Russell County was formed in 1786 out of Washington County. Formed out of Russell County in whole or in part were Buchanan, Dickenson, Lee, Scott, Tazewell, and Wise Counties. The Russell County Courthouse burned in 1872; the loss of one deed book and one marriage book are attributed to this fire. The Local History Room at the Lebanon Library has an extensive collection containing local history and authors as well as extensive genealogical material. There is also a small local history collection available at the Honaker Library. The information below may assist you in conducting genealogical research; you should also consult the library’s list of genealogy websites.
A chancery case is a case that could not be decided based on the existing written laws at the time. Instead it was usually decided on by a judge instead of a jury. Chancery cases may have involved land disputes, estate disputes, business disputes, debts, and divorces.
Chancery records from 1948 to the present are in the Russell County courthouse. Earlier records are held at the Library of Virginia.
Chancery records online can be found at— Check Augusta County records for Russell County chancery records prior to 1872 when the Russell County courthouse burned.
Property deeds are available from 1787 in the Russell County courthouse. The library has transcribed deed books covering the years 1787-1814. These early deed books have also been transcribed and put on the genweb site for Russell County at
Military discharge records are available from World War I and forward in the courthouse. These records are not complete, as it was left up to the individual to file the discharge in his or her county of residence. The library has some military books that contain the names of some of Russell County’s soldiers in various conflicts. The library also has a memorial wall with names of Russell County soldiers who died while serving. Some military records can be found through Ancestry.com which is available inside the library.
Other records in the courthouse include common law and order books, criminal law & order books, civil common law, and General District Court records (misdemeanor records are kept only 10 years as required by law)
Law and order book abstracts for 1786-1808 can also be found on the genweb site at
Russell County Clerk’s Office
Monday – Friday
8:30 am – 4:30 pm
The Public Library and the Courthouse are both located on Main Street, Lebanon, Virginia.
Need Help? Ask a Question about Local History or Genealogy Records at the Russell County Public Library