Russell County Public Library

Records at the Library

Excerpt from Thomas T. Dickenson's diary, May 1861

Excerpt from Thomas T. Dickenson’s diary, May 1861

Census Records

The public library has available federal census records for Russell County in most decades 1790-1930, except in 1890. Some records are available in print while others may be available on CD or microfilm. Census records can also be searched online through Ancestry, which is available in the library.

Dickenson Diary

Thomas T. Dickenson, a prominent Castlewood farmer, began keeping a diary in 1861 until 1912. He recorded the events of his life, but also the major historical events of his day. The entire diary can be viewed on microfilm. The first few years have been transcribed.

Family Photo Archive

RCPL has a small collection of family photos (taken by family members) that have been donated to us for preservation. We are pleased to receive new additions, but we will ask for written permission to copy them. We cannot accept photos by professional photographers without the permission of the copyright holder.

Photo Archive

There is an indexed digital photo archive housed at the main library in Lebanon, containing photos from Russell County communities from throughout the 20th century to the present. Ask staff for assistance to view the index or browse the photos. Photos can be printed and the library welcomes donations of photos to add to the archive, with permission of the copyright holder.

Vital Records

Birth records

Russell County Public Library has a microfilm copy of the Russell County Birth Registers from 1853-1889. It is somewhat difficult to read, so plan on setting aside an hour or two to search it.

Also: Some records are available from the years 1900 to 1927 at the Russell County Courthouse. Between 1896 and June 14, 1912, there was no law for the registration of births. Estimates are that it was 1920 before records were even 90% complete.

Obtain a copy of birth certificates held by the state by writing:

VDH, Office of Vital Records
P.O. Box 1000 Richmond, Virginia

You can also call 804-662-6200 or visit the Office of Vital Records’ website.

Death records

A microfilm copy of the Russell County Death Register 1853-1896 is held by Russell County Public Library. (Missing: 1863-1864, 1895.) A few death certificates from the early 1900s in Russell County are available.

The Social Security Death Index can be searched online through Ancestry inside the library.

Some records have been sent to Richmond. Copies held by the state can be obtained by writing:

VDH, Office of Vital Records
P.O. Box 1000 Richmond, Virginia

You can also call 804-662-6200 or visit the Office of Vital Records’ website.

Marriage records

Copies of marriage licenses or permissions 1849-1911 are available in digital format at the public library. Marriage records earlier than 1849 are believed to have been lost in a courthouse fire in 1872. Some marriage certificates from 1936-1951 are also now available in digital format. Indexes by bride and groom are available for the licenses and certificates. A marriage register for the years 1853-1935 is available on microfilm but is not indexed.

  • Lebanon Library
    248 W. Main Street
    Lebanon, VA 24266
    Fax: 276-889-8045

    Mon: 10am-5:30pm
    Tues: 10am-8pm
    Wed: 10am-5:30pm
    Thurs: 10am-8pm
    Fri: 10am-5:30pm
    Sat: 10am-3pm
    Sun: CLOSED

  • Honaker Community Library
    10 Library Drive
    Honaker, VA 24260
    Phone: 276-873-6600
    Fax: 276-873-5800

    Mon: 12pm-7pm
    Tues: CLOSED
    Wed: 2pm-5:30pm
    Thur: CLOSED
    Fri: 12:00pm-5:30pm
    Sat: CLOSED
    Sun: 2pm-5pm

This site is made possible by a grant from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Services. It is managed by the The Library of Virginia Library Development and Networking Division.