Lunenburg County Road Orders, 1746-1764

Report No: 93-R17

Published in 1993

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 1746, when Lunenburg's county government first became operational, through the creation of Halifax in 1752 and Bedford in 1754, down to the creation of Charlotte and Mecklenburg from it in 1765. As such, they are the principal extant evidence concerning the early development of roads over a vast area of Southside Virginia stretching into the very shadows of the Blue Ridge to include Pittsylvania, Henry, Franklin and Patrick, as well as major portions of Appomattox, Bedford and Campbell counties.

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.


  • Nathaniel Mason Pawlett, Tyler Jefferson Boyd

Last updated: December 24, 2023

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