him or her or b.) seize and sell a defendant’s property to satisfy a judgment if the defendant was unable or refused to repay the debt owed the plaintiff. Fairfax County sheriff’s executions are arranged chronologically by year, then alphabetically by surname within each year.
Frederick Wilmer (F.W.) Richardson and his father, Ferdinand Dawson (F.D.) Richardson, held the position of Clerk of Fairfax County Court from 1833 to 1935 – over one hundred years of service between two men. This collection of personal papers sheds light on F. W. Richardson’s life as an individual and as a public servant. F. W. Richardson Papers, 1858 – 1943