Orange County Road Orders, 1750-1800

Report No: 90-R6

Published in 1989

About the report:

The establishment and maintenance of public roads were among the most important functions of the county court during the colonial period in Virginia. Each road was opened and maintained by an overseer (or surveyor) of the highways, who was appointed each year by the Gentlemen Justices. The overseer was usually assigned all the able-bodied men (the "Labouring Male Tithables") living on or near the road. These laborers then furnished their own tools, wagons, and teams and were required to work on the roads for six days each year. County court records relating to roads and transportation are collectively known as "road orders." The Virginia Transportation Research Council's published volumes of road orders and related materials contain not only information on early roads, but also the names of inhabitants who lived and worked along the roadways, plantations, farms, landmarks, landforms, and bodies of water. The road orders contained in this volume cover the period from 1750 to 1800 during which Orange County still contained within its boundaries Greene County. In addition, this volume also contains data on transportation arteries connecting Orange County of this period with the surrounding counties: Spotsylvania to the east, Louisa and Albemarle to the south, the Blue Ridge and the counties of the Shenandoah Valley to the west, and Culpeper (present-day Culpeper, Madison and Rappahannock counties) to the north. As few road orders for eighteenth century Culpeper County survive, this volume contains the principal extant evidence concerning the later eighteenth-century road development of an area of the Virginia Piedmont stretching from the western border of Spotsylvania County to the Blue Ridge.

Disclaimer Statement:The contents of this report reflect the views of the author(s), who is responsible for the facts and the accuracy of the data presented herein. The contents do not necessarily reflect the official views or policies of the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Commonwealth Transportation Board, or the Federal Highway Administration. This report does not constitute a standard, specification, or regulation. Any inclusion of manufacturer names, trade names, or trademarks is for identification purposes only and is not to be considered an endorsement.

Last updated: December 27, 2023

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