Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia CHSV Seal

to collect, preserve, interpret and promote the county’s  past  for the education and enjoyment of present and future generationS


Research Library

Founded in 1981, the Chesterfield Historical Society of VA research library collection contains around 25,000 items, 90% donated by local residents. FREE to visitors. Photocopy charges. Research request fee is $25.  Our Library Collection includes: 


  Maps:   A comprehensive collection (1607-2019) of county and regional maps, including the Colonial era, Revolutionary War, Civil War, Coal Mining, Railroads and Rivers, and more. 

Ꚛ Manuscripts: Original documents including diaries, church minute books, country store ledgers, family Bible records, letters, genealogy charts, and more.

Ꚛ Picture Collection:   Over 23,00 County photographs, from tin-types to digital. 

 Ꚛ Rare Books: Includes out-of-print books and original manuscripts. Available to the serious historian by appointment. Many items have been photocopied for general use.     

 Ꚛ Cemetery Records: An alphabetical file of over 12,000 known burials in Chesterfield County recorded from family graveyards, church cemeteries and other resources

 Ꚛ Vertical Files: An extensive alphabetical file on people, places and events in Chesterfield County, including newspaper and magazine clippings, brochures, programs and flyers as well as promotional materials and historic records.

 Ꚛ Family History Files:  Research files on Chesterfield County families.  Research Library

 Ꚛ Census Records: From Tithables in the late 1700s to 20th Century census indices.

 Ꚛ Abstracts of Title Deed Searches:  From the mid-1800s thru to the 1930s.

 Ꚛ Periodicals:  Copies of select newspapers as well as genealogical publications.

Ask a Volunteer to assist you if you get stumped in your research. ​  

Research Requests

Thank you for the opportunity to assist in your research on people, places, and events in Chesterfield County history. As the birthplace of the second permanent English settlement in the New World with the first hospital, coal mines, ironworks, tobacco farming, and many other significant events, we have a history we are proud to share! 
 We are only able to conduct research on Chesterfield County history and residents

Please note that there is a minimum charge of $25.00 per research request. Copies and postage are extra. Upon evaluation of your request, you will be contacted to discuss the request and anticipated charge.      

Research Request $25.00 Per Request  Choose the Request below
Requester 's Name

Chesterfield's Veterans Database

The library's Chesterfield Veterans Database  is an on-going project which records over 7,000 individuals from every conflict since 1611, from the Colonial period thru to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Completing theVeteran's Database book database form will help us to keep the record current.

Public Speaking Requests   

We can provide speakers to deliver PowerPoint presentations on the work done by the Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia.  There is no charge.  Please call (804) 796- 7121.

We have gifts for sale at historic Trinity Church.  Go here: Generated button


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Chesterfield County Historic Sites

Strachan HousePoint of Rocks is a historic site on the Appomattox River  is designated "Pont of Rocks Park".  Abraham Lincoln walked with Union Generals discussing ways to win a war.   Clara Barton served as the head nurse to many wounded and sick Union soldiers in the largest hospital in the world. The house was used for the surgeons quarters and is still standing and currently, the house is being stabilized. Evidence of Indians who lived on the river is just below the house.  It is one of Chesterfield's most historic sites and not yet open to the public.


Magnolia Grange House MuseumThe "Magnolia Grange House Museum" is an elegant Federal period home built in 1822, named for the circle of magnolia trees that once graced its front lawns.  Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Magnolia Grange’s distinctive architectural features include elaborate ceiling motifs, a half-turn open carved stairway  and  hand-painted scenic wallpaper produced by Zuber, a French manufacturer.

CastlewoodHistoric 1817 Castlewood was built ca. 1817-1819 by Parke Poindexter. Poindexter was the Clerk of the Court at Chesterfield County from 1812 until 1847, almost 35 years. The original landowner was Henry Winfree, who received the property as a land grant in 1754. County Clerk Mr. Poindexter purchased the 180-acre tract in 1816 and began his efforts to construct a new home. One of the three or four finest Federal period houses in the county, Castlewood features a formal five-part plan differing from any other recorded Virginia dwelling.

Help Save Chesterfield County's Rich History

Summerseat c. 1860"C. 1860 Summerseat"  - According to tradition, this 19th century house was used by a county magistrate as the “seat” of his court during summer months due to the muddy and rutted roads which made travel to the courthouse in the center of the county almost impossible.  The lower brick portion of the house was the “jail” or “detention center, complete with bars that held prisoners or those persons awaiting trial.  It is not a large building at 18 by 16 feet.  The house is part of Virginia State University.


Historic Trinity Church

C. 1879 Trinity Church - The old church sits in a stand of a few trees not quite visible from Krause Road but adjacent to Ironbridge Road where it is plainly noticeable.  It offers an unobstructed view at that corner.  Not so vacant any longer and no longer a huge storage shed for odds and ends, it serves a new purpose in its longevity of survival.  It is alive with activity once again.  Presently, the Chesterfield Historical Society of Virginia is utilizing the building as its headquarters and library until historic Castlewood is renovated.  Historic Castlewood, ca. 1817-1819, sits nearby to the church just across Krause Road and was once the parsonage for the Methodist.




        Genealogy Research

Archealogical Programs

Summer Camps for Children