Virginia Memory Project at the Library of Virginia - Legislative Petitions

Petitions to the General Assembly were the primary catalyst for legislation in the Commonwealth from 1776 until 1865. Public improvements, military claims, divorce, manumission of slaves, division of counties, incorporation of towns, religious freedom, and taxation were just some of the concerns expressed in these petitions. The petitions often contain hundreds of signatures and are a useful tool in genealogical research. Frequently, the petitions contain supplementary support documents useful in research, including maps, wills, naturalizations, deeds, resolutions, affidavits, judgments, and other items.

The library of Virginia has an online database of Legislative Petitions pertaining to present-day Doddridge County. When looking for petitions you have to keep in mind that Doddridge County was not formally recognized as a separate county until 1845. The following is a timeline of what counites we've been a part of: 

1734  we were a part of Orange County, Virginia

1738  we were a part of Augusta County, Virginia

1774  we were in the District of West Augusta, Virginia

1776  we were in parts of Ohio and Monongalia counties, Virginia

1784  we were in parts of Ohio and Harrison counties, Virginia

1798  we were in parts of Harrison, Ohio and Wood counties, Virginia

1814  we were in parts of Harrison, Tyler and Wood counties, Virginia

1816  we were in parts of Harrison, Tyler, Lewis and Wood counties, Virginia

1843  we were in parts of Harrison, Tyler, Lewis and Ritchie counties, Virginia

1845  we became Doddridge County, Virginia

1863  we became Doddridge County, West Virginia

Legislative Petitions can be a rich source of information for historians and genealogists. Through these petitions we have learned that people were inhabiting present-day Doddridge County decades before was commonly believed. Not only can you establish an ancestors residency, but also learn what life was like for them at that time. 

Doddridge County's earliest inhabitants followed the waters of Middle Island Creek, Meat House Fork, South Fork of Hughes River, Arnold's Creek and McElroy Creek into the interior of the county. The earliest community that we've been able to identify is the village of Middle Island by 1804. 

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