History & Genealogy

History & Genealogy Research Locations

Nelson County Clerk’s Office
Nelson County Historical Society and Oakland Museum
Nelson Heritage Center
Nelson Memorial Library
Virginia Historical Resources

Genealogy & Research Information

The Nelson County Historical Society research files are located in the Nelson Memorial Library in Lovingston. They can be accessed when the library is open. Research Committee members are in the library on Wednesday from 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM to help with inquiries.

Hours: Monday – Tuesday: 12 – 8pm
Wednesday – Thursday: 10am – 5:30pm
Friday: 10am – 5pm | Saturday: 10am – 2pm
Sunday – Closed

Nelson County Historical Society
P.O. Box 474, Lovingston, VA 22949
Inquiries to:info@nelsonhistorical.org

The following items may be found in the files:
Family genealogy – filed by surname
Government and County History
Cemeteries, Churches, Communities, Homes, Post Offices, Schools, Transportation, Wars

Virginia Nelson County Research Guide

Oakland ~ Nelson County Museum of Rural History

Oakland’s exhibits were created to promote greater understanding of the county’s history and of the connections between the county’s history and that of the state of Virginia and the nation. Oakland is at 5365 Thomas Nelson Highway, Arrington, VA (not the mailing address), on US-29 South, about three miles south of Lovingston and one mile north of the VA-56 West intersection at Colleen. Visit the Oakland website for directions and additional information.

Saturday 10 AM – 4:00 PM (closed January through March)
Wednesday 1 PM – 4:o0 PM (weather permitting)

Hurricane Camille – audio, video, pictures and displays of the 1969 disaster that occurred from the remnants of Hurricane Camille
Cuttin’ on the Lights – an exhibit relating to Rural Electrification and the impact of electricity on rural Nelson County in the 1930s
The Best Hope – the development of the public schools in the county, displays featuring prominent educators and artifacts from Nelson County Schools.

Historic Highway Mile Markers

Virginia’s state historical highway markers are hard to miss on the state’s roadways. There are now more than 2,200 of them erected in Virginia to commemorate people, places, or events of regional, statewide or national significance.

Virginia Dept of Historic Resources

The Department of Historic Resources (DHR) administers two programs designed to recognize our resources and to encourage their continued preservation: the Virginia Landmarks Register and the National Register of Historic Places. The National Register, established in 1966 and managed by the National Park Service, is the official list of structures, sites, objects, and districts that embody the historical and cultural foundations of the nation. The Virginia Landmarks Register, also established in 1966 and managed by the Department of Historic Resources, is the state’s official list of properties important to Virginia’s history. The same criteria are used to evaluate resources for inclusion in the state register as are used for the National Register

Nelson County Register (DHR)
Afton-Greenwood Historic District
Lovingston Historic District | Photos
Schuyler Historic District | Photos
Norwood-Wingina Survey Report
South Rockfish Rural Historic District

Hurricane Camille

Hurricane Camille arrived in Virginia on the night of August 19, 1969, one of only three category five storms ever to make landfall in the United States since record-keeping began. One of the worst natural disasters in Virginia’s history, the storm produced what meteorologists at the time guessed might be the most rainfall “theoretically possible.” As it swept through Virginia overnight, with Nelson County receiving the brunt of the storm. Communication networks were not in place or were knocked out, leaving floods and landslides to trap residents as they slept. Hurricane Camille cost Virginia 113 lives lost and $116 million in damages. It also served as a lesson that inland flooding could be as great a danger as coastal flooding during a hurricane.

Oakland Museum
Camile Map 8-12-11
Camille Outside 8-12-11

Nelson County Cemeteries

The Nelson Memorial Library and the Nelson County Historical Society are both excellent resources for information on local cemeteries. You may purchase the Nelson County Cemetery Book at the Nelson County Visitor Center and the Oakland Museum. You may also want to consider contacting local churches for additional information on cemeteries.

Nelson County Historical Society
Nelson Memorial Library
List of Nelson County Cemeteries
Find a Grave