STAUNTON – Augusta County Clerk of Circuit Court R. Steven Landes announced today that in recognition of Native American Heritage Month, a new record is now available through the Augusta County Circuit Court Clerk's online archive portal. The recently digitized and transcribed document is the original land grant for territory from the 1740s for what is now the City of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania.
“We are excited to provide this significant historic Pittsburgh land record from the 1740s in both the digital format along with the transcribed language to make it easier to read the entire documents content,” Landes said. “We would like to thank JMU student Kayleigh Bishop for transcribing this Augusta County land record for our office.”
Through a recent partnership with James Madison University Libraries and the JMU History Department, Augusta County Circuit Court Clerk’s digitized the land grant record for 150,000 acres in what is now modern-day Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The 1749 original document is found in Deed Book 22 and is nine pages. The eighteenth century document features prominent Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Leaders' signatures on page six. A digital copy of the record can be viewed online through the Augusta County Circuit Court Clerk’s online archive portal at https://acch.omeka.net or on the Histories Along the Blue Ridge portal at https://omeka.lib.jmu.edu/erp.
Histories along the Blue Ridge is the new name for Exploring Rockingham’s Past, a project launched in 2017-2018 to make selected historic records from the Rockingham County Circuit Court digitally available to the public. Keeping with the original project mission, each year, graduate students from James Madison University partnered with local Rockingham Circuit Court Clerk, Chaz Haywood, to make select collections digitally available. Since 2018, the project has grown rapidly beyond Rockingham County through collaborations with interested community actors and courthouses in neighboring counties along the Blue Ridge Mountain Range in Virginia. Future initiatives will also add select, non-court records to the Histories along the Blue Ridge collection as well.
The Augusta County Circuit Court Clerk is the steward of historic records dating back to 1745. The Clerk’s Offices throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia possess a wealth of historic records. These historic records require constant protection and preservation work to ensure these artifacts remain in existence for future generations. The digitization of historic records makes them accessible for many more citizens.
The Augusta County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office is in downtown Staunton at the Augusta County Courthouse. The Clerk serves as the recorder of deeds and probate judge, issues marriage licenses and is the official court administrator for all civil and criminal cases. The Clerk creates and maintains all court files and records, prepares court orders and jury lists, contacts jurors and issues summons and court processes. More information about the services of the Augusta County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office can be found online at https://www.co.augusta.va.us/government/circuit-court-clerk.